Clients looking for a website sometimes come with the wrong idea that the web developer will do everything and not take part in the website’s development. This results in unrealistic expectations from the clients because they are not actively keen on what is happening in their project.

The truth is new clients looking for a website need to understand everything involved in their web development. They also need to understand what they must do every step of the way until the website is complete.

As a client, you should participate in your project’s planning phase, the development phase, the pre-launch phase, and the post-launch phase.

Planning phase

This is the phase where clients and the development team are able to discuss the project requirements and what the client is looking for. The web development team is expected to discuss with the clients about specific goals of web development and how they plan to achieve these goals.

The clients are also expected to contribute by verifying that the web development team has correctly met the website’s requirements. It is in the planning phase that the clients are expected to indicate their budget, set timeframes on when the project should be completed and chose the technology they prefer their web application to be developed with.

After looking at project requirements and discussing the goals of the project with the clients, the web development team is expected to provide multiple solutions on how the project should run for the clients. They are also expected to explain the development process to the clients in the simplest way possible to ensure they understand it. They also agree on the schedule provided by the client, or they can make adjustments together and estimate when the project is expected to be completed.

In this phase, clients should decide if they want to work with the web development team. In case clients see red flags such as clients not consulting with them, starting the project before discussing requirements, failing to include clients in decision making and giving excuses and vague explanations on the development process, clients should evaluate their decision to work with the development team. The planning phase is one of the most important phases and can determine whether the project will fail or succeed based on initial interaction between web developers and clients.

Development phase

This is the phase where the web development team starts working on a client’s project. In this phase, clients need to know that they should still be involved in the process and they should be updated on the progress of their website.

The phase should involve periodic check-in from the development team to the clients with all the details about what they have done and what is remaining. They should also consult with the clients on changes they might want to make that they had not asked for. In the development phase, web developers should be able to determine how realistic some of the client’s projects are.

For clients, they should also know that they have a role to play. Clients are expected to provide content such as articles, images and videos for their websites. They should also provide their social media handles if they want them displayed on the website during this phase.

Clients are also expected to be active in this phase by ensuring that they work hand in hand with developers to provide resources such as hosting and servers to their web developers where their projects should go once it is complete. They are also required to provide any other information requested by the web development team, including adjustments to some of the initial project requirements.

In this phase, clients should be wary of their development team if they are unwilling to meet or discuss the project with them during this phase. They should also notice red flags in case clients insist on giving you the complete project all at once, and they are against the client’s ability to monitor progress.

The pre-launch phase

This is the phase where the web development team is expected to take clients through the quality assurance and User Acceptance Testing (UAT) of their project. It is also the phase the clients interact for the first time with their finished project.

This is also the phase that clients are required to either provide servers where their website will be hosted or are provided with a solution for the hosting.

In this phase, clients and the web development team are expected to talk about the initial project requirements and whether they have all been met. Clients are also expected to provide any outstanding materials for the website, such as images, articles, contacts and social media links that will be used on the website.

Clients should look out for red flags from their development team if they are told that the website will go live before quality assurance is certified.

The post-launch phase

Clients and web development team relationship should is not supposed to end after the launch of a website. What comes after the launch determines how successful a client will be to meet a website’s goals.

For clients, this is the phase that they need to be most active in. Clients need to learn the technology used so that they can be able to update contact information, create and edit articles on the site and manage the marketing of the site.

Clients are also expected in this phase to take an active role in marketing their website since they are not set and forget platforms.

Web developers are also important in this phase and provide post-launch support for the clients, such as making changes to the website’s evolving market needs and troubleshooting the website.

The major red flag that a client ought to look for in this phase in a web development team on whether they cut communication after the launch of the website.