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How To Spend Less On Your Next Website

The top 5 reasons website projects costs over run

From our experience there are 5 key factors that lead to issues / delays / additional costs in website projects. These can be categorised as below

  1. Fuzzy instructions
  2. Lack of trust between client and web developer
  3. Poor communication
  4. Being disorganised
  5. Slow response and feedback

Lets explore these in more detail

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Vague Objectives and Goals

  • Website activities are often treated as  a discrete task ( especially in those companies where no formal marketing department exists)
  • Avoid tunnel vision
    • A website is a dynamic piece of marketing, there may be some revisions or changes along the way. If there are be clear as to why these are being implemented
  • Try not to get frustrated by the detail
    • Detail is key especially at an early stage of scoping the project. Strategic marketers are detailed oriented and need to know “why”
    • Understanding the detail at an early stage is critical as this will provide scope of work.
    • By not understanding the detail and making it up as the project progresses will lead to changes
  • Need clarity to avoid re negotiations

Being dis-organised

  • Keep organised records, a web build is a complex activity that requires scoping, design, content, build, checks and making live
    • Develop and share a project plan with times and activities
    • Have a single place where all assets can be kept (Dropbox is great for storing web images, pdf’s, site content etc)
  • Involve everyone who will have an input on the project with the web developer before the project commences
    • Note – whilst there may be a number of people involved one person must have the authority to make the final decision ( otherwise drift and camels will prevail)
  • Avoid being flippant – language can have issues. Some of the following comments are not helpful
    • “I don’t like it but I’m not sure why”
    • “Can you make the images more exciting”
    • “I want the minimum doing to make it look good”
  • Images – if you have a bank of high quality photographs and videos to b used on the site brilliant.
    • Unfortunately often these are not available in a single location
    • The images are often not labelled correctly. Receiving 1000 plus high resolution images all labelled img1111 isn’t helpful at any stage of a project. Who is going to sort and correctly label?
    • Whilst images are available they are in the wrong format / size / orientation the issues

Poor Quality Communication

  • Limit communications to quality communications
  • Batch up communication and avoid drip feeding. This has the positive impact of allowing time to consider , rather than just providing an immediate response that could be out of context
  • Pick up the phone – arrange a schedule of when you will talk. This helps everyone prepare, plan and action prior to the call
  • With Emails – Pause before send, a chain of individual emails can often lead to miss communication

Timing – Time changes everything

  • Timing will massively impact on a project,
    • is the old website no longer working,
    • perhaps you have a major trade show coming up and you have just realised your website isn’t fit for purpose
  • Not dedicating sufficient time to the project. Over the years I have lost count with the number of projects where the client is the hold up. Where because other “Business stuff” needs doing as a priority feedback on the website is delayed ( even though that has a deadline and is a priority)
  • Avoid rushing the adage of measure twice cut once can be applied. Think before you act, if you get the web developer to do the wrong thing that will then need changing you will be wasting both time and money

Poor understanding

  • Whilst nobody should expect you to be a digital guru its important that you understand the implications of the website build
    • Your web developer should communicate with you jargon free “This is what is meant ” “This is what we do at this stage” – this then avoids the misunderstanding and comments like “Oh I thought that was included” or “Oh I thought you would do that
  • Digital is great and its easy to work on projects remotely – but it can be very useful to meet up and have face to face time to fully / better understand the project
  • No matter how well you prepare you might find that you need more doing. In which case there will more cost
  • If you are using Chartered Institute of Marketing Marketers with a strong digital background on your website build “Trust them”.  Its very easy get subjective and they will be working based on a clear strategic insight / target customer persona basis ( but that’s another article)

In Summary – How To Spend Less On Your Next Website

  • Have clear objectives
  • Don’t rush into it allow time for scoping and discovery
  • Get organised – efficiency leads to savings
  • Have a clear timeline and commit to dedicating time to the project

If your website needs redeveloping contact Andrew Goode for a free confidential and impartial chat. For more information on websites click here

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