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April 6 & 7 2022

LA Convention Center

5 Tips for Planning a New Website

Follow these quick and easy tips to ensure that your new website will be built smoothly and effectively.

Create a project plan

Planning can make or break any project. Make time to sit down with your team and come up with a plan before you get started.

Project management tools such as Basecamp, Asana, Trello, Team Gantt and others can help to keep things in check. The benefit of using such tools is that you’ll be able to have an overview of the project at macro and micro levels, assign tasks to teams/individuals and keep track of the progress against set deadlines.

Each website project should have the following key phases:

- Planning and business engagement

- Research and user testing
- Prototype (wireframe)
- Design
- Content creation (copy and imagery)
- Development
- Testing
- Migration and launch
- Post-launch checks

When you create your plan, include time to review the completion of each stage of the build with your key stakeholders such as your Managing Director. You should also factor in two additional weeks between the completion of the website and the launch to allow the developers to fix any bugs.

Content creation can be a separate stage or part of the development phase. The two can happen at the same time, however it will be difficult to know what kind of copy or photography you need before the design has been approved. To be safe, plan enough time for copywriting, photography and editing, especially if you’re outsourcing these.

Use a Gantt chart to plan dates to review the completion of each stage and allow time for changes to be made before the results receive final sign off. This will ensure that the project maintains its momentum and problems will be solved quickly.

Ensure you have the right resources

Whether you’re building the website yourself or have outsourced it to a digital marketing agency, it’s critical that these resources are in place:

- Project manager
- Graphic and web designers
- Content creators
- Web developers
- Testers
- Developer experienced in website migrations
- SEO experts

Scope out your Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

Website development can be a never-ending process if you take your eyes off the scope.  Have in place an MVP which will describe everything that needs to be in place for the website to function and meet its objectives. After the launch, you can add extra functions and content.

When you plan your website make a list of everything you’d like it to have and do and then categorise them into three types:

- Must have
- Nice to have
- Out of scope

Avoid unnecessary complication

Don’t make it hard for you to see the wood for the trees. Keeping it simple can be hard when several elements of the project hare in motion, but try to stick to the plan. Bear in mind that a complicated website will be difficult to use.  The simplicity or the complexity of the build will be apparent in the prototyping phase.

Have a launch plan in place

Your website launch is more likely to be a success if you:

- Launch it early in the week so developers can monitor it and fix issues
- Make sure you do your redirects
- Monitor your site’s stats in Google Analytics as soon as it’s live

If you have an issue at any stage and don’t know what to do, contact an agency don’t wait for the issues to resolve themselves.

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