Client Handoff Resources
At the ExpressionEngine and CodeIgniter Conference of 2010 in San Francisco I gave a talk around how to successfully transition an ExpressionEngine project to the client. Here’s a list of resources mentioned during that talk.
Note that when I started putting this presentation together I was seeing the client handoff as - ideally at least - a moment in time. You develop the site, meet the client requirements, hand it over, and they pick up from there.
What I realized is that never really happens - as the developer you will always retain some amount of ownership in the site. There’s a good chance that you will re-visit it in the future to make tweaks, add functionality, or modify the design.
So this presentation became less about that “moment in time” handoff and more about setting your future-self up well for easy re-entry back into the site down the road.
The Actual Presentation
Just Do it.
- Choose a good ‘un
- Good support?
- Fast support?
- Many clients will blame you for hosting issues
- Model the content well
- Don’t think in terms of pages
- Choose the simplest structure possible
- Learn EE’s strengths before using add-ons.
- Train-ee Screencast: Designing an EE Architecture
Choose (Add-ons) Wisely
- Favor established developers
- Make sure they have established and active support channels
- Favor more popular addons
- Don’t use dump -n- run code
- No docs? No way
- Build quick examples and let client see them
- Relationships vs. categories
- Weblogs vs. categories
- Different/similar 3rd party tools
- Client input now = easier later
- snp_snippet and gv_global_variable
- weblog_field_name for fields?
- These names can become part of client’s lexicon
- More important the more devs involved
- Disable Parameter for Channel Entries
- Simple vs. Advanced Conditionals
- Favor Snippets
- Don’t chunk separately if you won’t ever use code separately.
- If using MSM specify site variable
- Favor sorts using native fields vs. custom fields (native fields more likely to be indexed at the db level).
- Learn the rules but use a/b testing to make final decisions.
301s & 404s
htaccess (assuming you have a site template group with a template named 404):
ErrorDocument 404 /index.php/site/404/
ErrorDocument 500 /index.php/site/404/
ErrorDocument 403 /index.php/site/404/
Correct Email Addresses
- Webmaster email address
- Contact forms
- Data Caching and Performance
- Paul Burdick’s Performance Guidelines
- gZip Output
- Tracking Preferences
- Optimize Tables
- Get rid of unused stuff
Create Client Logins
- File Upload Preferences
- Custom Entry Statuses
- Category Management
- Publish Page Layouts
- Multiple Domain Login
- “Emergency” Super Admin Login for Client
End User Training
Member Profile Trigger
Just do it.
Support 3rd Party Developers
Did they make your life easier? Throw $20 their way.
- Google Analytics Accessory for EE 2
- Commericial Sitemap Module
- LG Better Meta
- Post a link from your site
- Enroll client in Google local business search if appropriate
- Consider adding depth to backups over and above what host does.
- Possible recurring revenue.
- If you bought it for client make sure it gets transferred to them
- Same with hosting account
- Process for ensuring licenses get renewed?
- Goes with contract
- Stake in the ground to ensure that all subsequent work is new & billable
Get it now while client is experiencing that post-launch and post-purchase euphoria.
Do it now while you are still fresh with the project.
6-8 weeks out to see if any questions/issues/changes/new work needed.
- Did project go well?
- If not, what could you do better?
- If yes, can you repeat it?
- Work with same type of client again?
- Leverage anything you did/learned to find new clients?
- Meet or work with any new people that you should follow up with?
- EE Podcast #15 - Preparing for Client Handoff
- EE Screencasts: Preparing Sites for Clients
- Train-ee Screencast: Prepping a EE Site for Client Access
Fellow EE’rs that I Need to Thank: