The idea of building a new website can be exciting, but it can also be a new and unfamiliar undertaking. A web project is very involved and can become an expensive investment. Design involves far more than just aesthetics, and developing engaging content is beyond just a quick copy and paste.
With the time and cost that gets invested in this type of endeavor, below are a few key things to expect when engaging in a web project:
1. An Agency Partner
Working with an agency should feel like an extension of your team. The most important key to a successful agency-client relationship is trust. You want a partner that is concerned about your success and whether or not they can really help you get there. You also really want to like working with your agency partner – keep in mind these are the folks you’ll be working with for the next couple of months!
A few things to consider when partnering with an agency:
- Do they understand the business objectives and site goals?
- Do their recommendations directly address those specific goals?
- Can they provide the expertise and knowledge to get you where you need to be now and in the future?
At PadillaCRT we strive to partner with clients who allow us to exercise our industry knowledge and become trusted advisors in business, planning, ideation and execution.
2. Committing Your Time
Time is valuable! On average, our website projects take four to six months, and can take longer based on the complexity and requirements for the project. Web projects require quite a bit of collaboration, so you can expect to spend at least 10+ hours a week on collaboration throughout the duration of the project. That time can be used in various phases of the project, which may include:
- Weekly meetings and check-ins
- Key meetings to review deliverables
- Meeting internally to present and gather feedback
- Responding to questions from the digital team throughout the project
- Being a liaison between key stakeholders or other departments in your organization
- Gathering and providing content and assets
- Discussing budget and timeline
Some weeks will take more collaboration time, and some will take less. All of our projects are staffed with an account executive and digital producer who handle day-to-day responsibilities, as well as schedule and budget. We always recommend our clients assign a dedicated point-of-contact internally to keep projects moving forward and on track.
3. Making Decisions
Key stakeholders can make or break the success of a project, and often times there is more than one major stakeholder in your organization. An increase in the number of stakeholders can sometimes add stress and complexity to the project. Every stakeholder may have his or her own agenda on what “success” means. Discovering this at the end of the project is a formula for failure. We take the time to identify all the stakeholders before starting a new project and often lean on our client contact to help drive this. It’s important that decisions are being made throughout the course of the project, as it can impact the schedule and timeline. As we all know, if your key stakeholders aren’t happy, nobody’s happy!
4. Investing in Content
High-quality content is crucial to the success of any website. Before any design or development is started, a content strategy for your website should be developed. Without proper planning, it can become a huge roadblock in completing the project.
Content doesn’t always come in the form of text either. Engaging content can range across blog posts, case studies, videos, photos and animated infographics. If site visitors are not interacting with your content that means your site is not providing any value or benefit, which devalues the purpose of your site. We can help produce all of these creative assets, and it should be planned out in the early stages of the project.
A website is a living, breathing entity that grows with time and reflects your organization, so it is important to keep your content fresh and relevant even beyond the launch of the site, which leaves us to our last item.
5. Budgeting for the Future
Websites need to be incrementally improved over time. Ongoing maintenance for your website encompasses many components beyond making a few content updates and adding photos. It’s no secret that the internet is constantly changing, and the way we experience the web is also changing. Users are continuing to adopt different devices and newer browsers, and your site has to be able to support this.
The web is never done, and that gives us an unprecedented opportunity to make changes that are unavailable in any other medium. We have support plans that can range from $2,000-$6,000/month, which may include bug fixes, content additions and digital reporting.
After being a digital producer for five years now, I’ve learned that all web projects come in different shapes and sizes. I’ve learned that being a client can also be overwhelming and the work can be more involved than anticipated. While a good agency has to set expectations for their clients, I think it’s also important for clients to have reasonable expectations for what their agency can do for them.