Wrapping up a website design or redesign project on time is no easy task. From conception to final product, there are many, many things that need to go right to make the original timeline. An experienced web design company will pad the schedule for delays, but that only works up to a point.
Here are the five surefire ways to derail your website launch (based on our actual experience):

  1. Don’t Plan Any of Your Content Ahead of Time

This is one of the most common issues we see—a client may have a great vision for how the site should look, but when it comes time to populate the new site with content, they hit a roadblock.
The Fix: If you don’t plan to hire someone to tackle your website content for you, be sure to budget time in your own schedule for it. You should even be thinking about and discussing content during the initial planning stages to ensure the site is designed with your needs in mind.

  1. Ask Your Designer to Push Pixels Around for a Month

As you’re reviewing your site, you’ll likely notice tiny things that may not feel perfect to you. You’ll start to look at the whole thing with a magnifying glass, instead of keeping your eye on the bigger picture. Before you know it, it’s been three months of back and forth on whether some text should be centered aligned, which
The Fix: Oftentimes your site looks the way it does for a reason because web functionalities sometimes come with limitations. Before jumping to a laundry list of revisions, talk to your designer to understand changes you may see from design to development.
If small revisions can be made, always keep your “minimal viable product” in mind. Identify which edits are crucial to your launch and goals, and which can be handled later on. Also consider consulting other members of your team, who aren’t as close to the project and a bit more objective.

  1. Learn How to Update Your Site After it Launches

In the website review process, you’re likely going to need minor revisions to your copy or images. In our experience, these kind of changes always get lumped in with larger revisions. As a result, designer time ends up being used to move sentences around and correct typos, which can cost money and time. In reality these are the kind of changes you or your team can handle in an instant if you know how to update your site. Unfortunately, many client opt not to tackle that kind of training until after launch.
The Fix: Learning how to use your website before launch can help speed along content placement and edits to get your site live faster. Don’t put off learning how to use your site until after launch if you don’t have to. If you developer or agency doesn’t offer training sooner, just ask! We’re always happy when our clients want to take a more active role in getting their site launched.

  1. Change Your Mind on Elements You Approved

The approval process is so, so important in web design. Your designer can’t move forward until he or she knows you’ve approved certain elements. One way to create a lot of confusion is to start changing approved elements, like design direction and layouts, late in the process. This undoes layers of work, and can really slow things down.
The Fix: Pay attention to what you’re approving. Wireframes are especially important, because they are the blueprint for your site. For example, if you approve a team page wireframe without bios, that’s what you’re going to get.
If you do change your mind after approving something let your designer know ASAP. Unless something has drastically changed, you should avoid reversing anything you’ve already approved during the final stages of your website build.

  1. Ask For New Custom Functionality

There are no scarier words for a project manager late in the process of a website build than, “I was thinking…you know what would be really cool?” If you’re site is in the process of being built, the brainstorming phase has passed. This isn’t because we don’t want to hear your ideas, it’s because additional functionality changes timelines and affects cost.
This is why early conversations with your project manager or developer are important. At that time, you should be identifying all functionality needs. Late in the project, there needs to be a lock on big changes, otherwise things will never get done.
The Fix: As a client, come into a new website building project with any custom functionality already thought out. Your project manager will work closely with you to flesh out the idea further and come up with requirements. Once you’ve come to an agreement, think very carefully about bringing up new functionality that wasn’t discussed in the initial planning phase.
Need help with the design of your site, and want to keep to your schedule? Get in touch with us today!
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