Website not working for your business? Tired of broken links and inefficiencies? Did you get some important customer feedback?
Regardless of the reason, you’ve decided to overhaul your website. That’s when you must create an effective website update project plan.
If you are a new business owner or you just created your first website, this might be hard to believe, but it’s true.
When you reach that day, you might feel the urge to get it done immediately. Like hire it out yesterday or stay up all night to push out the updates yourself.
But that would be a foolhardy approach. You need a website update project plan. Even if you’re hiring it out – especially if you’re hiring it out – you need a plan.
I can’t tell you that making a plan for website changes is super sexy. But I can tell you that it is worth it.
So, if you are doing a website update project plan on changing things up soon here are some things you need to do first.
Brainstorm Your Business Needs (and What That Means for Your Website)
Redoing your website is a big job, so if you are doing it then there is a good reason.
Low traffic? Are visitors not reaching the pages you need them to? Getting questions about the information that should be visible?
What are the drivers of your changes? I recommend using tools to test and diagnose your website so you can make educated decisions.
Google Analytics and Google Search Console test your assumptions and provide data to guide your decisions.
What you find in these tools also gives you a baseline to measure whether your efforts are working.
Whatever the problems are, you need to write out each issue in priority order. It doesn’t have to be technical. It just needs to be a list.
Decide aspects of your project that are non-negotiable and which tasks are optional.
Writing down and prioritizing your needs will keep your budget in check. And if there is one thing that is DEFINITELY not sexy, it’s going over budget.
Time for Tough Decisions: Map It Out, Clean It Up
What are you getting rid of and why are you getting rid of it?
Are you changing the appearance or keeping it the same?
Map out what you want your new website to look like and how you want it to function.
Don’t be a hoarder. Everything on your website should have a purpose and help you reach a goal. Nobody cares about your company Christmas party from 2003. A website isn’t an archive.
Remember: your website isn’t about you, it’s about your customers. Your website plan must reflect your organization’s best online customer experience. Conversions will come once customers come first.
And finally set a budget.
Even if you are a DIY small business and the updates are “free” – remember your time is worth a heck of a lot.
Take Charge! Create a Plan and Timeline for the Updated Website
Now that you have your priority list, content changes, and a budget, schedule a meeting with your service provider.
If you can’t make the changes all at once, create a timeline. Decide when each phase begins and ends, and when you want the entire project completed. This will make the process less overwhelming, more organized, and more enjoyable.
One warning. Just because you have a schedule doesn’t mean it will get done exactly on time. Especially if you are working with someone else. What it will do is keep you and your partners accountable to make your dreams a reality.
Hey Business Leader! You Got This
Hey, business leader. You got this. No matter how nontechnical you are, no one knows your business like you.
Maybe you can’t make the website changes yourself. So what. There are people who can. Your job is to communicate your plans and find someone to execute it.
A good tech provider doesn’t need you to speak ‘tech’.
I believe in you. You and your customers deserve the best.
So go out and get it.
Ready for More?
Too many businesses hand over tech ownership to service providers. Ready to protect your online business assets? Download this free website ownership checklist.