Project Checklist Generator

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Does this have any important deadlines?
what is the limit on hours so that I know at what point should I suggest cheaper solutions to features on the site?
It's cheaper to address any special features of a site with a plugin. Ask if it's alright if the functionality of the site receives the initial development attention and then, when the hours from that are logged, shift over to customize those plugins' styles to match the design more.
Is this a redesign of a current site? What's the domain for that?
What are the server credentials?
Does this site need to be optimized for retina?
What’s the lowest version of IE that this needs to work on?
Are there only dummy text/images/video? Who’s going to add that in later? Or is it me?
Figure out what aspects of the site are the most important and build those out first to make sure that at least a basic version of the site will still be within the budget.

Day of Design Handoff - Questions for the designer

Is a 404 page designed?
Are there any email address or web urls that are just wide enough to be flush with the edges of their container, and would break if they were longer? Make sure that how they look if they break is ok with the designer/client. Otherwise there should be another solution.
Are there any blocks of text that have a bottom edge that lines up perfectly with something else? Make sure that it's ok if these are longer/shorter when actual content is added (or when the browser window is resized)
Any big lists in the design? Should those be custom ordered, alphabetical, or should either option be possible for the user?
Any external links? What are the urls for them?
Any youtube videos? What are the urls for those?
Will the aspect ratios of all the images be the same on smaller screen sizes?
Any text or images that seem to be deliberately repeated in multiple places on the site? If so, make sure that those are only edited in one place on the backend.
For front-end only projects with a lot of form fields => how much do I need to worry about making the form “for” and input “id” and “name” attributes something that relates to the label text? Not worrying about that so that all those attributes are something like “q1”, “q2”, “q3”, etc. could save a lot of time
Do default prose styles exist for the site? If not, ask about the default size of prose text + h1, h2, h3, h4, h5, h6, ordered and unordered lists, and any other element the user will likely create in the wysiwyg editor.
Build out all the types of typography (abstract them out in a separate sass file). Are there any that are so similar that maybe they're supposed to actually be the same. Check in with the designer about that discrepancy. Take screenshots and put in a google doc table side-by-side for easy communication.

Project Start

Settings > General > remove “Just another wordpress…” tagline, Themes/Plugins > Delete wordpress’s default junk, Add in adaptive-images.php, etc. if needed
Download the "Contact Form 7" plugin and the database extension for that
Download all the jquery plugins you'll need
Create all custom page templates / taxonomies
On the admin side, add in all the pages for the site (assign to templates if necessary)
Settings > Set blog + homepage
If needed, add in dummy posts and dummy content to the pages
Create all menus
Get your icon font up and running.
Output all the menus you created before
Define all the possible image types including (and how their sizes should adjust on smaller screens). Integrate the RICG Responsive Images plugin (see blog post about this) and/or Adaptive Images ( This is also a good time to make suggestions about reducing the variety of image sizes/ratios in the design if that is a large number.
Export ACF fields to PHP
If you can't use an icon font and have to use a png sprite instead, then use some software like Slicy to cut out the png icons and Compass to generate sprites from these in a quick and easy way.
If you're on a tight budget, don't use pixel perfect. Instead mention to the client/designer that you're trying to save on time by omitting this step ask them to just let you know if something is off enough to matter to them.

Post First-Draft

validate html
validate your javascript if you don't already do automatically this via gulp/grunt
Do cross browser/device testing
... or if you're on a tight budget you can suggest that bugs be discovered naturally by others and address them only then instead of taking the time to comb through everything yourself.

Dev Server Transfer

Set up some sort of version control so you can make updates/fixes quickly
Add in the email address of the recipient for contact form messages and have them test the form out.
Enable regular backups of the database if people are adding content just in case anyone accidentally deletes anything.

Live Server Transfer

Make sure that regular backups are happening
Have the recipient of the contact form test it out again. If the new server environment creates some problem so the recipient doesn't receive an email of the message, you at least can check any sent messages via the database extension plugin. Here's a resource for troubleshooting issues:
Make sure that wp-content is writable enough so that media can be uploaded without causing any errors
Set up a caching plugin
Ask about and potentially enable automatic updates for plugins that allow for it


General Skills

  • I communicate clearly and regularly.
  • I strive for efficiency. I use SCSS, Sass Libraries (like Compass or Boubon), reusable code, code snippets, etc. to develop quickly and frequently research open-source tools and plugins to ensure that I’m not re-inventing any wheels.
  • I am honest about about whether or not I can implement a feature or if a cheaper solution exists.

Technical Skills

  • Web speed optimization.
  • Cross-browser/device testing (Firefox, Chrome, Safari, newer versions of IE’s, iPhone, iPad)
  • Mobile-friendly and responsive development

Web Technology Knowledge

Design: Photoshop/Sketch

Front-End: HTML, Sass/Less/CSS, Javascript/jQuery, Compass/Bourbon, Bootstrap/Foundation/Gumby, HTML email development

Back-End: Wordpress, PHP

Misc: GIT/Mercurial, Grunt/Gulp, Squarespace

Employment History


February 2013 – Present

As a freelancer I’ve been doing front-end and wordpress development for a variety of clients, including customizing and adding features to pre-bought wordpress templates.

Doejo (

June 2010 – February 2013

At my time here I converted photoshop files into front-end code and often used this code to create wordpress themes. I worked closely with clients and project managers to make sure that projects were completed quickly and in line with their expectations.


B.A. in Economics with a Minor in Environmental Studies, 2008. GPA: 3.65 of a four point scale.

–Lawrence University, Appleton, Wisconsin

References and sample sites available upon request.

LinkedIn profile here.