Embracing the realities of Website refreshes

Your website is outdated, uninspiring, or ineffective. It’s time for a refresh or, heck, a redesign.

In theory, it’s a straightforward project. Find a good designer and write good copy, and you’re done.

Well, not so fast.

A website overhaul involves a lot of moving parts. It takes longer to complete than envisioned in most cases, and there’s inevitable feature creep.

A key to success is taking the time to articulate why the refresh is happening and how the website has to perform. After all, a pretty website is nice but it has a job to do.

As important, it really helps – and I mean, really helps – to have ideas about the website’s look and feel.

Build a database of good Websites and identify what you like about them. It could be navigation, colours, calls-to-action, graphics, or photos. Designers work better and faster when they have clear guidance.

Designate a project manager to handle the myriad of moving parts; the designer, writers, photographers, developers, and IT. This person has to be well-organized to move the project forward and deal with issues and challenges that arise.

Website refreshes are complex creatures, even if a project appears modest. You’re dealing with people who have different objectives, biases, and ideas, as well as creativity and technology.

Build a plan of attack and adopt a realistic timeframe. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a Website.

 

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