the content is one of the most important - and time consuming - parts of the web development
process. By now, your design firm should be in possession of the copy for each section,
any photography or other branding assets, and the physical construction of your site
gets under way.
During this phase, any functionality that will be added to your site will also be under
construction, such as forms, databases, search engines, and any leading edge technology
that is required as infrastructure for your project will be implemented, such as Java,
ASP or Flash.
One sure way to keep your budget on-track is to finalize everything before it is handed
off to the design firm for integration. Changes at this point can be very costly, as
once the work is done, if there are changes to copy or layout, it will have to be
re-done. Keep in mind that although the end result may look like a document, the
underlying infrastructure can be time-consuming to modify. Unplanned changes can
lead to major unexpected cost.
Your design firm should stay in regular touch with you, and in-progress work should
be accessible to you at all times for review. A separate staging environment is a critical
tool, particularly when a site is undergoing re-development, so that new material can
co-exist painlessly with live content while it's still a work in progress.