The Discovery Process

Development Process

The Discovery Process

October 14, 2016

Discovery is one of the most important parts of the web development process. To provide an accurate quote, one needs to know the specific requirements of the client. However, most companies requesting a proposal don’t have the necessary expertise to formulate this. This is why almost every web project should begin with a proper discovery process so that the precise requirements of a project can be garnered.

The following are some of the specifics that need to be determined during the discovery process:

Unique Designs/Page Templates

The number of templates and pages that have to be custom designed and built will greatly influence the cost of the website. Some websites only use a few templates while larger sites might have many unique templates. Each template will have to be uniquely designed, developed and costed.

Development Platform

The complexity of the platform used to build a website will go some way to determine the price of the website. Simple development platforms like Weebly, Wix or Squarespace are limited in scope but easy to use and you should be able to produce a website quickly and cheaply using them. More sophisticated platforms like Drupal and Joomla require a lot more time and effort to.

Frontend Functionality

A simple frontend with static content will not cost a lot in most cases. However, frontend functionality can be very complex and you may need a senior frontend developer to do the work. Paralax scrolling, slideshows, carousels, and other interactive content all require time and effort to implement successfully.

Backend Functionality

The backend of your website could be a tremendous amount of work. In most cases, you will need to customise a CMS. Determining all the backend functionality and how it will be executed, is a major part of almost every project.

Content Migration

In most cases, you will need to migrate data from an old website or some source to the new website. This can be a lot of work if the data needs to be re-indexed or manipulated to fit the new database schema and data structure.

eCommerce Functionality

eCommerce projects require a large amount of discovery and need to be thoroughly scoped. It is necessary to properly understand your clients’ business processes before you try and implement a solution.

Content Integration

Determining the number and extent of database of integration is required is crucial to knowing how complex a new development will be.

Content development

Content is frequently a stumbling block in development projects. Understanding how much content is to be supplied by the client and how much content you will need to generate is important. If you are required to develop content make sure you have a team that can deliver suitable content, cost effectively.


On-page SEO is now an integral part of website development. Make sure you understand your clients’ SEO requirements and strategy (if any) as part of the discovery. Relevant keywords will need to be included in the meta tags, page titles, URLs, header tags and the body copy.

Hosting Platform

Determining the required hosting platform is an important part of discovery. Your client may already have an existing contract with a hosting provider or require you to host on their behalf. Self-hosted platforms require significantly more set-up and devops time than do SaaS (software as a service) platforms such as Shopify.


How do you intend giving feedback to your client on the performance of the new website? Setting up analytics for a new website can be time consuming depending on the level of analytical information your client requires.

Ultimately the more detail you cover in your discovery process the more accurately you will be able to quote, design and develop a new website.