No one wants to tell someone their baby is ugly. The same goes for ugly websites. Brent Haeseker takes you through the questions you should be asking yourself to determine if customers are actually pleased with your website or if it may be time to redesign.
You just got the thumbs up from your developer that all the new site files are published to your hosting space – your new site is finally live! You thank your developer, enjoy the moment, and then get back to business – which is running your business. The last thing you want to think about now is reliving the redesign process. And that’s the last thing I want you to think about too. That’s why I want to talk to you about ongoing maintenance to your website after launch.
The contract is signed. You have just hired a website developer to redesign your website. Congratulations! Is it now time to say “call me when it’s done”? No, not quite. While you are hiring a professional to do the work for you, there are still a few steps for you to do. While it may vary from one development firm to the next, this chapter describes the typical development process and how you fit into it.
There will be some upfront deposit that is necessary before development begins. Make sure to handle this promptly to avoid delays in starting production. Your site won’t get scheduled on a developers’ production schedule until this initial deposit is received. This means other projects that make their deposit before yours have an opportunity to move ahead of you in the queue.
Once a provider is selected it is time to move to the proposal process. The proposal will map out the project specifications and all pricing involved. This document is very important, as it is blueprint for your project. It is what the development team will work off of and it determines what you are spending. Therefore, it is important to make sure this document is easy to understand and leaves no questions behind. Here are the main things to look for when reviewing a developer’s proposal:
No matter who you use to redesign your website, it is going to be a significant investment. Using wise discernment is important when reviewing developer candidates to make sure your money will be well spent. Like any business, there are key indicators that help you shift through the good and the bad, and everything in between. These are the things to look for in a potential provider:
Honestly, this is probably my least favorite blog article to write in this blog series on Business Website Success. This is because, unless I’m talking to you about your specific website project, it is impossible to actually provide accurate pricing for you. Everything we do, and this is the case with most professional website development firms, is custom built. […]
It may seem odd that we are at the fifth stage of this blog series on Business Website Success for redesigning your website and we have yet to talk about website design or budgeting. You may already have some initial design ideas in your head or a rough budget projection, but until you determine all aspects of what it takes to have a profitable business online – design AND marketing – your design concepts or budget may be off base from your true needs.
In this stage of the planning, we are going to look at initial marketing ideas. I say initial marketing ideas as we are not locking anything down yet. Instead, we are getting a clearer assessment of what is needed to promote the website (or more importantly, your business) after launch and what options are available. Marketing can be a hidden or overlooked expense for many business owners, so getting this information up front helps to avoid surprises later. […]
If you have been following this blog series, you have spent time putting together your goals for your website and you have defined your needs for the site, as well as the needs of your customers. Now is the time to take what you have distilled from that research, and begin mapping it all out. This is what you could refer to as the blueprinting stage of your website. […]
There is much thought that goes into any new website, and the larger your site and the more features it has the more planning will be needed to ensure your goals are met. But before we jump into determining your website needs, let’s start with the needs of your customers.
It is important to realize your website is not for you. You are not marketing to yourself – you are marketing to potential customers. You are not trying to sell products and services to yourself – you want THEM to buy from you. To do this you need to know how to appeal to them. What are their needs that you can serve with the products and/or services you offer? […]
If you have determined your website is due for a redesign, now is the time to start setting your goals for it. Before you think about color schemes, visual eye candy, or even a budget, determining what your website goals are will help guide all other aspects of the planning and design of the site. Yes, even before determining your budget, you should set your goals. Then based on your budget, you can scale your goals accordingly.
I speak to a lot of business owners about their websites. There is a surprising variety of goals that I hear from these business owners as to what they are seeking. While I’m no fan of design by committee, I do see that most of the best goal setting for a website redesign comes from a company where multiple staff or department heads are consulted. Different departments have different vantage points on the business and thus can see different needs that may not be obvious to others – even the business owner.
To give you a head start on ideas for your goals, I’ll give you a peak into some of the most common goals I’ve heard from clients during my 17 years with NetSource: […]
While the age of a website is a good indicator of whether it is time for it to be redesigned, in truth there are more indicators to consider. Like us humans, some websites age better than others. You can be 100 years old and still run a marathon (it’s very rare, but it’s been done) or 20 years old and an out of shape couch potato (probably not as rare, unfortunately). A well designed site from a reputable development company can have a much longer and more productive lifespan than a poorly designed website. That said, you should do a health report on your website each year to make sure it is still performing at it’s best for you.