Prepare Your Web Design Client For The Final Pre-Launch Website Review

Learn how freelance web designers and developers can better prepare clients for the final website review and get an email template to use in your business.

If you’ve been freelancing or offering web design or web development services to clients for any length of time, you’ve likely heard the phrase, “90% of the work is in the final 10% of the project.” It stems from the common experience of encountering more work than expected at the end of a project and having to work so hard to wrap it up that it feels as if finishing the project requires more work than the entire rest of the project put together.

The final 10% of a website project is the most critical to get right.

The final 10% of a project affects the overall perception of a client’s experience with you, the potential for future work, the quality of their testimonial, and the opportunity to earn lucrative referrals. Even if the client had an incredible experience leading up to launch, if a mistake happens in the final 10%, it can tarnish the entire relationship. That’s why educating clients about the final website review and website launch is so important.

The final 10% of your website projects need to run smoothly without any surprises or delays. To achieve this, you need to:

  • Simplify the homestretch of your projects with a consistent documented process, quality control checklists, and clear communication.
  • Educate the client about what happens during a launch, how it will work, what is included, and what will require a change order.
  • Prepare the client for launch by walking them through the final website review and approval process and what you need them to do.

Final Website Review Sample Email

When the website theme/template is built, the content and imagery is added, and everything has been tested, the client needs to review the site and do one of two things:

  1. Let you know if they find any minor content changes that need to be made like changing a link destination.
  2. Provide their final approval to take the site live.

As we come to the end of the development phase of a project, I email the client to give them a heads up that they will soon have work to do. The email lets them know the site will be done very soon and that they’ll be able to review it at a secret URL no one else can see. It also provides instructions on what we will need them to review and pay special attention to.

Here’s a sample of the email I send to prepare clients for the final website review:

SUBJECT: Your final website review

[NAME],

We are so close to finishing up your new website and while we closed the book on design revisions when you provided design approval, you actually have one more opportunity to review your site and make changes — this time to the content.

We’re taking care of adding your final content and images to the site and styling them to showcase your message and help naturally guide visitors to take action. Then you’ll receive a link to view your site online.

Yes, you’re going to receive a link to your secret, hidden website and be able to click through it just as a new visitor would. At this time, you’ll have the opportunity to:

  • Review website with a fine-tooth comb, double-checking every detail, clicking every link, and reading every word.
  • Provide us a list of any minor content-related revisions, like grammatical mistakes, stray typos, changing the destination of a link, or even swapping out 1-2 photos.
  • If you have more extensive revisions at this time, that’s okay too! Let us know what you need and we’ll put together a change order outlining the new scope of work, timeline, and additional investment.

When you provide us with the last few content-related revisions, we’ll make those revisions right away and ask you to review the site one more time before providing your final approval to take the website live.

If at any time you have questions, feel stuck, or would like help, please reach out! Call me at XXX-XXX-XXXX or email [EMAIL ADDRESS].

Best wishes,
[NAME]

Love Done-For-You Templates Like This?

If you love done-for-you emails, scripts, templates, tools, and emails, and you want to skip years of trial and error and accelerate your success, check out my business course for designers and developers called Profitable Project Plan.

Profitable Project Plan provides everything you need to to communicate with, educate, and manage your website clients from initial sales call to the post launch follow up. It includes live training and Q&A on getting paid on time every time, generating a consistent stream of lucrative leads, boosting recurring revenue, and helping clients navigate the development of their brand. What’s even better is that every training comes with detailed handbooks and resources you can customize and use in your own business right away.

Some links used on this site are “affiliate links.” If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

About Jennifer Bourn

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jennifer Bourn is founding partner at Bourn Creative, a full service design and development company specializing in WordPress. With twenty years in the industry under her belt, she is an award-winning designer who consults on branding, website strategy, and content strategy. Jennifer speaks often, delivering workshops and keynote presentations, blogs about food and travel at Inspired Imperfection, co-organizes the Sacramento WordPress Meetup and WordCamp Sacramento, and writes often for other websites on freelancing, client services, blogging, marketing, websites, and branding.

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