Website Design, Strategy, Social Networking, SEO, Susan Pomeroy, Ph.D.

Is Your Website Redesign Missing this Crucial Piece?

by Susan Pomeroy

website - the missing piece

Last post, I wrote about outsourcing website design to separate, independent contractors, versus hiring a one-stop shop to do design, implementation and SEO. My conclusion was that hiring separate contractors for each component of a website redesign leaves site 0wners vulnerable in three key ways.

Cost, Time and Functionality

First, cost. Building anything—a website, a house, a product—is prone to unanticipated costs. When you’re using a set of unrelated independent contractors, there’s no built-in incentive for the providers of each component—website design, coding and SEO, for example—to control costs. The more each works, the more each gets paid, period. Ultimately you, the site owner, will pay for any overruns, in money and/or time.

Second, the site owner becomes the de facto project manager when communication has to occur and decisions must be made. This role can be a headache and a hassle. And probably, very since few site owners have the managerial experience, technical expertise or the inclination to take an active role, communications slips, deadlines slip, and things in general slip through the cracks.

Bottom line consequences? A site that takes longer to build, probably costs more than you intended (learn about a disastrous experience with independent contractors and cost overruns), and doesn’t do everything that it could for your business. Though in fact you may feel satisfied with your site’s functionality—simply because you probably don’t even know what the possibilities are.

You may also find that this website simply doesn’t have the longevity that it could, or ought… it becomes obsolete, or simply frustrating to manage, more quickly.

The Missing Piece

My conclusion is that paying a little more for the level of project management that you get with a one-stop shop  is worthwhile.

First, it makes your costs manageable. You get an estimate up front, and if costs of the site as specified run over budget, the designer/design shop eats the overrun. They pay, not you.

Second, you have control over the project timeline. Your design shop is liable if the site is significantly delayed.

Third, you don’t have to spend a lot of time communicating, managing, doing quality control, or overseeing the project. There’s someone else to do that. When your input is required, that person is able to explain to you exactly what the decision entails and what the consequences of any trade-offs are.

Fourth, you have the opportunity up front to completely plan your website’s appearance and functionality—with an expert who can assess your needs and analyze how to meet them most effectively. This means that you’ll end up with a site that looks like you want it to, but even more importantly, does what you want it to. Editable in-house? Check. Collect customer information automatically? Check. Allow people to share social media links? Check. Run a membership area on the side? Check. Etc.

And fifth, you have someone accountable if something ever goes wrong with any of the site’s functionality.

A Site that Delights You

Oddly enough, it took me years of working both as an independent contractor doing design, coding or SEO, and as a one-stop design shop overseeing entire sites, to fully understand the difference between these two modes, particularly to site owners.

Is your business really still at the stage where you need a site that simply costs the least possible? Or do you want a site that delights you… and helps carry your business on to the next stage of growth?

Like many web developers, I’m a synergist rather than merely a designer, or merely a business consultant, or merely a technician. This is more than just a personal predilection. It’s a valuable service I offer to my clients, who can rely upon me to understand and be looking out for their interests at every step of their project from conception to launch.

You may—I say, may—think you can get a cheaper site with independent contractors. Then again, you may get an even more expensive site in the short or long term, one that you outgrow far more quickly than necessary, and a giant headache to go with it.

 Thanks Steve Jobs Macintosh

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