So, you’ve decided to get a new website and you need it completed ASAP!
Before you go running off jumping into a project, take a moment to review some of the most common pitfalls that delay a website project and end up costing you precious time and money.
Once you decided it’s time to update your website, you want to avoid the traps that delay website projects. Delay often translates into lost opportunity and hidden costs. With just a small amount of preparation, you can ensure that your updated website is running in a timely manner.
Gather Input from All Your Stakeholders at the Outset
It’s important to have a clear understanding of both the role of your new website and its contributors. Not understanding these roles is one of the traps that delay website projects.
Communicate who will serve as the primary contact for the project. Make a list of the key players along with their roles and required contributions. Consult with all the involved parties and establish who has final approval and who has the authority to make changes along the way. If you gather input from the stakeholders before your website design consultation, then the project won’t suffer costly delays due to confusion.
Meet with all the involved parties and collaborate on ideas. Sift through the inputs and reach a consensus on design and function before you get started. You can expect small changes as the project develops, but you should gather the primary inputs before your web designer begins.
Create a Clear Sitemap for the Website
The second of the traps that delay website projects is not having a clear sitemap for the site. As we suggested, you should have gathered inputs from all the stakeholders. Now it’s time to organize this data into a workable model. A sitemap orders the flow of your landing pages to create logical paths for your users.
“At its most basic level, a sitemap is a list or diagram which represents the hierarchy of the pages on your website. It works as a planning tool to map out the site architecture. By clearly defining the structure and navigation, you can improve the flow and function of your site.” – Thomas Digital Design, How to Create a Website Sitemap
A visual model of how users navigate your website helps your business achieve its business goals. In conjunction with creating your sitemap, you should also verbalize several key components of your project.
- Define Your Business Goals
- Set Your Website Objectives
- Create User Profiles
Think of it like this. Your website sitemap is the story of your site. It needs an introduction, a climax, and a resolution. Know where people start, what makes them act, and the final result.
Prepare Website Content for Both Users and Search Engines
Writing the text that fills the landing pages of your site is as large a project as the design and development of the site. Your web designer needs to know what is going on each page to create the necessary layout and structure. Not having that content in place is one of the traps that delay website projects.
Website content is not just text; it includes images and sidebars. Will you need a blogging section? How about Frequently Asked Questions? Are they part of the landing page or a separate page unto themselves?
A successful launch of your website won’t take place until you load all the content. Therefore, to avoid delays, you should begin writing the content as soon as your project is underway. Do not wait until the design is complete or you could delay the launch. Plus, the content is what Google indexes and uses to rank your site. Writing website content that ranks on Google is one of the first steps in reaching your clients.
Follow a Good Design and Development Process
Good design and development processes can eliminate traps that delay website projects. A good web designer knows that the first item of business is to identify the users who are coming to your site. This identification is necessary because a good web designer designs around the user experience.
- Identify your Primary and Secondary Customers
- Know What Your Clients Need
- Create Customer Profiles
- Define the Buyer’s Journey
- Match the Website Content to the User
- Visual Appeal Plays an Important Role in Website Design
- Design for Conversion
Every element of your web design needs to focus on conversion. You could have several micro-steps, but there should be an ultimate goal and a clear call-to-action.
Establish Clear Goals for the Site
We’ve alluded to this several times over the course of the article. If you don’t define your goals and a way to reach them, then your website project won’t flow smoothly. You will probably suffer costly delays due to changes along the way.
- Lay out the Scope of the Project
- Determine Your Overall Budget
- When Do You Expect to Launch?
- What does success look like to you?
- How will you know if you’re happy with the new site?
With a clear end game in mind, it makes it easier to create the plan or strategy for getting there. Remember that a good web design consultant helps you with these questions.
How to Avoid the Traps that Delay Website Projects
We work hand-in-hand with our clients to make sure they don’t fall prey to the traps that delay website projects. In fact, by taking advantage of our Free Mock-Up, many of these questions are answered before you even commit to the project. See exactly what your website will look like at no risk to you. All our website are 100% custom designed for each company we work with. Call us and find out how easy it is to get a new website that better meets your business needs.