Web Development for Freelance Clients

freelance web dev process

When I win a new web development client I follow a structured progress. This ensures high quality results. Years of refinement and experience continue to define how I work with people and businesses to help them succeed.


This is the first step. Communication is key.

This initial discussion allows us to explore your project’s overarching goals. It’s a high-level chat to understand your aspirations and ensure our visions align. We’ll delve into:

  • Nature of the Project: Is this a revamp of an existing platform or the birth of something entirely new?
  • Scope of Work: What exactly are we building? It could range from a website, a dynamic web application, an eCommerce storefront, to other web-based projects.
  • Branding Elements: Have you established a brand identity already? Do you possess logo designs or specific themes you want incorporated?
  • Budget Considerations: A transparent conversation about the budget ensures we shape the project according to the resources available.
  • Project Goals: What do you hope to achieve with this project? Understanding your objectives ensures we’re steering in the right direction from the get-go.

After our conversation, we’ll examine any pre-existing materials that are pertinent. Perhaps you have an existing website that needs sprucing up or logos that you’d love incorporated. Alternatively, you might point to other inspiring sites or platforms, even if they’re not yours, to give a clearer picture of your vision. This step is all about gathering resources and setting a concrete foundation.

Based on our dialogue and the data collated, I’ll recommend the best technologies and tools. This could encompass anything from choosing the right content management system, database technologies, or frontend frameworks.


Step two. Every element discussed in our initial conversation is now put down in black and white. It’s our chance to reiterate the goals and ensure we’re on the same page. This documentation becomes a reference point, ensuring we stay aligned with the project’s vision.

We detail objectives, decide on the most fitting technology stack, outline the budget, and establish a clear timeline.


As we progress through this building phase, you’ll have access to a private server for reviews and approvals. Everything—from the user-friendly experience to backend configurations like domain setup, security measures, and CMS installation—is shaped by our prior discussions, ensuring both aesthetics and functionality are on point.


During the website’s initial build, I typically use placeholder content. With the design and layout set, it’s your cue to provide the actual content. While you can opt to share materials earlier, this phase is ideal. And rest assured, you’ll retain full control to modify content as needed later on.

Quality Review

Before launching, I rigorously test the product across various devices, browsers, and screen dimensions to ensure quality. This phase is dedicated to refining the detail, ensuring both appearance and functionality are flawless.

Final Touches

I ensure that your website is fully optimized for SEO, integrating structured data, sitemaps, and relevant keywords. By enhancing its security, mobile responsiveness, and speed, your SEO score will naturally improve. Further bolstering this, I can register your site with Google Search Console and activate AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to amplify its prominence in Google searches. Additionally, I’m here to guide you in devising a content strategy tailored to elevate your online visibility.

For those seeking email hosting, I offer solutions tailored to your needs, with Google Workspace being a top recommendation for those starting afresh. When it comes to choosing a CMS, WordPress or Shopify are often top picks for businesses.

Beyond these services, I specialize in web design, crafting a visual identity that seamlessly embodies your brand. And rest assured, user experience is a top priority; I design ensuring visitors experience positive, smooth interactions across your digital platform.

This framework is described and outlined on another page of this website. It is what I use when I engage a client that has an existing website that might need maintenance or improvements.

Existing Website Maintenance, Audit, & Enhancement Plan

Existing website work

This post is all about how I help clients with their existing websites. If you are a fellow web developer reading this, use it for ideas on how to serve more people. My mission is to help businesses achieve more through their web presence.

If your curious about how I can help you with your website, send me a message. Below are some ways I will serve you.

Content updates & maintenance

I try to be a company’s go-to guy that can be called whenever anything comes up with their website.

If someone has a website, even if it is a static brochure site, it will eventually need help. It could be small content updates to reflect inevitable changes to the business. Or, one day something goes wrong. The website suddenly doesn’t work at all. Maybe someone notices something broken, be it major or minor. I want them to think of me and know that I can help.

There’s some businesses that regularly make content updates themselves using a CMS (like WordPress, Wix, Shopify, etc.). They could need occasional help with customizations, CMS or plugin update issues, and more. I let clients know that when issues arise, I’m just a text message away.

Audit & enhancement

A client usually requests this service in the form of a complaint: “My website is too slow”, “I’m not getting enough sales/conversions/leads from my website”. My response is to do a formal audit and analysis. The result includes recommendations for improvement and an estimate (time/price) for implementation.

Other times, clients do not even know that there is a potential risk (security issues) or unrealized upside (UX issues) that needs attention. Providing those insights with empathy and transparency helps businesses see that value. Below is a list of audit types I offer:

  • Security: Is your website secure? Does it use https? Is WordPress up-to-date? Is your site vulnerable to being taken over by hackers?
  • Accessibility: Is your website usable for people with disabilities? Many businesses don’t realize that this is a legal requirement under the ADA.
  • SEO: Technical SEO, optimization, and more
  • Design UI/UX: Does your website look like it’s stuck in the past? How does it perform on different mobile devices? Is there brand consistency? Is the user experience the best that it can be? Maybe it is slow and bloated from plugins/integrations and needs a refresh.

Once we figure out what needs attention, I can create a plan and strategy to enhance your website. We can take it one step and a time, and focus on what will have the greatest impact for you and your business. You can read more about my process for web development with freelance clients in another post.

steps to handling a web development client

Preemptive audits to win new clients

I approach clients (existing or perspective) with a value proposition from a place of wanting to give. This is especially true for small businesses that appear to be leaving honey 🍯  on the table.

My process for engaging a new client, especially cold ones, is to review their website and make note of any obvious improvements. One example is using a generic email address (ExampleBusiness@gmail.com) instead of their own domain. Others include broken 404 links and bad mobile UX.

Google Chrome’s built in Lighthouse feature helps me to highlight low performance in existing websites of potential clients.

low performing lighthouse scores for a small business

Screaming Frog SEO Spider is another utility that I use to identify (and pitch) improvements to new client web projects.


Training & education

Sometimes, managers and stakeholders want to know how things work or how to make some changes themselves. That’s why I offer technical training, education, and tutoring.

Your business might have a designer or marketer that is ready to add some tech skills to the mix. I can help with that too. Contact me about the personalized tech training that I offer.

Disaster recovery & best practices

When a tech disaster happens you need to have a plan for recovery. Do you have backups? What is the RPO and RTO for your organization when “the business is on fire”? Work with me to be prepared in these situations. I apply proven strategies and make sure your digital presence is resilient.

A moment of preparation is worth a week of remediation. Sailing ahead of the storm is possible by following best practices  How does your organization manage passwords and credentials? What apps do your employees use? Knowing the right questions is the only way to build valuable answers.