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Get Ready for Your Website Project!

 

We design a lot of websites for clients of all sizes, from big retail sites, to informational sites for small businesses. Unfortunately, more often than not, there’s delay in getting everything we need to build the site. While we do most of the heavy lifting for these projects, from coding to design, to copywriting and testing, our client teams still need to be involved to make a project successful. Here are some things to think about and prepare before you launch your next (or your first) website project.

What is the Goal?

It’s not uncommon for clients to approach us to discuss launching a new website or redesigning an existing site because they know that “they need a website”, but they don’t have any clearly thought out goals for the site. Drive more leads? Sell more, but of what? Build your brand? What message are you conveying? These are questions you should be asking. Once you have a clear idea of what your ultimate goal(s) is, you can better measure whether the new site is performing, and how it might be better optimized.

Who Owns the Project?

There’s an old saying that the platypus was designed by committee. Don’t let your site become a platypus. In other words, make sure that you have one person who can be the direct liaison with your web development team, someone who has decision making power and can help to coordinate efforts within your company on a day-to-day basis. Requests for approval, requests for assets, and reminders that come from a third party are easy to ignore, which can cause a website project to grind to a halt.

Images & Photography

If you need photos of your team, do you already have the or will they need to be taken? Who’s going to do that? Likewise, if you need imagery for headers, banners, backgrounds, products, locations, etc., do they exist or do they need to be developed? Will stock images work, and if so have you budgeted for them? The longer the web development and web design teams have to wait for those images, the further behind your project will be. You may also incur unforeseen costs and delays if your agency has to produce those assets for you.

Content & Copy

A new site, or a newly updated site, is chock full of copy. From headlines, to calls-to-action, to page headers, to intro copy for contact us forms, to the about us page, to... well, you get the idea. An important question before launching a site project, is who will be developing all of that copy? Do you have internal copywriters who will ensure that the voice and identity are consistent throughout the site? Have you budgeted to have your agency do this for you? If current copy exists, has it been optimized for SEO?

Domain Name?

This seems obvious, but unfortunately it’s all too common for companies to not have control of their domain name. In some cases, the previous agency, web designer, or hosting provider registered the URL. If that person is MIA or has a bone to pick with your company, well, it could be bad news. We’ve had more than one client who has had to either register a new domain or seek legal action to gain control of their URL. In one case, a retailer had her domain turned off by a former developer because he hadn’t paid the bill. And that leads us to...

Analytics & Marketing Accounts

Much like domain registration, it’s all too common for clients to realize at the last minute that they don’t actually have access or ownership of key accounts like Google Analytics, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, because a previous employee or agency set them up and are now out of the picture. Obviously if you want to integrate the tracking codes for analytics or remarketing, you’ll administrative access to these accounts. Seriously, right now, run out and do some housekeeping and make sure you not only have access, but that you’ve shut off access for former employees or agencies. Go ahead, we’ll wait right here.

Testing

And last, but not least, you need to plan to have you and your entire team test the site. Don’t just depend on your development team. Ideally, your developers will have a thorough testing process, with an error log so everyone can record anything they find. If they don’t, don’t let that stop you from creating one yourself. A shared Google Doc can serve just as well. Test everything, from every menu link, every page link, to every form or email link. Click on images to make sure they lead where you want, and use the site search. If you have a retail site, add products to the cart and test the full checkout experience. Make sure triggered emails are working correctly, that accounts are being saved, and that customer information is captured correctly. And don’t forget to conduct all of these tests on your phones, and on different browsers.

So are you ready to start that new website project? Contact us today to talk about how we can not only design, develop, and launch your new site, but how we can help get you ready for the project. Don’t forget that we offer the full range of services to make your site a success, from photography, to copywriting, to strategy, and more.

Contact Us

Phone: 440.701.6665

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