Over the years I have seen and heard a lot. I have been a part of amazing website projects, and I have been a part of terrible website projects. And, I found discovered that there are a few common themes that can run a project off the rails from the client side of building a website. Here they are:
- Don’t have a content plan. Website content is the one thing that hangs up almost every project. I have had multiple website builds that have taken over two years from start to finish because our client would not write their content. If you are starting a website project, you must have a plan for how you will get your content written, edited and complete. Sometimes that plan might involve the digital marketing company helping you, and sometimes it may not, but either way, have a solid plan.
- Don’t have a vision. The phrase, “I’m not sure what I want, but I’ll know it when I see it” strikes fear into the heart of every website designer. That phrase makes some run for the hills and others buckle their seatbelts to help guide the client through a discovery process. At the end of the discovery process, everyone on the project should have a clearly documented vision of what the website is supposed to look like (generally), what it is supposed to do, and what problem the website is solving.
- Don’t have the time. If a client doesn’t have the time to talk through details, create a vision and write great content for the site, they are better off not starting the project at all. What is surprising is that all of this doesn’t take that much time to do, but often clients feel overwhelmed by the work they need to put into the project and put the work off. I think on a good custom website project a client should expect to spend 20 to 40 hours of their time in total working on the project (assuming the client is the one writing the content).
If you are looking to start building a website, make sure you have these things in order, or work with your digital marketing agency to create them. If you get these things locked down, you will be all set to build a great website!