02 Nov Website Projects – Good or Bad is up to you
You could say I’ve worked on a lot of websites. Over the course of my interactive career, I’ve seen good and I’ve seen bad website launches. And I’ve seen website projects go bad.
Here are my 6 tips that make a website project go well.
1. Find a website firm with experience. User interface, design and technology
There are a lot of people who say they build websites, and there are. But it’s tough to find one that’s good. Ask yourself what you need them for – a WordPress expert, someone who knows web design? They all say they can do it all, but they can’t.
Our sweet spot is usability and design. We use WordPress as the backend, but the site is designed first for both look and structure. Other web firms focus on the technology – they are a WordPress firm first, design second. Neither is bad or wrong; it’s a matter of what you need.
If you pick a website firm who doesn’t have the expertise you need , it will effect your website launch.
2. Listen to the website firm you’re paying
Your website firm builds websites for a living, you don’t. If you’ve hired the right firm, they know what their doing. Listening to their advise is a good idea.
Lot’s of times we see clients ignore our advice and go down their own path, only at the end to wonder why they don’t like their website. If you don’t want to take our advice and want us to execute yours we will. It’s no longer up to us if the site looks good or works. We become task oriented following your creative direction, not proactive providing our expertise.
Listening to your website firm will get you the best website.
3. Know your audience. It’s not you
You may like mountains and red, but your audience doesn’t relate to it. The terms you use internally are perfect for you and your team, but your audience has no idea what those terms mean. Both design and site structure need to connect with your audience, and talk to them as if you are one of them.
When we design websites we become the audience. We then design the look and feel, and the site structure to make sense to us. That way it will connect with your audience. We’ve done it before – it’s what we do.
You will be unhappy if you create a website for the wrong audience or create a website that doesn’t relate to your audience.
4. Focus your website on specific goals and objectives
What do you want the website to do? Keep your website simple and focused on your goals and objectives.
At the beginning of every project, we ask the client why they want to redo their website, and we ask them what the are hoping a redesigned website will do for their business. During the design stage clients ask us to add a new element or content on the main page of the website. Our response is always the same – how does this relate to your website goals and objectives?
Focusing images, structure and content on what you are trying to accomplish will help you reach your goals and objectives.
5. Get your content done. Now.
The number 1 thing that causes a website to not launch on time is lack of content. Clients don’t realize the amount of time and effort it will take them. You do NOT want to start the design, usability or build until the content is ready.
We help clients with their content by providing them with a content matrix. This is an easy way to see what content you have, and what content you need to create.
Once the structure and design is done, adding elements can ruin the design. Changes after the programming has started can be disastrous. Both will lead to additional costs.
6. Set a deadline for launch and stick to it
Will it be perfect? More than likely no, but it will be close and not worth holding up the launch for a few minor tweaks that can be done once the website is launched.
We’ve seen clients frozen with fear in launching their website. Unless there’s something really off – just launch it. We’ve done the work focusing the structure and design on audience, goals and objectives. Now it’s re-arranging the table, the table is set.
Waiting until everything is perfect will lose you valuable time and energy – time and energy that should be used to promote your new website and business.
All in all try and enjoy the experience. We tell people it’s like a kitchen remodel. Your excited when it starts, and it will hit some snags along the way. But at the end of the day you’ll have a new website that will help your business grow.