Ensuring your project runs smoothly
Having worked on web projects since 1996, we have a lot of experience in project management and of making a web project run swiftly and smoothly, whilst avoiding obstacles that cause delays. As an agency we constantly refine and perfect our process, but as our customer there are plenty of things you can do to help ensure the project is completed efficiently.
Any project – be it a house renovation, car purchase, or a bespoke web project – requires research, planning and strategy, all of which contribute to its success. These points should be considered in your planning now, to ensure your project is delivered successfully:
1. A web project requires your time too
Although you have commissioned us to plan, develop and deploy your web project, your input as the client is an integral part of the process. The number one delay in a project arises when client input is not available due to other commitments. As a B2B company we understand your company requires large amounts of your time, but we do advise you to consider planning a project aside of things that you know will demand your time – staff holidays, shows and events, seasonal increases in trade, other business projects, etc.
Some project tasks can be delegated to other members of your team, but you should consider how these items will fit into your team’s working week:
- The initial planning of your website, its function and its content
- The creation and supply of content for each page
- Your feedback and sign-off during the design stages
- Your final feedback and sign-off of the web project, once it is built
- An ecommerce site will require product images, descriptions and prices to be prepared and inputted. We can help you with this, but it can require a surprisingly large amount of your time.
- A CMS may require you to create pages and enter content (depending on the package purchased)
2. Establish your online goals
To ensure that your web site works for your business, clear goals and objectives should be set out – what do you want your website to accomplish? Are you simply establishing an online presence and promoting awareness of your company or brand, driving online sales, generating offline sales or leads, improving business process & efficiency or something else entirely? A clear overview of these factors in advance, as well as ascertaining your target market, will make it far easier to actuate your goals further down the line giving us a point of reference throughout the design and build process.
3. Plan your content structure now
Although we offer our advice and experience when planning and developing your content structure (the sections and pages), it is something you should think about from the outset. A clear and well thought out vision of your desired end result will form a basis for us to refine, polish and perfect with you.
If you’re not sure how to get started, we can help you with information architecture – allowing you to formulate an easily navigable and usable content hierarchy, thus ensuring you get the most from your investment. Remember, your website’s visual interface exists to generate interest in and guide users through your content, so the more you know about this in advance the better.
4. Provide content as soon as possible
Put some time in your diary now for content creation. The second biggest delay in web projects is the lack of content to go into pages. Depending upon the size of your project, the creation of high quality content could need many days of your time. So it is important to plan ahead for this. Collecting product information from suppliers, taking photographs, writing about your company and services often takes longer than you might think. You may wish to delegate some of these tasks, or talk to us about how we can help you.
Ideally, the latest your content should be supplied to us would be at design sign-off. Typically 3-6 weeks after your deposit has been received. But, it is highly recommended that you have your website content available when the design team begin creating visuals. This ensures the end result is more appropriate when we can see the content that is being presented.
Queue Jumper: The advance supply of content is so critical to a project, that we operate a queue jumper scheme; if your content can be supplied within two weeks of project commencement (when your deposit payment has been received) we will jump your project to the front of the queue, and begin work right away!
5. Make arrangements with third parties immediately
Delays on a project caused by third parties may be out of both our control. But by starting discussions as soon as possible these stages can be completed well before the deadline. There are typically two processes you can start now, in preparation for your web project:
Arranging your payment provider
The arrangement of a payment provider and online merchant account can often cause delays for your ecommerce project. Negotiations with your bank, the signing and returning of paperwork, etc. can all take time. Read more about taking payments online here, and then take steps to set up a payment provider today.
Transfer of your domain name and hosting
The transfer of an existing domain name, along with your email and website hosting takes between one day and one week. To avoid delays, the transfer arrangements can be made well in advance of your new website being ready. That way the final ‘go live’ process takes minutes and reduces the risk of a loss of service. Talk to us today about how to make these arrangements.