Template Conversion Notes

Template Half Conversion Today I did the first integration from an existing shell template. The final copy and images have not yet been delivered, so I haven’t set any text or background colors, but the template-based site is in place.

Setting up the development environment took about 10 minutes. The steps:

  1. Set up staging server on davidseah.com (probably should have set this to agenceum.com, now that I think about it.
  2. Set up staging server client area and permissions.
  3. Set up local directory for site in client’s project area.
  4. Set up Dreamweaver CS4 site profile for local and remote access.

The total integration time took about 60 minutes. The steps:

  1. Find, copy Template from Source
  2. Create baseline menu items from provided page list in master file.
  3. Set up destination HTML files in menu items.
  4. Set page title.
  5. Copy/paste master file as destination HTML files.
  6. Edit each HTML file, adding content and changing the BODY ID.
  7. Test click-through, adjust content lengths slightly but avoid editing and refactoring content because this is not included in the base site offering.

In anticipation of picking colors, I set up a design template in about 5 minutes:

  1. Take screenshot of semi-populated HTML site.
  2. Copy/paste into Photoshop CS4, isolate background.
  3. Save to local client folder on development machine; synch with server.

I then updated the client in Basecamp, which took about five minutes:

  1. Update milestone as complete, add new milestone for Client Content deadline.
  2. Updated Project Overview to show link to the staging server area.
  3. Added To-Do and Dependencies Requests in a message to client, noting delivery and next steps.
  4. Archived and uploaded HTML files as single ZIP file.

Wrote this blog post, which took about 15 minutes:

  1. Saved JPEG of Design Template with label “DR01” in corner.
  2. Uploaded JPEG to blog image directory.
  3. Created new category, “HTML Integration” and wrote this post from integration notes.

This information will help me determine what my effective hourly rate is. The total time spent so far is 80 minutes, with the bulk of the time going into content integration. Some of the setup stuff can be automated eventually with a few scripts, saving further time.