The process of launching a website can be a roller coaster; filled with ups, downs, twists, and turns. Our project managers have come together to give the best advice on how to keep your website launch time on track and with minimal interruptions.
1. Architectural Diagram and wireframes were not fully reviewed, leaving holes in content during crunch time.
o Solution – Even if your new site is a simple migration from one platform to another, be mindful of brand new pages and the content you’ll need. If you’re reorganizing, it helps to get those creative juices flowing early in the project. Study your AD and wireframes carefully, and be sure to ask questions if you have them.
2. Two words; content & entry. No content entry means no information.
o Solution - Make sure to gather all the information needed for the site many steps before the site is rolling out. It’s always better to have the content too early, than none at all. Refer back to your Architectural Diagram, and check those pages off the list. A new site is also a good opportunity to reexamine your potentially out-of-date content; get those edits to your Project Manager early on so minor details aren’t bogging you down at the deadline.
3. There is too much input from team members
o Solution - It's understandable to not want to leave anyone out of the decision-making process, but in order to make executive, quick, and important decisions, some type of executive committee should be created for the website project. If you are going to involve a large group of individuals, schedule feedback due dates ahead of time to keep everyone on track. Then, give yourself time to consolidate their notes, fine tune, and forward them to your web development team in a single batch.
o Solution – Of course, a website launch should never come before a well-earned summer vacation, but plan ahead! Are you agreeing to provide design feedback while you’re in Maui? Be sure to compare your timeline against the team members’ who will be involved in the process, so you’re not held up by an Out of Office.
5. The importance of the project has faded, and it’s now on the back burner.
o Solution - Consistency is key. Regularly reminding your team of how important the project is and how getting it done efficiently are the primary things to focus on. Often, development resources are scheduled far in advance for a window of work; if feedback isn’t returned in time, you could end up waiting. Set deadlines for your team, and stick to them.
6. Underestimating changes in scope.
o Solution – Maybe you’ve just found another site with a functionality you want to replicate, or a style you want to change. While these may seem like minor updates; make sure to get a good understanding of the work involved from your web development team. Mid-project changes could at minimum delay launch, and even require an addendum. Often, these situations are inevitable and necessary, but maintaining an open conversation with your project manager about anticipated changes may help the team prepare themselves for a change in scope.
7. Waiting too long to review content, and involving too many people.
o Solution - At the beginning of the process ask for several "key players" that you should go to about questions, updates, changes, and reviews. Review your content early, rather than waiting til you’ve received the site for final approval.
8. Technical details are not lined up
o Solution – Occasionally, access to DNS accounts can even hold up a launch. Who has the login information on your team? A IT representative? In some cases, an individual who has since left the company has sole access and a notary is needed to reassign ownership. Find out who controls your DNS early on in the project, and take the necessary steps to gain access.