Many web design projects run late and over budget. What are the common causes, and what can you do to avoid these problems?
In this post, I want to outline the most common reasons for web design project delays that are faced by small businesses and individual professional service providers. I will outline the most common issues with B2B web design projects separately, as they tend to be more complicated.
We have worked with small and large clients around the world to create their online presence. Most of these projects went very smoothly but every so often things go sideways. By not knowing any better some business owners sabotage their own project. Here are the most common reasons for web design project delays, and how you can avoid them and do better yourself.
Avoiding Web Design Delays Is Critical
Designing or redesigning their business or e-commerce website is a big deal for most business owners. Not only does professional website design cost money but it also takes up the business owner’s time as well. For smaller businesses especially, those are both major concerns. Unfortunately, many business owners themselves are causing web design project delays!
Website design projects come in two basic forms: businesses either need a new business website or are looking to re-design an existing website. While the projects unfold in slightly different ways, they do require the same level of client input to keep them moving forward.
Common Causes of Web Design Delays
Designing a business website is a two-way process. Some clients don’t understand that. Missing meeting times, not responding to emails or phone calls, and not completing action items causes problems. The web designer or agency has to spend more time managing your project and prompting you than on building your website. We love our clients, but we don’t want to become your babysitter!
Make absolutely sure you understand what is required of you. At the beginning of every project, we provide the client with a series of project checklists and explain what we need from the client in order to complete their project on time and on budget. This helps our clients understand what is required, how much time they need to allow, and how responsive they need to be before they become a bottleneck.
The more often a client changes their mind or direction the more time the web design agency has to spend to redo the work. In the worst-case scenario, they have to start all over! Many agencies like us have different teams in different locations working on the same project. Communicating all the changes alone can create a big mess.
Decide on a plan at the beginning of the project and stick to it! Agencies like us would rather go over all your options at the beginning than bill you for all the redesign and redevelopment work. But we will if we have to!
Lack of Direction
Some clients can’t even agree on what they really want and need. The business owner wants one thing. The marketing department wants another. Asking a web designer or agency to mediate and negotiate between the different sides is not part of the project scope in most cases. It takes up valuable time that should be spent designing your site. It is better to work on these issues outside of your project and come to the table with a clear direction.
Many agencies like us offer a strategy or discovery phase. This ensures that all sides are clear on the direction and goals before you start the project. Establish the clear business and marketing goals you need to reach. Create buyer personas to determine what your website visitors will require. This will determine your content, messaging, and site architecture. Do this before design and development begins. The alternative is to pay your agency to act as your playground monitor.
Too Much Feedback
We understand clients want to get as much feedback about their new site as possible. But asking everyone you know what he or she thinks at every step is a really bad idea! Conflicting opinions will only overwhelm you. Getting validation is understandable. But you will get that once the site launches and you can start looking at data.
Only ask your most trusted partners, associates, and advisors for their opinions during the design and development process. Then appoint a single person on your team to evaluate them and select relevant comments. This will avoid sending conflicting messages to the agency or designer.
Not Providing Content
This is a very common website design problem! Entrepreneurs and business owners are notorious for believing they can do everything on their own. You need to be realistic if you have the time and expertise for content creation. Even Google recommends that you do not create content without professional help! Don’t forget that your design team will need your content to determine your design.
Start creating your own content as soon as possible. Set time aside to focus on writing. Ask your web designer or agency for SEO keyword recommendations if you plan to implement a search strategy. Or simply have your web design agency create your content as part of the project. If they do not provide content creation services, ask them if they can refer you to a professional copywriter.
Trying to Be Perfect
There is a saying in our industry you should keep in mind: The longer it takes to develop, the less likely it is to launch. Many business owners believe their website has to be pixel perfect before it can be useful. It is much more effective to launch something that you can keep improving instead of sitting with an almost-finished website for months and months.
If you made the smart decision to build a WordPress business website, you can update and add content after your site launches.
We always recommend a phased approach to any website design project. Launch the minimum viable website you need to engage your audience and serve your customers. Start collecting data about how visitors are engaging with your new site. Use that information to launch additional features and content over time.
Avoiding Common Web Design Delays
As you can tell business owners don’t intend to cause web design project delays. The last thing they want is more problems or higher costs. All they want is to create a business website that will help them run and grow their business. But getting a new business website is a lot more complicated than ordering new business cards.
Creating a new business website is a big deal for most business owners, we get that. You want to avoid bad web design agencies and get the most from your web designer. And there are a number of things to consider before you develop your new business website.
Your web design agency should be committed to being a good service partner and provider. You should be committed to being a good client. If everyone works together as a team toward a shared vision of success the project will end well, and everyone will be happy!
Need Help Avoiding Web Design Delays?
So, did your website design project end up in shambles? Did you end up launching an unfinished site and don’t know what to do next? Or did this scare you enough not to want to start your website design or redesign project at all? No worries, our team has you covered!
Our innovative mobile-first web design team can help you develop just about any type of website. We are experts at carefully crafting custom mobile-friendly websites to meet (almost) any budget. From designing new WordPress websites, redesigning or updating an existing website, building a mobile-first e-Commerce websites to creating a multilingual online presence for your business we work directly with the client to prepare them for the ever more demanding mobile consumer. Why not get started by requesting your free web design estimate?
And if you are still not sure how you can keep your web design project on track, don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and help you avoid common web design project delays. It is one of our specialties, after all!
Is Your Web Design Project Behind Schedule or over Budget?
Have web design project delays cost you valuable time and money? If so, how did you deal with these problems? If not, what did you do to avoid web design project delays? Did you have other problems with your web design project? Please feel free to let us know so our audience can benefit as well and grab our feed so you don’t miss our next post! And feel free to share our post with your audience!
Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!
By Gregor Schmidt
Co-Founder / CXO