More often than not when you start the journey of a new website build, it becomes an addition to your daily list of things to do. You’ve now got content that you need to write for a website, you’ve got photos to supply and feedback to give to your chosen agency, it can sometimes get over-whelming and difficult to manage.
If you’re feeling like this, then this is the blog for you, below are a list of common reasons why a website might take longer than you expect, and ways that you can manage that and avoid it where possible.
At Fifteen, many of us have worked client side before venturing into agency life, so we know all about the pressures of trying to work on a project that is an additional element to your day job.
I’m Time Poor
If your worried about managing your time there are a few easy tricks that you can use, but you’ve also got to be aware for how long your agency will likely spend on a project – for a simple brochure site that is typically between 1 and 2 months, for a more complicated website, it could be 12 weeks of your time. After the website has launched, while you will need to make sure it’s updated you will have a fresh new website that fulfils your requirements and should make your job easier in the longrun!
You would normally be given an estimated live date or a set of milestones by your agency of key elements of the project and what is required of you at key dates, all of this helps – it not only allows you to manage your time, but it also allows your agency to get an idea of your availability and work around you. We would advise that over the course of your project, you set aside time each week to either talk to your agency, or source the information that is required to complete your website. Your agency should always be on hand to help answer any questions or queries as well.
Content is the biggest struggle for many clients, many set themselves a deadline of X and we end up getting the content a few months later, it’s not uncommon and we work around you.
When I’ve spoken to clients previously about how they’ve managed the website project on top of their daily activities I’ve heard people creating their own ‘Web Wednesdays’ in the office as their set day to concentrate on website details over the course of the project, or a ‘Thinking Thursday’ to come up with ideas for content, on-going blog posts etc. We’ve even had a client come and spend a few afternoon’s at the Fifteen office to work with the team on various elements of the website, and learn how to use the site themselves during this time too. You’ve got to find what will work for you.
I’m a One Man Band
Being the only one in charge of a web project is difficult (I’ve been there), if you can try and get others within the business involved, even if it’s helping to proof read, create bullet points for their key areas of expertise or write a bit of information about themselves, it really helps and takes some pressure off your shoulders, every little helps, and its only going to help the business progress forward, so everyone should offer a hand.
However, don’t fall into the trap whereby there are too many cooks in one pot and you get confused by everyone else’s ideas and inputs, not everyone is going to like what you do, but you know that it’s the best for the business and will move the business forward. Be firm but fair.
If you have a team of people that you can delegate tasks to, that’s great and you should use them! Why not create a project calendar and assign tasks for each person to complete over the course of the project, that way those people can take ownership and assist you and the companies journey to achieving the launch of the website at the earliest opportunity.
I’m not very good at words
Creating brand new content for your website is always challenging, especially if you’re a business selling a range of products which are very similar (how do you say the same thing over and over again without duplicate content right?). Well there are a few ways to get around it…
- Hire a copywriter to write the words for you, they would require a base to work from so some bullet points are normally a great place to start, and they will write your website content for you to a deadline you specify. (We offer copywriting services!)
- Split the content tasks out to other members of the business, just make sure that they keep to your businesses tone of voice to ensure continuity throughout the website, and set them a deadline for when the work has to be completed by.
- Start with the minimum and expand on it later, Google loves it when you add more content, if you can write the minimum amount of words required per page that you know you definitely need on the website, but know that you can write more when you’ve got the time to spare then do that! Just make sure you listen in your training so that you can do this with ease when the time comes.
- Compile a word document of the different pages in alignment with the sitemap you should have, then the headings for the different sections on the page (most of these would come off the design), and then add bullet points of the points that you want to make, then start to expand on them. This should help organise your thoughts into an easy to manage document that you can then send over to your agency to populate the website with.
We can assist you with creating various documents to help you with your copywriting, from tone of voice documents, to content plans that outline every page, each header and key sections of the website.
I don’t know what images to use
As part of the design phase, we will ask if you’ve got a bank of images that we can use, if you don’t then we will offer stock images as placeholders to illustrate our ideas. If it’s images that you are worried about, and you’ve realised that as your starting your project the images you have a poor, there are ways round this too.
- Use the highest quality version of the image possible, our design team might be able to find a great crop of the image to use in the website.
- Use stock photo images; this is something really common with start-up companies who don’t have the option to use their own photos. Using the right stock images can really help lift the website and assist you in making that all-important point. We can select a range o f images for you and purchase them on your behalf.
- Hire a photographer, while it is a costly exercise, think of the investment your making, not only into your website, but you can use the photos through your various marketing materials, and depending on the photos taken, these can last for years.
Treatments can be applied to images to give them a similar look and feel, but with our help and assistance we can guide you to create a family of photos that fit your business and follow the style of the website.
You’re in control of your project, we as the agency can only advise and remind you when elements for the website are needed. What you have to remember is that your agency is always there to help you and understand that your day job comes first.
If you need to come and spend a few hours with us to finalise key elements and run through the website, lets do it! If you need us to take over to complete the final few bits of content and source some bits of imagery, let us know and we can take care of it for you.
The best advice that we can give you, is set yourself internal deadlines to complete in line with the stages of your website build, learn a bit about what we do, just like we learn what you do, and enjoy the project! You’ll have an amazing website at the end of it! Promise!