Your website has an essential role to play in your efforts to build a brand, generate leads, win new business and earn lasting customer loyalty.
It’s crucial, therefore, that when the time comes to embark on a website development project, you give yourself plenty of time to prepare and come up with a strategy that gives you the best chance of getting good results.
Without proper planning and management, it’s all too easy for work in this area to drag on for weeks, sometimes months, past the intended go-live date. Teams can find themselves in limbo, tensions can rise and everyone ends up feeling frustrated.
However, this doesn’t have to be the case. There are various steps that will help you find the most efficient approach to web development and generate an end product that makes a valuable contribution to your business.
1. Lay your foundations carefully
Understandably, everyone involved in designing and building your website wants to see their efforts bearing fruit as soon as possible.
However, it’s important that this desire to deliver results doesn’t lead to things being rushed and basic errors being made, particularly in crucial areas such as the backend code that keeps your site running smoothly.
You could think of your website as a physical structure, in the sense that, without strong foundations in place, the whole thing will come crashing down.
2. Set realistic goals
To manage the risk of web development work costing more and taking longer than you expect, make sure you’re entirely clear from the start about the essentials of your new website.
There might be all sorts of extra features you would love your site to have, but it’s important to set your early goals based on necessities and fundamentals.
Then, anything else you can get out of your budget is a bonus.
3. Don’t let too many cooks spoil the broth
There will need to be a lot of people involved in your website development project: marketing managers, design teams, developers, copywriters and so on.
However, you should be careful to ensure that you don’t let too many opinions freeze your ability to make decisions.
Involve participants only at the point in the process where they’re really needed, set deadlines for decisions and don’t ask people to join meetings, calls or brainstorming sessions that have nothing to do with their area of expertise.
4. Ensure methods and strategies are aligned
Speaking of getting people involved, it’s important to be sure that everyone participating in the project is following the same strategy.
Developers should be working towards the same ultimate goals as the members of your team focused on user experience and web design, for example.
Make sure you have a project manager in place to keep everyone on track and focused on the same outcomes.
5. Do key tasks in the right order
It’s important to have a clear plan and to tick off the key phases of your web development project in a particular order.
Otherwise, you’ll waste time and resources as you encounter problems such as doing jobs more than once, or not doing them at all.
Having a clear timeline in place will also ensure you don’t find yourself wasting time and waiting for tasks that should have already been done.
6. Test as you go
Don’t save all your testing until the end of the project – get your development team to build small sections at a time and test them as you go, so you don’t have delays building up as you approach your launch date.
7. Involve content marketing early on
The content marketing experts on your team can be incorporated into the website development process from an early stage to provide valuable expertise and insights into key stages of the project.
They’re likely to have a good understanding of audience preferences and your typical user journey, for example, so will be able to provide support with tasks like page design and structure.
If this is a job you’re looking for some extra help with, Axonn has experience working on web development and other key creative and marketing activities with a range of clients.