In today’s business environment, a website is critical for success. It’s often the first place prospects go when they want to learn more about a business. If your organization is working on your company’s website, be sure to write a website project report to keep the initiative on track and ensure your stakeholders are all up to date.
Outline the Goals for Your Website Project Report
Before you begin writing, it’s critical to define the goals for your website project report. Are you looking to use this report as a weekly update on the website project, or are you using it to show investors how their funds are being used? Are you focused on the schedule in this report, or do you want it to also include sample designs of the website? Be sure to clearly outline your goals for yourself and your audience.
A website design report example for a small business that is launching its first website may include updates on how the project is going to inform the company’s senior leadership team of the progress. Its main goals may be to show whether or not the project is on schedule and how much of the allocated budget has been used.
Include Key Elements in Your Report on Website Development
You can customize the format of your report on website development based on the goals of your document. Be sure to include the pertinent information your stakeholders need to know, which can include:
- Executive summary: Summarize the report in a few sentences. This helps the readers to understand the gist of the content without taking up too much of their time. Be sure to write this summary last, after the report has been written.
- Goals of the website project: State the goals of your website. What is your business hoping to achieve with this project? Are you going to use it for e-commerce, or are you using it to reach a new target audience?
- Key performance indicators: How will you measure the success of the project? Does it need to come in on schedule and on budget? Does it need to appeal to a specific target audience? Does it need to have certain functionality, like a shopping cart?
- Scope: Outline the scope of your website project. What do you need to complete? This will include content strategy, marketing strategy, web copy, SEO, web design and web development.
- Schedule: Break out the key milestones you need to achieve to ensure the project is completed by the desired end date. When do you need to have final copy and design, and how many weeks will it take in development? Be sure to consider tasks that can be completed in tandem versus those that need to be completed consecutively. For example, the web copy can be written while the design is being formulated, but the development can’t happen until the design and copy are complete. Be sure to build in a few weeks of buffer time in case the project gets delayed.
- Budget: How much will the project cost, and how much have you spent on the project already? Break out the cost in terms of types of expenses. How much do you need to pay your freelance copywriter and freelance designers, and what are your hosting expenses?
- Resources: Who will be completing the tasks you’ve outlined in the scope? Will you need to hire outside resources to complete the project, or do you have in-house employees who can build a website for your company? Do you need to purchase any specific software? Have you already bought a domain name?
Follow Report-Writing Best Practices
Ensure that your web development project report is updated on a regular basis. For example, if you have weekly project meetings, update your project report before each meeting so you can discuss any challenges and obstacles with your team.
Keep your report short and succinct. Remember that your stakeholders may not have time to read each page in detail, so summarize the key points in your introduction. Avoid using dense paragraphs and use bullet points where possible to make it easier to skim.
- Use a non-confrontational tone when you address issues or concerns to avoid creating conflict.
- Keep the project report short and easy to read.
- Clearly explain the client's responsibilities to the project.
Anam Ahmed is a Toronto-based writer and editor with over a decade of experience helping small businesses and entrepreneurs reach new heights. She has experience ghostwriting and editing business books, especially those in the "For Dummies" series, in addition to writing and editing web content for the brand. Anam works as a marketing strategist and copywriter, collaborating with everyone from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, lifestyle bloggers to professional athletes. As a small business owner herself, she is well-versed in what it takes to run and market a small business. Anam earned an M.A. from the University of Toronto and a B.A.H. from Queen's University. Learn more at www.anamahmed.ca.