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Project Life Cycle of a New WordPress Website

When planning for a new WordPress website development project, it’s always nice to have an idea of what the actual project life cycle entails. A project with WebDevStudios (WDS) can typically be broken down into seven phases. These seven phases will get you from the initial proposal to a fresh new website for your company. Our standard project life cycle will not only ensure that your project requirements are outlined up front, but that our design and development team have a solid understanding to reach your project goals. Here is a breakdown of what to expect during each phase of your project.

Project Initiation

Once we have a signed proposal/contract, our Client Strategist is ready to start project initiation. In this phase, we schedule various project discovery sessions to get a detailed understanding of general project goals, design requirements, and website data details. The goal of the discovery sessions is to get as much information in order to outline a detailed project plan. The project plan specifies the project design and development requirements.

Design Phase

A majority of clients that we work with desire a refreshed design for their website. We work directly with the client to get an understanding of design requirements and turn those into PhotoShop mock-ups. We typically go through two to three rounds in the design phase: initial, revised versions, and finalized mock-ups. Our design team ensures that we provide the latest web design elements, while considering responsiveness and accessibility.

Data Migration

If you are migrating from another content management system, or want a fresh WordPress install, your website will require data migration. The data migration phase typically starts by providing WDS access to your database, or your database files. With access to your database, our development team pulls together a data mapping document, writes a data migration script, and starts the import process. Once we complete the initial import into our development environment, we do a quality assurance review against the data mapping document to ensure all content imported correctly. Our development team will be working with your actual data during the development process to ensure the launch process goes seamless.

Active Development

Once we have the final approved designs and project plan, our development team is ready to start programming your website. In this phase, we will create all page templates using the coding standards that we have put in place here at WDS. Our team will code custom features and functionality based on your project requirements using custom code and plugins. Additionally, throughout the development phase, our lead developers perform code reviews on all features to ensure proper sanitization, caching, and security are in place.

Quality Assurance (QA) / User Acceptance Testing (UAT) Review

Once all development tasks are complete, our development team performs cross browser and device testing to ensure responsiveness and accessibility is in place. We run your new custom theme through our WDS theme check plugin. Our development team also runs a query monitor and report to ensure that the site is performant prior to launch.


Each new website/project that we work on has a unique launch plan. Typically, the following steps are taken during this phase to move the site from our development environment to your staging and production environment.

  • Our development lead will set up staging and production environments on your host and set up deployments.
  • We will then request a content freeze in order to start the final data migration process.
  • Once the site has been moved over to your environment and a quality assurance test has been completed, you will be ready to switch the domain DNS/cpanel.
  • And… your new WordPress website is now live for your company and users!


WDS likes to guarantee our development work by providing a 30-day support phase post project completion. We use this time to squash any minor bugs or issues that came up during launch and make certain that your company is happy with your new website. We also offer extended or ongoing support and maintenance options for our clients.

Overall, WDS has set the standard for projects and project life cycles. We ensure that we provide quality WordPress websites based on our clients’ goals and requirements.

Also published on Medium.

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