Whether your business is just starting up and you’re procuring your first website or it’s having a makeover and you’re updating the company’s digital image, there are rules you should follow when managing the creation of a new site. Getting your house in order before a copywriter or web designer has put a finger to a keyboard is the most important phase, so here are three tips.
Everything that happens on the build starts with the brief, so it’s crucial to get it right. It can be frustrating for the development company, and even more for you, if you are constantly asking for additions to the content or moving goalposts. Begin with your key objectives across the board, for example the purpose, functions required, navigation and look. Expand on each area where necessary and give examples of other websites that you like. This can help the web designers and copywriters meet your needs efficiently.
A good briefing document can also form your key performance indicators (KPIs) so you can measure the project and the accomplishments of the website development company along the way; for example, SEO, social media integration and being able to easily edit webpages yourself. When the companies you contact respond to your brief, you should be able feel more confident in evaluating their proposal and costs too. Simply put, both you and the business you choose to create a site can refer back to the briefing document throughout the process and know where you are.
The development company might offer external feedback stages within the build, but this could also mean extra expense for you. If this isn’t an option, ensure you utilise your social media channels to ask followers what they think of your current website, or what they want out of a new one. To avoid changing your key objectives (the no no above!), get other people you trust involved in the briefing document. Start-ups without a customer or client base can ask friends and family to offer their views. Others can look over initial designs, wireframes, site maps and even the final site before it goes live, but make sure you discuss conflicting opinions with the developer, remember you’re paying them for their expertise.
Decide when you want the website to go live; this could be to coincide with a product launch, a celebration day you can hang a PR piece on and encourage website hits or during a quiet time for the company. Work backwards and allocate a period of time for each stage, such as static and online designs, content creation and build time. Now really decide if this is realistic for you and the web designer. Again, if this step isn’t outlined practically, both parties might have frustrating times ahead. Do allow for slippages, however. You may be ill for a few days or it might take a little longer to obtain images or be happy with a design.
Efficient management and putting down solid foundations to the project will make it an enjoyable and creatively satisfying task, as well as taking much of the stress away. Please contact us if we can assist in writing, building or project managing a website – we’d love to have an informal chat or, of course, see your thorough brief!