Here are some things to think about and describe in a project specification document so that your web developer can prepare an accurate quotation. Not all of these are applicable for all website builds but they may come up and are worth consideration.
Interactive & Animated Elements
Basically anything that moves or you can click on and not go to another page. Examples are: drop-down menus, slideshows, interactive maps, photo galleries, etc.
Blog and News Templates
You would think that these pages just magically appear since WordPress started out as blogging software. Not so much. A typical blog actually requires four separate templates to function. One of the things to specify is whether you will be having both a Blog and News section. Since each of these may require the use of the same functions, knowing if you need one or both up front is critical.
The most common form is a contact form. But there are many ways that forms can be used, such as to request a quotation, etc. What are the field and validation requirements For example: a name is required, and the email field must be valid email address, etc. What does the form do after the user enters and submits their information? It may send an email, or store the submission to the database, etc.
Interior Page Templates
Not every type of content will comfortably display in your standard interior page template because there’s a limit to how much can be achieved through the post editor regarding layout. Part of the art and science of building a WordPress website is to identify those ahead of time and utilize unique page templates and other tools such as custom post types. The goal is to create a website that is easy for the client to edit going forward.
As a rule of thumb, if you have a page that changes how content looks, such as additional columns, grid format, and the like, you probably need a page template. Also if you’re changing the way a user interacts with a page such as tabbed panels, carousels, accordions, etc., you probably need one for that as well. Sometimes, more complex pages may need multiple templates and custom post types to populate those pages elegantly. We can help you figure that out, but it does help if you have an idea of how you’d like the unique pages to look.
The capability for the site to intelligently display across desktop, tablet and mobile devices. Also, will designs for responsive be provided or is the developer cleared to make the best choices as they present themselves. The percentage of website hits via mobile devices is going up every month and is projected to stay on that trajectory. In addition, Google now penalizes sites in their page ranking if they are not mobile friendly.
Information Architecture, IA
Basically, some guidance on content organization and information relationships For example, if a site has a sidebar column on interior pages, is the content in this sidebar column consistent throughout the site? Or does it change on a per page basis? A combination of both? Many times this is up to the developer to figure out, but you should be able to tell them how you’d like it to work.
For a small site, not a big deal but if there are hundreds of pages, it adds up.- It’s best if you provide a page count, or you can refer to the existing site. We have tools that can crawl the site and give a page number. Many times, the objective is to be able to update the site, so this is a part of the project that you, or your client, may elect to take on.
It’s best to have designs delivered as a layered Photoshop file. We can work with Fireworks and Illustrator files as well. Some clients send layouts for all interior templates or the templates that have a specific design requirement.
Multilingual? Section 508 compliance? HiDPI? Areas of the site that require registration or login? User permissions control? etc. Does the site feature a shopping cart? And if so, how many products and payment methods are required.