The process:


  • Cover and title: This is a marketing piece, so make sure both the cover and the title set the tone. They should match your branding.
  • Introduction: Theoretically they know who you are and what you do, but this is a good place to reiterate and reinforce your brand.
  • Office hours and contact info: Set some boundaries right away. Let clients know when and how they can contact you. This will give peace of mind to both of you.
  • What’s included: Clearly explain what end product you’ll deliver to the client, list any features you include in all your projects, detail the calls and/or meetings that are part of the project, and finally explain what’s definitely not included. It should be crystal clear what you do and what you don’t do.
  • What you need from the client: Many projects end up delayed while you wait on a client to deliver their content. So make it clear up front what you’ll need. This doesn’t have to be detailed with methods and deadlines, but if you need images and written content before you can start, let the client know up front.
  • Process and timeline: Explain your process and a general timeline. The timeline will be a reality check for clients (“You can’t do it next week?”), and a clear process will reinforce your professionalism.
  • Payments: Be clear about your payment policies. If a client has a problem paying half up front to secure a spot in your project pipeline, then that’s probably a deal breaker.
  • FAQ: This is a good place to add any extra details or random things that come up.
  • Wrap up: Thank your potential client, encourage them to ask questions, and let them know what the next step is.


Gathering as much info & contract 



  • If I can bring you back a proposal within this price range, is that something you would be wiling to sign off on?
  • What is the approval process for this project? Do you make the final decision? Does anyone need to approve your decision to go forward with this project? Who else needs to be involved in this process?
  • Only agree to present the proposal under two conditions:


  1. All decision makers will be present.
  2. They will give you an answer (yes or no) at the conclusion.
  3. What a consultation is
  4. Get the details: It’s a limited, streamlined meeting that should tell you everything you need to know about starting a project with a client.
  5. Work toward a proposal: It’s a chance to gather all the important details to make a proposal.
  6. Know the client: It’s an opportunity to get to know the client and find out if they’re someone you want to do business with.
  7. What a consultation isn’t
  8. It’s not a sales pitch.You’re testing the waters of a relationship to see if this is something to pursue. Spend more time evaluating the client and less time pitching yourself.
  9. It’s not to refine the client’s business plan. If the client doesn’t know what they need or what they’re doing, that’s a red flag.
  10. It’s not to explain how. This meeting is to discover the client’s goals. Talk about what those are, don’t talk about how to meet them.
  11. How
  12. Scope: Learn enough about the project to create a proposal. This is where you ask questions—lots of questions(See more on 65 questions to ask during your next freelance client meeting.)
  13. Chemistry: Determine if this is a client you can work with. This will happen throughout the meeting as you watch for red flags.
  14. Ongoing: Explain the importance of your ongoing services. Take the opportunity to stress that a website needs ongoing maintenance and the client should plan for it now, either by hiring you to do it or being prepared to do it themselves.
  15. Process: Set expectations by walking through your process. Let the client know what the next steps are and how you work.
  16. Estimate: Provide a ballpark estimate and get client buy-in. You need to have a rough budget. If a client isn’t willing to talk about the budget, that’s a red flag.


Simplify the info

Proposal & contract

  • Project proposals are only presented to decision makers who are ready to buy.
  • Never email a proposal.
  • Don’t provide specific solutions until you’ve been paid to do so
  • Provide examples and references of your expertise instead. If a potential client wants evidence of your competency or expertise, give them examples.
  • Ask clients to commit in a specific order: verbal, written, financial.
  • Have an invoice ready at the proposal presentation and leave with a check




SEO plan

  • Consult with the client on search terms for their business/industry
  • Research and review keyword volumes
  • Create a spreadsheet of keywords/keyphrases
  • Audit existing content for SEO focus
  • Make a list of SEO content needs to fill gaps
  • Map keywords/keyphrases to existing or needed content


  • Using your SEO Strategy, build a sitemap with appropriate page hierarchies and content silos.
  • Create an actual document for your sitemap/site outline. You can use the sitemap as a checklist to guide the project.
  • Include basic website pages (About, Contact, etc.) plus additional keyword/keyphrase pages.
  • Create a site map sketch – Lucidchart


Content review and development

  • Review existing web content
  • Hire or assign writers for content needs
  • Put deadlines on content completion







Wireframes – mockingbird


The Comprehensive Guide to Sitemaps – Gliffy

A sitemap is a visual representation of your website to-be. It helps you figure out how users look for information. It’s a vital step in building a functional, usable site that will take your users where you want them to go instead of X-ing out of your site in frustration.


Create different layouts – home page only

Get reviews / feedback from client

Act on feedback

Create the other pages and repeat until customer is happy

Questions for each page

  • What is the main goal of the page?
  • Is it clear to users what action they need to take?
  • How does the design encourage users to take an action

Create mock up in style tiles




Content writing and assembly


Add special features and interactivity

Install plugins (back up buddy, ithemes sync, broken link checker, Uber login logo)



Testing review and launch

Migration of website



  • Cover: This is a document for your client, so it should match their branding and not yours. Make sure your template allows for that with easily swappable colors and logos.
  • Introduction: Explain what clients can find in the goodbye packet. This should be a helpful overview written in your brand voice.
  • Login info: Here’s where you give clients access to their site. You can either directly give them the password or use a service such as LastPass or NoteShred. If you give clients a password directly, be sure to tell them to immediately change it (and how to do that).
  • Cheat sheet: A quick reference sheet with basic info such as image sizes, color codes, shortcodes, brand tips, etc.
  • Instructions/tutorial: This is where you tell your clients how to use your site. You might write out instructions or link to video tutorials. This is a good place to pitch your ongoing services. You’re telling clients how to do it themselves, but you can also offer to do it for them (for a fee).
  • Additional services: You want to make sure clients are aware of other services you offer. You should have already pitched ongoing maintenance or retainer services, but this is a good reminder. This is a way to keep clients coming back to you, but it’s also a clear reminder that updates, changes, and ongoing maintenance require an additional fee.
  • FAQ: Answer all the standard questions every client has: what support is included, how to change something, hacked website, etc.
  • Goodbye: Close the packet by thanking your client and letting them know they can ask questions. Give them a next step, like giving you feedback or a testimony.





  • WordPress Updates- itheme
  • Theme and Plugin Updates- itheme
  • WordPress Backups-backup buddy. Scheduled back up. Scanning of those backups. Storing backup on hardrive. Restore website from backup.
  • WordPress Security – passwords should be 50 characters. Go to security section and enable everything. Two factor authentication
  • Analytics Tracking & Reporting
  • WordPress Hosting


A good WordPress backup plan includes:

Scheduled backups that occur automatically
Scanning those backups for malware (an infected backup is no good)
Storing backups files off-site in a secure, remote destination
The ability to restore your website from a backup


Follow up email