Evaluation and Maintenance

These are the two final stages of a web development project. Evaluation can provide useful lessons for future projects and maintenance can provide an extended revenue stream after the delivery of a site.

The initial evaluation of a site might lead directly into a maintenance cycle if it reveals any problems with the delivered site. This possibility should ideally be factored into the initial project plan.

Evaluation

Evaluating a project after completion serves a number of separate purposes. Firstly, it reassures the client that the site actually meets their requirements. Secondly, it provides an opportunity for the developer (you!) to reflect on the project. Because of this, even if the client does not require a formal evaluation, you should always take time out to consider how successful the project was.

Client Perspective

From the client perspective there are a number of different aspects that might be considered, depending on their original requirements.

The conversion rate is one important measure. This is the proportion of site visitors who actually take up the service being offered. It is important that the client has realistic expectations in this area. The best they might get is only 10%, and even a rate as low as 2% might be considered a success in some areas.

Marketing Sherpa has a table showing the website conversion rates for individual industry sectors.

Other factors that might also be included in evaluating a site are:

Identifying what factors might be important to the client early in the project might have a significant impact on the site design.

Developer Perspective

From the developer's perspective, having a clear idea of what went well and what went badly on the project can be a big help when it comes to planning the next one! To be able to make this evaluation, you really need to start with a clear plan. Then, any deviation from the plan can be evaluated: did you finish part of the project more quickly than you anticipated? Why? Did you take longer than expected to complete some parts of the plan? Why?

As a developer, you should also consider how well you managed the client throughout the project: did they have a clear idea of what you were going to do for them? Did you help create realistic expectations about the eventual site? Do you think the client would recommend your services to others?

Positive answers to all of these questions will contribute strongly to building a good business reputation.

Maintenance

 

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