Misconceptions about Building a Website
posted April 7th 2017, 4:58 pm by Nicole Nelson
Here at RedMoxy, we build a lot of websites. After all, for more businesses these days, a website is the online calling card for the company. Many times, the website is the first "face" of the company that a person sees. All this means one thing: a website is very important. Scratch that. An updated, user-friendly, intuitive, modern website is very important. And, with the face-paced environment of the world wide web, it doesn't take long for a new website to become out of date. So, yeah. We build (or rebuild) a lot of websites.
And, because we've built so many websites, we have a pretty good idea of the many misconceptions about building a website circulating around these days. Misconceptions like "we'll have no problem sticking with this timeline" and "we'll just give the design a face lift. The content is just fine as is." Today, we'll walk you through the misconceptions about building a website that we hear the most often. If you'll be building a website anytime in the near future, pay attention. Be on the look out for these misconceptions and keep your internal team apprised of realistic expectations.
Misconceptions about Building a Website
Usually, the scope of the project changes sometime in the duration of the project. There's nothing wrong with this in the least - after all, how can you know how exactly you want your website to function until you've seen some of the options and capabilities it has? The bigger misconception related to scope, however, is the misconception that changing the scope doesn't change the timeline (see below for more detail on that) or the cost of the project. It's not guaranteed that cost or timeline will change, but, anytime project scope is messed with, that's always an option. If you want to be completely sure how changing scope will affect the rest of the project, just ask. We're transparent about these things, so we'll be upfront and honest about the bottom line for your company.
"Could you just change the navigation to include x?" Many times, we receive requests for "quick" changes to the design or functionality of the website, but the changes are not "quick" ones in reality. It's no problem - it's not like we expect you to understand website development. But, be prepared that the "small" change you have in mind might not be a small change at all.
On the flip side, sometimes changes are easier to implement than you might imagine. For instance, suppose you want to change the font of the entire site. That's actually a fairly quick change that can easily be made in the styles of the website. The point of all this? Ask us about the labor intensity for additional tasks you'd like us to make. We'll tell you how long it'll take us and the amount of work involved.
Importance of Content
Please, don't re-do your website without re-doing your content. Relaunching a website is a great time to reassess your content and find ways to make it better than before. What would make it better? Consider items like:
- Is this content fully optimized for SEO?
- Does this content speak to my target audience?
- Is there a way to make this content even more clear?
- What messaging needs to be added?
- Can I make this content more engaging or fullfilling in some way?
It seems like content shouldn't change much once you've nailed down your key points. Remember, though, that site visitors come to your website to read content. The pictures and graphics draw them in, but they'll stay because of well-written content. You miss an opportunity with potential clients when you choose not to further refine your content during the website rebuilding process.
The number one misconception we hear on a daily basis relates to timeline. Inevitably, the timeline changes from original expectations. The second truth about timelines and website building is this: the timeline is almost always longer than anticipated. This happens for a variety of reasons. Sometimes, scope of the project changes. Other times, you end up needing more sign offs on the design than you originally thought. All of these contribute to pushing the timeline a little bit further back, and a little bit further back, and a little bit further back until, all of a sudden, the project is one month behind schedule.
When we start a website project, we always talk through the timeline. On our end, we require 2 weeks for design, roughly 4 weeks for development (depending on how robust the site is), 2 weeks for revisions and 2 or 3 days for launch. That's how fast we can work. For most businesses, they need some additional time to see extra revisions of the design or to gather up internal imagery or to review the Beta and give feedback. We can move as fast as you'd like us to to, so, before embarking on a new website project, talk to your team and set realistic expectations for each stage of the website building process. Give us a launch date that works for your team, and we'll stick to it.
For all of these misconceptions that we've mentioned, there's a simple solution: talk to us. Ask questions. We'll tell you the unvarnished truth about your website rebuild. We can't wait to hear from you. Feel free to reach out at any time at 262-303-4238. Until then, happy website building!