No matter if you are doing a website redesign because of an old and unmodern design or because your business is slowing down, a project this big is destined to cause headaches for many business owners.
The deadlines are tight, the budgets are limited, but the goals are high.
You may found your compass astray in the midst of the makeover, and that’s when the biggest headaches start.
So, how to make sure the launch day of your revamped website doesn’t become doom day? Just follow the 7 steps laid out below.
1. Set your priorities
The business owner’s work starts long before the overhaul project begins. The very first steps require mapping out your goals.
To help you pinpoint them, make sure to write down the answers to following questions:
- Are there any problems you are currently experiencing with your website?
- Which parts of your website would you like to keep?
- Are you updating the design only or developing new features as well?
The key element of this phase is separating the must-haves from the nice-to-haves, and what is mission critical for the launch and what can be saved for the post-launch period.
Finishing this crucial phase right will most likely determine the overall outcome, so make sure to do your research and prioritizing right.
2. Determine your budget and timelines
Regardless of the industry, you are already familiar with the importance of identifying a budget and timelines. When it comes to redesigning your website, the things are practically the same.
Laying out the budget you can set aside for your website redesign will prevent your project costs skyrocketing.
The timeline, on the other hand, will help you plan out other business activities that will revolve around your site overhaul – marketing, sales, promotion, and stock.
Your budget size will naturally affect your project scope. If your budget is modest, make sure to reassess the items on your priority list. However, if the entire project scope is mission critical, try to reconsider the size of your budget or putting off the start of the project until happier times come.
3. Choose a web design agency you can trust
As you are finishing your website makeover preparation, it is time to choose the partner that will help you with the execution.
The vendor of your choice should be able to match your goals with their strengths.
Especially if you are going for a particular aesthetic or backend functionality, make sure to review the designer’s portfolio.
Depending on your specific requests, such as crafting content or creating your branding, the agency should be able to source the specialists needed.
When the negotiations start, you should get a feeling that the agency understands your needs. That said, the agency representatives should try to understand your standpoint, your business and what you want to achieve with your new website.
4. Pick a product owner
Just as you’d probably prefer to streamline the communication with the web design agency to one contact person only – be it a project manager or account manager – make sure to pick out one person from your team to communicate your thoughts to the agency.
This key stakeholder should understand the project’s goals clearly and have all the steps are necessary to get there laid out in a plan.
The product owner should be appointed as the decision maker, as that will help the project move forward without stalling. This role should especially be present in the last phase, the quality assurance phase, to make sure all requirements have been met and the project has been finished successfully.
5. Stick to the project range
Once the development starts rolling, and the first results start coming your way, your creativity may get sparked.
You may think: ”Oh, this new homepage looks awesome! I know, why don’t we add another section to showcase our latest projects, too?”.
Now, this example change might not look big, but as these small updates to the project, scope starts adding up, soon you may end up derailing from your initial requirement set.
This is the perfect scenario when the product owner should step in and reassess your priorities. Features and implementations that are out of this project’s scope can then be put into a backlog and discussed for the next project phase or sprint.
Smooth website redesign – it’s possible
As daunting as a website redesign can sound, the smooth transition to a better, more modern website is possible.
It may require some preparation on your side, but in the long run, it will save you time and money.
Your website should be the fuel to your business.
Make sure to partner up well and invest smart into your brand new website.