Building websites is totally our jam and we’ve been around the block enough times to understand the process marketing and IT teams go through when these projects roll around.
In this two part series we’ll take you through some useful tips and strategies that’ll save you time, money and headaches on your next website (re)development.
Bite off what you can chew
Our first piece of advice is to concentrate your team's efforts and develop your project in stages.
Let’s take the launch of an ecommerce site as a simple example. Instead of launching with 500 products, launch with 50. With 50 products you can better manage delivery methods, customer service and solve all challenges you meet head on.
With more inclusions issues tend to snowball and costs blow out, but with a limited scope, you can methodically iron out the kinks before expanding with a system that works.
It is tempting to treat a website launch as the perfect opportunity to implement a number of game changing business improvements, we can tell you, it’s not.
In our experience it's better to eat an elephant one bite at a time.*
A new website has the potential to excite and reenergise a business, but it is a big job and if you are also implementing new systems or reengineering entire organisational processes at the same time, it can get a bit overwhelming.
Put someone in charge
You may have heard the expressions, ‘a camel is a horse designed by committee’ or ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ — they both apply here.
For a job on the scale of a website rebuild, you need a way to wrangle stakeholders, keep them updated, informed and involved, but limit their decision making power.
Often a website rebuild is the kind of project that everyone wants to have input in. It is also a job that gets handed to someone in the marketing department, which is okay if they have experience building websites and the influence and nous to navigate tricky conversations with stakeholders.
Alternatively, if you have an eight person working group, not only is it a nightmare to organise, you’ll end up with looping arguments and strange inclusions that will inevitably result in a caravan of camels or quite a sour broth.
Hiring a temporary professional project manager is a great solution, and one of our key recommendations to clients.
A person skilled in overseeing web projects is able to have tough conversations with stakeholders, satisfy their need to feel involved, and harness multiple opinions. This engagement leads to better decisions, made faster.
They are not just time savers, they’ll save you money and deliver better outcomes.
Don’t underestimate the positive effects on culture
A website can be a point of pride for businesses and the people who work for them. Involving employees who talk to the customers is integral to building a successful site.
Not only can you harness their energy and enthusiasm, you can tap into their customer knowledge with the added bonus that when the site is launched, they’ll feel part of its success.
In the next blog in this series we’ll have plenty more suggestions for what you should consider when building a website, and if you’d like our advice on a particular topic leave a comment on our Facebook page and we might just blog about it.
*We don’t actually recommend you eat an elephant whether it's one bite at a time or not. We do recommend you contact us if you are thinking about building a new website.