Updating Your Website? Here’s How To Choose The Right Team

Updating—much less overhauling—your website can feel like a Herculean task.

What pages should you have, which images will tell the right story, what do you REALLY want to say and who do you truly want to reach?

And maybe the toughest question if you don’t already have a proven go-to web development team: who should you hire to help you?

Think of it as a project—an IT project really—that requires you (or your agency if you use one) to assemble the right team, ask the right questions and make sure the final site does exactly what you’ve designed it to do.

Tall order?

Not if you do your homework.

I’ve been deep in the weeds on two site redesigns lately—my own plus a client’s.

And then my pal Tsavo Neal’s piece on hiring the right service providers for your website hit my inbox, which got me thinking about some of the horror stories consultants have shared with me (Tsavo claims over 50% of IT projects fail).

So I decided to make you a list: a handy dandy PDF checklist (if you’re a subscriber, the link is in your in box).

It’s designed to guide you to pull the right team together and vastly improve your odds of a successful outcome.

Because getting this right is all about assembling the right team, which means you need five key skills:

1. Strategy (what’s your brand + business—including your key messages and sweet-spot clients/buyers—and how will it be expressed on the site?)

2. Copywriting (how will your brand + business be expressed in written form?)

3. Design (how will your brand + business be visually represented on the site?)

4. Development (how will the site actually function to express your brand + business?)

5. Project Management (how will this website project get done properly—timeline, budget and resource coordination—as well as on time and on budget?)

Now that’s not to say that you need separate people or firms for each of these (I often do the first two and the last on many projects)—just that SOMEONE has to bring these skills and play that designated role for your project.

If you miss any one of these, your project runs the serious risk of not ending well.

Case in point: the artistic creative who makes a beautiful site that doesn’t relate to your sweet-spot clients or your message.

Or, the developer who adds some whiz-bang functionality, but ignores the visual needs of your audience.

It takes a village.

A small, tightly-knit village, headed by you.

Which means you need to take a good long look in the mirror.

Which of these roles—if any—suit your talents and how you like to work? Be dead honest about your ability to do the necessary level and quality of work in the time you’ve allotted.

Once you’re clear, the checklist works even better because now you know where you truly need some serious help.

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