In last week’s live office hours, a well-known WordPress developer, Bill Erickson, joined us to share his process of scoping and estimating website design and development projects. That was a great episode and I think you’ll learn a ton from our conversation.
What we talked about:
- What our scoping and estimating process looked like when we started freelancing.
- How our process of estimating projects has evolved through the years.
- What our discovery process looks like.
- What questions we ask to get more information about the project.
- How we schedule design and development phases of the project.
Key takeaways from our discussion last week:
- Start simple. You don’t need a fancy process and huge proposal documents to begin the work.
- Ask as many questions as you need about each functionality and page that the client wants to have designed. Write it all down in a document, so you have a clear scope of the work.
- Don’t assume something will be simple just because the client made it sound that way. Make sure you get all the details, especially about any custom features and functionalities.
- Split the project into design and development phases if it’s too big or there are too many unknowns. Don’t try to estimate the development cost before you know exactly what is in the design.
- Charge for the discovery session if the project is unclear or the client needs your help to figure out the functionality and direction.
- Ask the client for the content before you start the project. Help your client understand what content they need to provide.
- Match clients to your process, not the other way around. If a client’s project is too small for your process (and if you can afford it), it’s OK to say no and focus only on what really works for you. Adding too many projects that don’t fit your process can be a distraction.