When looking to launch a new website for your business, there are a number of things that need to be done before actual construction of the site can begin. Such things include:
- Deciding on a theme or style for the site
- Determining the number of pages
- Site mapping
- Establishing what you’d like the site to accomplish
- Creating mockups
- Preparing content
This post will walk you through all the things you need to do as a client to ensure your new website launches without a hitch.
1. Articulate the Vision
When building a new website, it’s important to first think about the goals you want it to achieve. You also want to have a general idea for how you’d like it to look and represent your brand. Many clients often go into a web project expecting the company they hire to do this work for them. But a web development company isn’t going to be able to deliver the website of your dreams without knowing what that dream looks like or the goals you want it to fulfill. In order for the website to be a success, they need a foundational vision to guide them through the creative process.
So, how exactly do you begin coming up with a vision for your website? Below are some tips:
- Establish what you’d like users to do while visiting your site.
- Seek design inspiration from other websites that capture the look and feel you’d like your site to have.
- Determine the pages and sections the site should consist of.
- Think of any special features you’d like your site to have.
Coming to a web development company with all of this in mind will drastically reduce the time spent in the ideation and design phase. But more importantly, it will help ensure that you end up with the best product possible.
2. Commit Yourself to the Project
Far too often, business owners will go into a web project with excitement and enthusiasm but gradually pull away as it progresses. Every day you let an email go unanswered or call unreturned adds to the duration of the project. Clients who become understandably busy will use their workload as a reason to put off responding to messages. While your business should always take priority, putting in that extra effort to reach out to your web team goes a long way.
There are four critical points in every web project where responsiveness is key.
- Initial information gathering
- Mockup feedback and approval
- Content implementation after the site has been built
- Final launch approval
Putting off responses during these critical junctures will significantly delay a project’s completion. So, if you ever find yourself having difficulty maintaining an open line of communication with your web team, sometimes the best thing to do is have someone else take over as the point person. This, of course, should be someone you trust to keep your vision in mind when speaking with the team and be able to balance their regular workload with this additional task.
By staying committed to the project, the sooner you’ll see the benefits your new website will bring to your business.
3. Don’t Wait to Write Your Content
The number one reason web projects are held up is due to content not being ready to implement once the site has been built. This often happens because a client’s focus is primarily on how the site will look rather than what they’d like it to say. But having all of the images, text, and videos ready to upload once the site is complete is a crucial ingredient for a timely launch.
Generally speaking, its good practice to start developing your site’s content at the beginning stages of the project. Not only will this help you figure out what information you’d like to have on your site, it will also assist your web team in determining the best way to display the content in the site’s overall design. Knowing ahead of time the amount of text and images each page will have helps designers create the optimum layout so that every page looks great while providing the best user experience.
Of course, many clients are understandably eager to see the design and don’t want to do a lot of upfront work to get there. Plus, it’s not always easy to know how content created in a Word document will translate to the web. For these reasons, clients often put off developing their content until after they’ve seen the page mockups. While this can work in most cases, it’s important that you keep the layout of the various pages in mind when you do begin crafting your content.
If you do decide to wait until after the designs have been finalized to begin work on your content, be sure to keep a daily reminder so that you have it finished before the site is built.
4. Perfection Doesn’t Need to Be the Goal
The great thing about websites built on a content management system, such as WordPress, is that they’re easy to update. No image or word that appears on your site is permanent, so waiting until you have everything just right before you launch isn’t necessary. Allow yourself the freedom to go live even if you think there are some minor improvements that could be made.
If you keep putting off launching to make tweaks to the content, it could be months until your site finally goes live. Plus, launching your website in a less-than-perfect state will push you to make those changes sooner. Besides, your website should be constantly evolving and growing along with your business. So there will be plenty of opportunities to make improvements in the future.
Keep Moving Forward
The most important thing to remember when building a website is to keep moving forward. Always be sure to check in with your web team to see where the project is at and what you can do to help. The more involved you make yourself, the sooner you’ll have your website.
To make your next website project with Barta Media Group, give us a call at 678-464-5785 or fill out the contact form below.