Don’t let your web development project get stuck – a tale of caution

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Look, when you’ve done more than 2,000 web development and web design projects, and done Search Engine Optimization for hundreds it is easy to assume that things will always go smoothly.

The truth is – in real life, it doesn’t always happen. Like, one of the recent projects that we did for a blend of government and private sector clients is stuck (e.g. MatradeHub).

While the site itself is online and everything we were tasked to do we’ve finished, it is not performing its role yet. The ambitious plan is stuck.

We’re asked almost every day – how long will it take for the website to go live? And we can give a very accurate answer as long as we have complete clarity and full control over the process.

In each web design and web development project, clarity is the key. Getting it done is often less difficult than getting clear answers on what exactly has to be there.

Here are a few questions I typically ask clients that you may find useful no matter which web design company in Ireland you will choose for your project.

  1. What do you expect version 1 of your web design project to include? It is easy to come up with tons of ideas, and get lost in them. This leads to paralysis by analysis. More often than not it is advisable to decide on what’s mandatory and focus on that keeping in mind that you can always add more features, more content, more images etc.
  2. Your branding, colour gamma, fonts? If you don’t have a huge budget to hire brand and image consultants, then don’t. Find something that relates to you and your brand and point a finger at it. For web design companies it is often easier to simply emulate something you’ve seen somewhere. As long as we can look at it knowing that’s the look and feel you want to emulate, we can work with it. While it is nice to have a brand book, it is not necessary for the average SME.
  3. What about content for your website? Who’s going to write it? When can we expect the final confirmed version? From the experience, it is not a great idea to start designing pages without first knowing at least to a high degree of certainty, what’s going to be on these pages. Depending on the amount of text, we adjust page layouts and web design elements. It is also better to have this ready if you want to negotiate better web design prices. Step into the web design company’s shoes – if they don’t know what does it mean “5-10 pages”, they will charge you more just to stay safe. However, if you show them that each page is simple and doesn’t have much work to do, you can ask for a better price. And the last one, but critically important question…
  4. Are you going to fight for the Google rankings? Or simply, are you going to implement a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategy? How you build your site and what goes where largely depends on this answer. While Google is getting smarter every day, and the times when you simply stuffed tons of keywords and got away with it (oh, sweet 2008) are long gone… there’s tons of stuff to keep in mind when writing with search engines in mind. If you want to generate top quality leads from SERPS, I suggest hiring SEO expert that will make sure your site structure is sound and you’ve got the necessary content to give you a chance to win rankings.

To summarize, web development projects that get stuck typically start before there’s a fundamental clarity on what goes where and who does what.

Make sure you and your web designer are on the same page, and you’ll avoid these issues.

Got questions? Don’t hesitate to ask.

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