From the Editor – September 2008 eBiz Insider magazine. Download the complete issue as a PDF by clicking here.
She was old. Her luster had faded a while ago. She needed a facelift. She would not get taken to the dance.
“She” was our old website which was laid to rest at 5 p.m. on August 25, 2008.
What took her place was a sharp looking, sleek new model complete with all the Web 2.0 gadgets that make the techies swoon.
I’m a bit embarrassed that it took us this long to launch a new site, but as the old saying goes “the shoemaker’s children go shoeless!” It was a huge undertaking, as many who go through the redesign process know. It was two years in the making and was under the direction of two or three different leads who all had different visions for what the site should look and feel like.
We had a couple of launch delays, but the day finally came, and with a feeling of excitement in the air, I hit the “publish” button. In a few minutes, our children had shoes and our Corporate Marketing team breathed a huge sigh of relief.
I learned two important lessons during this process of which you should all take note:
Redesigns don’t happen overnight.
Anyone who tells you a redesign will take a week or two is lying. I’ve been in this business for nearly 15 years. I have been on both sides of the sales fence and have never seen a “quality” site launch in less than 8 to 12 weeks. Oh sure, you can slap a template up there and launch a new look in a few hours, but a custom job takes time, and you WILL have revisions. Strive for quality! Your website is a direct reflection of how people view your company – it’s all about image, so don’t sacrifice quality.
There is only one head chef.
Too many cooks in the kitchen do mess up things. Assign one point person to lead your design project and let that person work directly with your designers and programmers. The last thing you want to do is put 10 people in a room to critique mockups for your new site. Believe me, NOBODY is going to agree on any one of them and this is going to result in frustration and extended delays. Trust your point person to make the decisions necessary to get your site launched.
Our Corporate Marketing team also redesigned several of our related sites – most notably our blog (https://blog.SolidCactus.com) and our Boot Camp (https://BootCamp.SolidCactus.com) sites. Speaking of Boot Camp, it’s coming up soon on October 8-10 – so head over and register now!