The Blog Project Template That I Use

When it  comes to web development, my ideal type of project is a blog or website that is not necessarily geared toward e-commerce.  Unfortunately, things can either get very complicated with most “project templates” that are out there for developers, but they can also get pretty vague.

Keeping things a little looser than norml is a great way to be creative and build a relationship with your client.  All that being said, here is the template that I use for all of my blogs/sites that I develop for clients.  All of these are to-dos in Basecamp:


Brainstorming and Innovating

Related milestone: Preliminary Requirements Development

  • What is the site's name? And slogan?
  • If you could communicate only one message to visitors, what would it be? (One clear, simple concise thought. No run on sentences.)
  • Find 5 sites that best fit the look and feel of the new site.
  • Who is the target audience? (we can discuss)
  • What is the primary “action” the site visitor should take when coming to your site (make a purchase, become a member, search for information)

Design Brief

Related milestone: Preliminary Requirements Development

  • Site Structure / Flow Diagram Pro Sulum, LLC
  • Upload/email logo, picture and other important graphics
  • List of “call to action” buttons/sections (Join us, Buy Now..)

Development Server Setup

Everything related to the test site.

Related milestone: Preliminary Requirements Development

  • Setup test site. Create add-on domain/directory. Install CMS if required.
  • Post details about the test site. URL, login details for demo users.

Wireframing and Concept sketch

This is where we doodle around.

Related milestone: Design and Mockups

  • Create wireframes/sketch
  • Home page wireframe approved
  • Single post wireframes approved
  • blog index wireframe approved

PSD Mockups

The site should begin to take shape by now 🙂

Related milestone: Design and Mockups

  • Homepage Mockups
  • Inside Page Mockup
  • Blog Index Mockups
  • All Mockups Approved

Convert Mockup to WordPress Theme

Related milestone: Development

  • Code Homepage
  • Code Single post page
  • Code sidebar
  • Code navigation
  • Code footer
  • Create admin options page
  • Code feature area

Styling of site elements

Related milestone: Development

  • Headers (h1-h6)
  • Lists
  • Links
  • Blockquotes
  • Default images

Setup Production Server

Related milestone: Deployment

  • Get FTP Account
  • Download required files from test site
  • Upload required files to production site.

SEO Setup

Got most of these from here

  • In WP Settings —> General make these changes: Site Title = Main KW, Site Description = Description including main KW. Email should be Timezone = YourTimezone.
  • In Posts —> Categories, change the default “Uncategorized” category to the main KW phrase. Then do a Wonder Wheel search and find the other categories to add.
  • In WP Settings —> Permalinks change it to Custom Structure, use /%postname%/
  • In WP Settings —> Discussion change it so an admin must always approve a comment.
  • Remove all default Blogroll links from Dashboard
  • Google Analytics installed & configured w/
  • Mobile version enabled & configured w/
  • Multiple languages enabled & configured w/
  • Akismet installed & activated (key is XXXXXX)
  • All In One SEO Pack installed & configured w/
  • Caching installed / enabled w/
  • Captcha for comments enabled w/
  • Related posts displaying at the bottom of individual post pages w/
  • Digg Dig Installed for social sharing.
  • Archives page built ( linked to in sidebar w/ Sitemap ) using
  • Install & activate SEO friendly images @ – in it’s setting, check both “Override” boxes to override WP defaults
  • Install & activate SEO Smart Links @
  • Install & activate To Title Case:
  • User sitemap built w/ . Link to the sitemap at the bottom of the sidebar.
  • Google XML Sitemap installed, configured, built w/
  • URL & XML Sitemap added to Google Webmaster Tools account

1 Comment

  • daddydug

    May 12, 2011

    This is great stuff Dean. I think I'm going to use this if you don't mind. 🙂