5 ways to keep your website redesign project on track

a website redesign project's gantt chart
You carefully vetted web design agencies and signed on to work with a firm that has a portfolio of work that you love, an excellent reputation (and even better reviews), and an experienced team that listens and asks smart questions.

Now it’s time to kick off your website redesign project, and you’re wondering what you can do to make sure your project finishes on schedule.

That’s great and exactly the kind of attitude ever web design agency hopes for in a partner! By being proactive and thinking about project management of your website redesign now, you’re already ahead of the game.

When it comes to executing complex redesign projects, the most important thing to remember is that—with so many moving parts—everything truly is interrelated. Even though the best website design firms will add some buffering to project timelines in anticipation of small snags along the way, you don’t need to leave staying on schedule entirely in their hands. There are things you can do, too.

Here are five tactics for keeping your project on schedule and hitting your target website launch date:
1

Build the right internal team for your website redesign project

Whether you’re going solo, managing the project with others at your company, coordinating with outside vendors and partners, or some combination of all those options, you can keep your project moving in the right direction if you pick the right people for your team.

Limit the number of people involved

More isn’t merrier when it comes to web design and development. When you involve too many people as part of your project team, it can often create delays. After all, it’s harder to get consensus and streamline decision-making when you have to work with a huge group made up of individuals with differing opinions, availability, and experience.

Pick the right leader

After you’ve picked out the key players for your team, you’ll need to figure out who will fill the role of point person and work directly with your web design firm’s project manager. Choose someone who can prioritize your company’s website redesign project as part of their existing workload. Picking a team leader that’s too busy is almost work than having no team leader at all.
2

Identify all stakeholders

Outside of the small team handling the day-to-day management of your redesign project, you’ll also need to work with project stakeholders, members of your company’s IT department, and—in some cases—vendors and other partners.

Think about sign-offs

Figure out whose approvals you will need (and when you’ll need their input during the process). Then, block off time on those stakeholders’ calendars and set up reminder email messages to ensure providing feedback (and turning around approval) is on their radars during the project’s scheduled windows for review.

Don’t forget about tech resources

Remember to loop in your IT director! Even when you are working with an outside web design agency to create your new website, you’ll still need to partner with the right people in your IT department to handle questions about hosting, security protocols, and more.
3

Ask lots of questions (and keep asking them)

Don’t let miscommunication (or lack of communication) keep you from hitting your target “go live” deadline. Being inquisitive and asking plenty of constructive questions is a good thing (and a great way to manage expectations) during a redesign project.

Go ahead: ask us anything!

Most of the time, clients who are curious tend to be the same people whose website projects launch on time because they’re 100% invested in its success and know how important clarity is to meeting milestones.
4

Work to hit all of your deadlines (not just the website launch date)

Procrastination does you no favors during a website redesign project. No one ever intends to be late, but good intentions won’t help you launch your website on time.

Try to spot any potential problems early so that you have as much wiggle room as possible in your schedule to find a solution and make it work.

For example, if your company’s CEO is going to be out of town when you need their okay to launch your website on time, figure out a workaround as far in advance as possible to prevent delays. A solution might involve working with your web design agency’s project manager to tweak to the project timeline or determining if there’s someone else who can provide final approval.
Keep your website project on track. Prioritize work to ensure you can meet every website redesign project deadline.Tweet this
When your team isn’t able to provide critical elements when they’re needed, your web design agency will have to make up that lost time somewhere else on the timeline. Occasionally they may be able to squeeze here and there, but in some other cases—especially later in the schedule—they may not be able to accommodate tardiness with deliverables or feedback (and they will need to push back the timeline for completion).

One workaround? Allocate enough resources upfront and start working on your deliverables as soon as possible.

For example, if you know you want to integrate new leadership headshots into your About page, go ahead and set up a photo shoot with your busy executives before the high-fidelity design process gets underway. That way, your assets will be available by the time the creative director needs them. No hold up!

Think about what’s coming down the road

Keep tabs on other big changes coming at your company (or find someone who can keep you looped in). Website redesign projects are a big investment of time and money, so it’s helpful to think ahead and prepare for what’s coming. Major staffing overhauls and leadership changes, company buyouts/mergers, new product releases, and more are all the kinds of things that may impact your timeline and ability to meet your target website launch date.
5

Trust your web design agency

It’s simple, really. We don’t succeed unless you succeed.

That’s why it helps to take a moment and pause before you second-guess a web development or usability recommendation from your web design agency. Think back to your project objectives and remember all the reasons why you chose them for your project.
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Joy

About the author | Joy Miller

Joy is the creative director at TBH Creative and uses her expertise to help clients use their online communications to build, design, and manage their brands. She likes to blog about content marketing in all its forms, the latest trends in digital marketing, and share tools with readers.

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