You’ve finalised your great web brief, now what? You need to make time and have a plan.
The brief informs all parties involved about the project, its objectives, budget and timescales. One of the biggest barriers to delivering your new website will be content. Jumping right into the design, without considering the content is a big mistake, and will eat up precision project time in the long run.
Allocate time to fully plan and develop your content
The content for the website needs to inform the audience and tell them the story of your business. You shouldn’t be afraid to allocate time to fully plan and develop this content. The content may require numerous people within your business to get involved and a good way to plan a project is through a gantt chart, so you can be clear about the tasks, workflow, dates & milestones, dependencies and responsibilities. Online tools, such as Team Gannt, are good to use here.
Develop content as early as possible
It’s easy to see why people get excited about the design phase of a website project. By developing content early and giving it the attention it deserves, the design phase of the project will be highly more effective and focused. Developing content as early as possible will ensure your website is relevant, engaging and a site that delivers results. What is the point in having a beautiful website, if the content and design do not work together?
Once you’ve completed your content audit and research, your content plan should outline each page or content section of your site, the purpose of the page, target audience, intended actions and content requirements. Plan this content early and develop this as early as possible – you will get much more from the design and build phases if designers and website developers can be working with real content.
The content plan – your road map
Your content plan will steer your project to its successful conclusion. Web projects can often invite overbearing ‘vanity’ requests, like one department insisting they feature on the homepage, or one project category takes precedence over another. By revisiting your content plan (and revisiting it again!), you be able to navigate the way through these requests. Some of these requests will be in line with the content plan and can be actioned, others will not be – the content plan will help you justify why the request does not fit in with the overall strategy for the site. The content plan will always help you advocate the website your business’ clients wish to be developed and launched.
Planning, patience and perseverance
Managing a website project is a challenging task, but with planning, patience and perseverance it can also be a lot of fun. The most satisfying element shouldn’t be launching the site on time, but reviewing how the site performs against the original project objective and the experience users now get from the live site.