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

EECI2010 | Mike Boyink from EECI Conference on Vimeo.

Avoid Junk

Just Do it.


  • Choose a good ‘un
  • Good support?
  • Fast support?
  • PHP5?
  • Many clients will blame you for hosting issues

Architect Well

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

Consider Prototyping

  • Build quick examples and let client see them
  • Relationships vs. categories
  • Weblogs vs. categories
  • Different/similar 3rd party tools
  • Client input now = easier later

Name Carefully

  • 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


Expect Traffic

Add Details

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


URL Finessing

Correct Email Addresses

  • Webmaster email address
  • Contact forms

Performance Tuning

Clean House

  • Get rid of unused stuff

Create Client Logins

End User Training

Member Profile Trigger

Just do it.

Support 3rd Party Developers
Did they make your life easier?  Throw $20 their way. 


Backup Strategy

  • 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?

Formal Signoff

  • 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.

Update Portfolio
Do it now while you are still fresh with the project.

Schedule Checkup
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?

Other Resources

Fellow EE’rs that I Need to Thank:

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Previous Comments

Picture of Adam Khan

by Adam Khan

Date: Saturday, June 19th, 2010
Comment: #1

Comprehensive and wise.

Picture of Samuel Allen

by Samuel Allen

Date: Friday, December 10th, 2010
Comment: #2

This list is fantastic!  Quick question though, in the SEO section, are you showing NSM Better Meta and Commercial Sitemap Generator together.  Are you recommending that they get used in tandem, or that they are each good options?  It seems like there is some feature overlap.

Mike Boyink

by Mike Boyink (Author)

Date: Friday, December 10th, 2010
Comment: #3

They’re just links.

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