Website projects are no small undertaking. Getting management and stakeholders to sign off on the project is probably the first obstacle you have had to overcome. Once you have made the decision to invest in a redesign and build a new website, there is no going back! At this point, you have stakeholders on board and your team is probably very excited about taking on this new challenge. Congrats! You have a new project for your marketing team. Time to deliver!
As with any project, success will depend on how well you plan and how well you set your team up for success. Whether this is an internal project or you are working with an agency partner, your plan is critical.
“In most things success depends on knowing how long it takes to succeed.” – Montesquieu
To help you plan the build of your new website, we have put together some information regarding the assets you will need to get started. This isn’t meant to be a catch-all; every project has different needs. We just want to get you thinking forward.
Website Planning Doc: Feel free to make a copy and modify our website planning worksheet to your needs.
Yes! Your team is an asset, probably your biggest. How your team is formed and what responsibilities team members take on will depend in part on how big or small your company is. Nevertheless, here are some responsibilities and roles to consider when forming your website team.
- Ownership—Who will be the main point of contact for reporting back to upper management? Who will be the main point of contact if you are working with an agency?
- Content—Whether you are coming at the website project with an already existing website or building one from the ground up, who will be responsible for gathering all the content into one place? Who will be responsible for writing the content? For bigger organizations who have multiple people or teams writing/producing the content, you will probably need one person to organize these efforts. Who will that be?
- Analytics—Who will be responsible for analytics? A new site launch usually means scrapping old content and pages. Having someone who can tell you the impact of removing these pages from an SEO perspective is extremely important. Also, being able to measure your current impact compared to your impact after the website launch will be essential to understanding any improvements that need to be made.
- Design—Who will design the user experience and graphics of the site? Who is responsible for the overall look and feel of the site?
- Development—Who will lead the build of the website? Who will document and track the technical functionality and features of the new site?
- Hosting—Who is your hosting team? Do you have access to them? Getting to know the members of your hosting team and their expectations for handling the new build, website speed, and security will be key to the project’s success.
- QA—Who will lead the QA of the website? This person will coordinate efforts between the individuals completing the QA and organizing it in one place. Identifying and prioritizing the QA into buckets of Content Adjustment, Before Launch, Right After Launch, and Future will be important to hitting the project deadline and staying focused.
- Strategy (Bonus)—Everyone should be involved in strategy. The more the team can get together and think forward, the more solid the project will be.
To see what Gravitate can handle for you, check out our capabilities.
This is used to keep your team on point and your brand consistent when producing content and designing the website. If your company doesn’t have branding guidelines, it will be just as important to at least identify how you think your look and feel should be perceived in the beginning, so that your teams come back with deliverables that have a consistent look and feel. Here are several guidelines to consider:
- Typography—What font type is currently being used? Will you use it for the new website? Do you need a license for the website?
- Images—How are images treated? What is the look and feel you want your team to pay attention to?
- Illustrations + Iconography—If you are gathering illustrations or icons, what do they look and feel like?
- Messaging—What is the voice and tone that you would like your content team to pay attention to when writing? Is there any language that should be included or avoided?
- Brand Colors—What are the brand colors and where are they found? A good review of these with your team will ensure that your team stays on the straight and narrow.
Or, you could let us tackle this stuff for you. Check out our design capabilities.
This is always an asset. When it comes to your new website project, it is essential to know where you came from, where you currently are, and where you are going.
- History—Knowing where your company has come from and what stakeholders still see as important will save you time in the end. Whether that is a certain content type, a certain color, or legacy pages, stakeholders have reasons why they lean one way or the other. Knowing what they expect you to include in the new site will let you know what battles are already lost and what battles can be discussed. Bonus: knowing in advance what pages you will keep will help you to determine where you will need to redirect them on the new website.
- Functionality—What functionality lives on your current site that you will carry over to the new build? Are there any integrations that need to migrate? Will there be new integrations to implement? Will you integrate with a CRM? Do you have a payment gateway? Are there pages of the site that need to be password protected?
- Access—Your team will probably need to know where certain credentials are. How will your team access analytics such as Google or Adobe Omniture? What about access to your current site: FTP Access, WordPress logins, etc.? Are there other third-party tools that you will need access to, such as chat widgets or analytical tools?
- Naming Conventions—Coming up with a naming convention for your assets and folder structure will be key to the organization of your content. It could be as simple as Image_Name_About-Us_Date_Final. No matter what your naming conventions are, the goal is to identify them early on, be consistent, and hold your team accountable for organizing assets so that they can easily be found.
- Personas—Knowing who your audience is will help you tailor your content to the different personas you are trying to reach. The more your team knows, the better they will do identifying content that speaks to your audience types.
- Hosting—Do you know where you will host the new site? If you are hosting internally, do you know who the team is? Will your site need a single SSL, multi-domain SSL, or a wildcard SSL? Organizing hosting efforts early on is very important to how the development environment will be built, and more importantly, can identify features that may be needed in case of DDOS attacks, etc. Waiting on this could delay your project and increase your budget in the end.
- Testing/Goals—Do you know how you will measure the success of the project? Are you committed to the continual improvement of your site using tools like Optimizely, HotJar, UserTesting, etc.?
Curious what we can handle for you? Learn more about our services.
Your website content will be the most scrutinized, most viewed, and will eventually be what converts or doesn’t convert site visitors to take action. These are some of the different content types that you may be considering:
Gravitate has had success creating all types of content. Click here to learn more.
At the end of the project, success will depend on how well you set your team up for success. Whether that means that your internal marketing team will work with your partner agency or that an internal team will take this on entirely, it’s up to you to deliver. No pressure. We know that every project is different and that each has its own needs. We hope we were able to rattle the cage a bit and get you and your marketing team thinking about your next steps.