We love delivering web design projects on time. It’s one of the most fulfilling things a human (web designer) can do. It’s especially rewarding because it’s not easy – there are a lot of moving parts (content strategy, information architecture, copywriting, design, feedback & lots of other details) that can easily be overlooked. Delays come in many different shapes & forms but careful planning & great execution can help to reduce the chances of unexpected setbacks or missed deadlines.
As a business owner, marketing manager or a project manager, the success of your next project will depend heavily on how prepared you are for the task ahead of you.
Here are 5 keys to help ensure that your next web project gets delivered on time:
1. Pick one person on your team to be responsible
Pick a single staff member to represent your company for the duration of the project. This person should have both the ability & the authority to make strategic decisions on behalf of your business. Be sure to make the project a part of their core responsibilities & reinforce its importance by reassigning some of their other responsibilities to another team member for the duration of the project.
For solo entrepreneurs or small teams: consider setting aside a couple hours each week on a specific day to focus on the project. Many times, the responsibility of managing a web project is too much for folks who are already overworked and stressed with their current workload. Web Design projects require collaboration and continuous feedback – the more available you are, the better your chances of success.
2. Hire a professional designer or a digital agency
Cheaper isn’t always better. In fact, it’s almost never better. When was the last time that cheap pair of shoes, cheap phone charger, cheap jeans, turned out to be a good buy? They’re cheap for a reason.THEY SUCK: they tear, they break, and they rip within a couple months with heavy use. The same is true for your new website. Invest in hiring an experienced team with a good track record if you can afford to do so. This will save you from unnecessary headaches, disappointment & the most feared re-do.
Tip – When selecting a professional – do your research. Look critically at their portfolio. Do you love what you see? Talk to their clients; do they love the design agency? Or are they looking to run as far away from them as they can? Most of our referrals come from our happy clients, and this will be true for every agency that does great work. Professional web designers build websites for a living – if they are good at what they do – trust them to make the right recommendations for your business. If you can’t trust them to lead you through this process, then you shouldn’t be working with them.
3. Set clear, measurable business goals
Connect your new website to clear, measurable business goals. How should this new website help your business? Are you looking to communicate brand sentiments, generate more leads or increase online sales? If you aren’t sure what your goals should be, talk to your designers or digital agency. Hear what they have to say about it. Establishing clear goals & outcomes will help them make better decisions in your interest. Goals help to keep efforts focused on achieving the agreed outcomes, rather than pleasing individual tastes or preferences.
4. Develop a content strategy & plan before you start
Unplanned content is no content at all. Content is the backbone of your new website. Starting a website without a content strategy & plan is like shopping for your mom when you don’t know her size. We’ve started bundling content strategy, planning & development into our web proposals because it just makes sense. Most of the delays we have experienced in past projects are from content delays, which are easily avoidable if content is discussed & planned in the early stages of the project.
5. Set a realistic timeline
Work with your web designer or agency to develop a realistic timeline. Be sure to consider feedback time based on your availability & schedule. Great sites aren’t slapped together overnight. Be patient & realistic. You’ll be much more likely to achieve a realistic deadline than a tight one.
Have something to add ? Or maybe you found a typo or disagree with something I said. Feel free to jump in & let me know what you think.