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The top three causes of protracted website projects

Having developed hundreds and hundreds of business websites over the past 15+ years, we’ve pretty much seen every possible problem along the way. Sometimes things don’t quite go to plan, sometimes clients’ plans change mid-course, and there’s a myriad of other things that come up which cause the website to take longer to complete than expected.

However, hands down, these are the most common causes of delays in corporate website design… sadly, they’re all things we need from the client!

1. Content

Ahhh, content, our old friend foe. We typically complete small business websites within a couple of weeks, but 99 times out of 100, we then wait for the content to be added.

While we ask for all content to be provided up front, this NEVER happens. Ever. We complete the design and development, provide training, and then wait for the client to let us know once they’ve finalised the content on the site. Sometimes that’s as little as a week or two, but it can range from a couple of months to — in a few cases — YEARS! We once finished a project then waited more than THREE YEARS for the client to add some content to a handful of pages on their website.

Tip: Start writing your content before you even look at web developers. Even if it’s just a few bullet points, tackle at least one page per day. We can even write the content for you if we have the basic information to work with.

2. Images

Similar to content, it’s difficult to get all of the necessary images together from the client. Most businesses — small businesses in particular — don’t have many suitable images to use at all. The best solution here is to get a professional photographer to take photos at the office/workplace. This way there will be royalty-free images of the office, staff, products/services, and so on.

Otherwise, we do supply stock images as part of all of our website packages, but sometimes there are too many gaps to fill so the client can simply buy additional images from us.

Tip: Have at least 2-3 images lined up to use with every page on the site. Most sites would therefore need around 15-20 images. We can provide stock images to cover any gaps.

3. Approval

There are a few stages in our corporate website design process which need approval: Master design (header and footer), the home page design, and the final approval to publish the site. Around half of our projects are approved promptly along the way, but the other half have delays of days, weeks, or months before approval is given.

For the final approval, for example, we’d likely already have added all content to the site, so all it takes is an hour or two, at most, for the client to check over each page, test the contact forms, and so on. We provide a checklist for these steps. But people working in small businesses are always busy, so this does tend to get put on the backburner, when it really shouldn’t.

It’s great to aim for perfection, but it’s important to know where to draw the line. So while you don’t want to compromise on the quality of the website design, for example, think about whether it achieves the objective. If it does, and there’s nothing vital missing or incorrect on the site, why not approve it now and take the pressure off? You can always improve as you go.

Tip: Don’t let trivial things hold up the website. Focus on getting the website out there and improving it over time — which is what should be done with every website anyway.

Don’t let it happen to you

We offer website packages to suit a range of budgets, and we help our clients get their websites online as soon as possible, while avoiding doing things “on the cheap”. Give us a call on (07) 3333 2932 or get an instant online quote if you’d like to find out more about our corporate website design packages.