You have an idea for your new website. You think you know what you want. You’ve engaged a competent developer and you’ve started work. But, to avoid slowing down a process that should take a relatively short period of time, and it begins dragging out for weeks and weeks, take some advice and follow these rules to keep your process from bogging down.
Designate a single point of contact with your vendor.
If there is a team of people focused on building your company website, don’t force your vendor to have a conference call every time something needs to be discussed. Put one member of your staff in charge of communications with your vendor and have in-house discussions before going to the developer. It will streamline the process and make everyone’s jobs easier.
Study other websites.
One of the biggest misconceptions about designing a great website is that it has to be wholly unique. Websites are, by and large, fairly standard entities. Studying websites that you like and those of your competitors for color scheme, photography, graphics, content and navigation will give you an idea of what others are doing and give you ideas for your own website.
Learn the lingo.
Understanding some basic terms always makes it easier to deal with any kind of technology. Knowing that “content” means the text and images used on individual pages of your website or “navigation” refers to the links/buttons to the various pages of your website will speed up the process.
Prepare content in advance.
Nothing, and I mean NOTHING, delays the completion of a website like waiting on you to finish writing the text. In fact, many companies don’t have the time or expertise to do it on their own and rely on content writing services, which we provide coincidentally. But if you are writing it yourself, start as soon as possible. The website can’t be completed without it.
Set internal deadlines.
It’s great to have deliverables and time lines with your developer, but they will do you no good if you have no timelines for your staff. For example, if finishing a website requires bios to be written for the company’s partners, set a deadline for completion well before the launch of the website and stick to it.
Keep good lines of communication.
There is an ebb and flow to building a website that requires adjustment from both your vendor and your company. Regularly discuss the project with your website developer and keep them in the loop on decision you make that will effect their work. It’s fine to expect efficiency as long as you have been clear in your communications. Without those, things can break down quickly and ruin expectations on both sides.
Respond in a timely fashion.
Few things are more frustrating then when you are trying to finish a project and the people you rely on to do the work won’t respond to your queries. This is true on both sides of the website design equation. Be prompt in your responses and expect the same from your vendor.
Don’t sweat the small stuff.
If you still need to tweak some of the pages of your website, launch first and fix later. Websites are fairly easily changed and will need to be throughout their life spans. Remember how you behave when you visit a website. Do you look at every single detail with a hyper critical eye? Probably not. Neither will your visitors. It’s more important to keep things moving forward than to stop for every minor issue.