You have made up your mind to commission the design and development of a website, and in your mind you have a date in which you expect your site to be launched and go live. True? Well, that is a nice wish, but sometimes (more aften than we like) there are factors that affect the going live deadlines.
Once you've been in a particular business for long enough, certain patterns always emerge. The website development business is no exception! A typical scenario for a Web Design and Development Company is to get a phone call from a potential client looking to build a new site.
Normally the website was needed last week, its urgent, and it's critical that the site launches as soon as possible!
US — " You will be providing us with 5 pages of content explaining your products and services, by the end of the week, correct? So we can expect them by Friday, then at the latest?"
Client — "Yes. No problem. I know my business inside and out. This won't take me any time at all!"
US — "Great. Please send it over as soon as possible and we'll get it ready for the site. You'll have all of the images by then too, right?"
Client — "Yes, of course. I'll have those put together as well in no time! When will the site be ready?"
US — "Once we get all of that stuff, and you approve the layouts (which will be to you within a week to 10 days) we'll have the site built quite quickly."
Client — "Perfect. So we'll launch in about 3 weeks then..."
And so it continues. But then there is a sudden realization that the client still has a business to run in the meantime! Content writing and editing takes second or third place in the list of priorities. After all writing content, editing, identifying the right pictures, all of that does take a lot more time than expected (it's a LOT more work than people normally think!).
Those amazing images that he "just saw the other day" are now missing somewhere in the middle of his laptop! And something urgent has come up in his business that needed his attention, and he says "sorry, got caught up, and haven't had a chance to get all the pictures / and put together the 5 pages of information. Sorry guys, I'll get to it during the week" - From here the delaying process simply goes on and on.
Realistically speaking, websites often take longer than expected to actually launch and go live to the public. It isn't that any particular part of the process needs to be overly complicated. However, the accumulative delay time for each of the components can add up quite quickly.
Tip #1 — Think through your initial decisions carefully before moving forward
One common issue (and frustration for all parties involved) with the web design process is having people change their minds completely after approving a layout or content. Worse yet, approving everything and then having it rejected by management shortly thereafter ends up wasting a lot of time for everyone involved in the process. This includes designers, programmers, and most importantly, our customers!
Websites can't get launched quickly if there are constant changes being made and nobody can make a firm commitment. So rather than go back and forth after the fact, think through your plans in the beginning, and build it right the first time!
Tip #2 — Set aside time blocks to work on your new website
Everyone is busy — most of the time! Small business owners are notorious for having too many things on the go, and too many "irons in the fire". So if you're serious about Improving Your Online Image, set aside a little bit of time to focus on your new website. Obviously it's the web design company's responsibility to provide design ideas and concepts for your approval. But they still need your approval! We hear every day from our clients that they "just haven't had the time yet to work on it".
It's important to make the time. Your online presence is important for your business, and since you know your business better than anyone, you need to be involved in the process.
Designers are great, and website developers can do some pretty incredible things, but at the end of the day, the website represents YOU! So don't feel guilty about putting aside just a few hours to make sure the site gets built exactly the way you want it to be created.
Tip #3 — Trust your website design/development team!
As small business owners, it can be very difficult to "let things go" and trust completely in other people. However, have you ever suggested to one of your own clients that they should just let you "do your job" and you can help them out? As Professional Web Designers it's our job (ultimately, at the end of the process) to build a website that you can be proud of as a business owner. But more importantly, it's our job to build a site that works well for your business. Since we deal with website development every day, we learn a few tricks that help out our customers. And we're happy to share the knowledge!
Simple things such as design recommendations, suggestions for adding or emphasizing a "Call to Action" button, etc. can make a big difference in your results. However, when it comes down to it, the number one most important thing to us (and hopefully to the other Web Design Companies) is that we have a happy customer at the end of the process.
So if you want a giant yellow button across a florescent pink screen we'll build it for you. If you like it and it makes you happy, that's really our job at the end of the day. (But we might still try to nicely talk you out of it!)
Note: This article was first published in empowerment-gateway.com on 28 October 2014, updated 5 August 2017
Author: Joe Stokes