Just got a brief from the boss that the website needs to be revamped?
The reason can be various, ranging from user visits dropping, numerous complaints from the stakeholders that the information on the website is obsolete, the design is dated etc. All those who have gone through the trauma of getting a project done through an agency will really understand this post very well. This blog is to help such people who are planning to execute a website project (Or a microsite) in the coming days.
- Content compilation
This should be decided way before the website execution work starts. All stakeholders should be made aware that they would need to share their sections’ content before the agency is briefed about the requirements. Of course, there are exceptions for sections like Investors or News and Media which needs latest content. Here also, if this is a complete new website then these documents need to be kept ready at least for the initial content when the website goes live.The agency have to meet all the stakeholders of that project to do a proper and well documented requirement gathering so that no section content should be missing or should be kept for later which leads to lot of delays and chaos.
- Faster internal approvals
All the inner stakeholders should be given a heads up on when and for what the approvals would be needed. Other than critical design approvals, for the rest of the designs a deadline should be mentioned.For eg. “Please note that if there is no feedback received by 6 pm today we will assume that the design is ok for going into HTML production.”
This will ensure that the team member will either share a feedback or an approval around that stipulated time.IMP NOTE: The design stage is the actual Critical Path for a website project. Time saved here makes a huge impact on the overall timelines and considerably reduces the project time.
- Image Bank/Guidelines
If there is an image guideline for your Organisation then that should be kept ready before hand from your internal creative team or your external brand creative consultant. If there is an Image Bank or Online stock image account that needs to be shared with the Agency at the earliest.Open source file of the Logo should be kept handy and shared with the agency. The open source file formats include .psd, .ai or .eps
- Server Hosting and Domain
Domain name management is the other most important aspect of a website. By default, the ownership of the domain name should remain with the client. The agency can be given the task of managing and renewing the domain name.The hosting should be a done on a reliable hosting server as it is imperative that the website should never be down anytime.
The hosting details should be shared at least 2-3 weeks before making the website live. If the staging server (testing server) is same as the live server then there will no issue. Otherwise the development team will need time to check whether all the software and plugins are in place for the final deployment. It will be a nightmare for both parties if server details are shared at the last moment and it is found that due to some software or plugins missing the website going live must be postponed.
- Change Requests
This is the typical flow of a website project:
Wireframe >> Design >> HTML >> Tech >> Testing >> UAT
The user journey and flow should finalised during the wireframe level itself. Worst case scenario, the changes to the flow can be taken up during the design, assuming that it is a minor deviation from the wireframe. Changing the flow or deviating the flow or functionality done during production is complete no no! Because, if any change is requested after the UAT has been shared by the agency, the team will have to again go back to the drawing board (wireframes) and rethink lot of things. The agency has every right to charge for this additional effort which will have to borne by the client.
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