One of my favorite quotes around planning is:
― Benjamin Franklin
We start every project with a detailed plan. Our planning phase starts with a meeting between all stakeholders in the project. In this meeting, we discuss timing, users, security protocols, domain/SSL, logo, colors, fonts, hosting, SEO, likes and dislikes, inspirational sites, competitor sites, design goals and business objectives, and any special requirements that are needed from the website. Afterward, our team meets internally to devise the plan.
The plan consists of things such as where the site will be developed and hosted, the domain to use, roles and responsibilities of all stakeholders. It will include a detailed list of must-have pages, page elements, persistent elements and more.
Page elements include things such as testimonials, events, newsletter sign up forms, contact us forms, call to action buttons, logos, images, galleries, videos, specials… Once they have been identified, we then start detailing our plan for how the data for each element will be entered and stored. This refers to planning out how we implement the Content Management System. For things like Projects, Testimonials, Reviews, Specials and Events, we usually build in Custom Post Types (CPTs). Then within each CPT, we build in custom meta boxes. These are the fields for things like dates, rates/price, title, etc.