Whenever I talked to organizations about a website redesign project, the issue of timeline is always one of the hot topics. Everyone wants to know “when will our new website be launched.”
While a website project does typically take some time (at SpinWeb we average about 4 months for most corporate web design projects) there are some things that both parties (agency and client) can do to speed things up.
So how do you keep a website redesign running smoothly and launch as soon as possible?
1. Commit to attacking and finishing content. The number one delay of any website project is always website content. Seriously. 100% of the time. No matter how good everyone’s intentions are, we find that getting content is always the thing that keeps us from launching on time. At SpinWeb, we’ve solved this issue by simply writing the content for most of our clients and working it into the project as a whole, which has done wonders for our clients. If you are going to go the DIY route, commit to getting it done before design starts – no if’s, and’s, or but’s.
2. Make sure all decision-makers attend every meeting. No exceptions. We’ve seen many website projects stall out because a decision-maker got “too busy” to attend a design review meeting which then sent everyone down a rabbit hole of playing telephone as we struggled to get approval to move forward. Do not let any decision-makers skip project meetings. Ever.
3. Keep committees small. We’ve worked with a number of organizations that seem very interested in making sure all 17 board members (maybe a slight exaggeration) get to weigh in on every decision. The problem is, after a group reaches a critical mass decisions tend to take longer or even stall because consensus can’t be reached and people start to second-guess each other. We love working with committees of 2-3 people maximum. This really speeds things up.
As you can see, speeding up a website redesign project is not mysterious or difficult. It just takes a commitment to setting standards for content, decisions, and group dynamics.
Next time you get ready to refresh your online presence, pull out this checklist and get your project moving.