Kontra

After last article What I learned about project management it is time for a new article in the series. It is time for something more concrete. This article is for agencies and all Individuals who decided to start with web development projects and they are beginners. As mentioned before, I’m not a programmer, I started with web development PM 10 years ago and believe that I can give a good approach to all beginners – especially for agencies (all kinds and types) who are in charge for leading web projects. I went through that path.

Of course, I will update this from time to time. And all comments and suggestions are welcome. My goal is to give good basics to all beginners (I will combine theory – less and practice – more). Why? ‘Cause, I plan to give an overview of Web development Project management from client inquiry to delivery. Of course, from an agency perspective.

So let’s start with some basics.

TERMINOLOGY AND ELEMENTS OF WEBSITE

Website or Web application 

If you are agency worker, I believe that there is no need to explain what is a website. 🙂 Sometimes terminology could be confusing.  Website or web application is everything visible in your browser.

Mobile app, Application or Native application 

An application is everything that is driven on your mobile within a browser. It could be iOS, Android or WindowsPhone etc. Try to be clear with your client at the beginning.

Please be noted once again: This is an article written for agencies and all beginners who start with web development projects, from an agency perspective. I’m aware that application is a much wider term but for this series of article purpose not.

Domain

This is a name of your website structured inside form called URL. We have different forms of domains. For example: .com, .net, .me, .agency etc. You can register your domain on thousand places. My favourite is GoDaddy. Also, there you can check the availability of domain you want to register, but you’re free to use any other service.

Hosting 

Place where you store your website. Your website has files (megabytes) that should be placed somewhere. There are thousands of hosting providers and types of hostings. For example, we have digitalocean, siteground, amazon etc.

CMS

This is content management system. Place where you can edit your website, put content and pictures.  There are two types of CMS. Open source and custom made. At Kontra, we believe in WordPress CMS. Why? 25% of the top one million websites use WordPress as of February 2017. (check statistics). Of course, custom CMS is more characteristic for specific kind of projects and industries but there are no rules.

Backend

Let’ call this everything you can’t see as a user, like databases.

Frontend 

This is everything you can see on a website. Frontend is structured from HTML/CSS, JavaScript…

HTML/CSS

Two technologies responsible for everything you see. A person in charge of making them work is Frontend developer.

Responsive Web Design (RWD)

This is a standard in web development. All websites should be adaptive for mobile devices. Try to resize a browser window.

Responsive Web Design

PEOPLE WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROJECT DELIVERY

Client

Person (or company) who ordered website or application from you (the agency). It is important that person to be involved in all phases if you want your project to be successful.

Backend developer

A person which is responsible for a backend and mostly communicates with frontend developer.

Frontend developer

A person who is responsible for a frontend. and mostly communicates with a designer and a backend developer.

Full – stack developer

A person who is able to do both frontend and backend.

Tester

This is a person responsible for website or application testing. Testing depends on PM workflow. In my case, we always test project after frontend and backend developer finish their work. We call this beta version – website or application that is placed on our test servers. It is important to include your client in a testing phase, so he could give his feedback.

System engineer

A person who is responsible for servers and everything about that part. Probably you will communicate with this person about DNS, domains migrations, extending your server space… But today, almost everything of this is automated.

Project manager (YOU)

A project manager is a person who is responsible for project delivery within agreed deadlines and with available resources. In web development agency this is a person between a client and web designers/programmers.

TOOLS & OTHER TERMINOLOGY THAT COULD BE HELPFUL

Wireframe

The wireframe is a layout that represents elements of website or application. With wireframes, your client could see how your website or application will look like before your designer starts working on it. We can divide wireframes into two parts:

  • Hi-Fi Wireframes; wireframes with all detailed elements of website or application.
  • Low-Fi Wireframes; wireframes with main elements and composition of website or application but not detailed.

Check our example here. 

Specifications

Specifications are detailed project scope between an agency and a client. It is an important part of any project and should be made if you want to meet time estimations and stay profitable. There is various kind of specifications which are important not only for a client but also for your resources planning.

Programming language

This is language that is used by programmers to write a web application. Check the info about most demanding programming languages in 2017.

Project management tool

A tool that we need to track our project activities. It’s a place where all clients, partners and agencies employees communicate. You could use an email, but with complex projects, email is just not enough. I prefer tools such as ActiveCollab, Trello, Asana, Basecamp, and others who provide you with features such as task/milestone/owner/discussions/recurring tasks/labels etc.

Test and production

Before publishing your web app, it goes onto test web servers for a client and testers to test it before going public and after all tests are finished web application goes into production.

In the next article, I will explain some project management tools and how to use them.



Author

Petar Bogdan

Business developer & Co-founder at Kontra (digital agency). Throughout the years, I have worked with big clients such as Walt Disney, Discovery Channel, Kinder, Renault, T-Mobile, Istraturist – Umag hotels, Pepsi, Alpro etc.


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