This article concludes our series on custom website development using the Oreo Cookie strategy—how to successfully execute a custom website redesign project. To recap what we’ve covered:
- Part 1: Successful Custom Website Development Projects
- Part 2: Website Redesign Project Plan
- Part 3: Website Design – Projects That Succeed
- Part 4: Website Development Process – Let the Devs Drive
The following are what you need for a profitable custom web development project:
- A Clear and documented understanding of the website’s functional and technical requirements
- A site map and wireframe to communicate the site’s structure and functional requirements
- A solid and thought-through design
- An efficient build
Like an Oreo, all the layers are essential. Without the crunch (the planning and the build) the tasty filling (the design) is just a gooey mess.
Unfortunately, in our work, we see too much emphasis on the design and not enough focus on the planning or the building. A website is a fulcrum, it needs to increase the effectiveness of the marketing and increase the value perceived by users. The design should support these goals not be the goal.
We don’t mean to say that design isn’t important. Great design looks good in meetings. Great design means the finished site will be beautiful. But great design by itself won’t lead to a successful project. Your customers are looking for a site that helps them solve their problems. A beautiful, well-designed site doesn’t necessarily mean you will hit your business goals. The site has to be useful to create value. This is especially true when conversion is the goal.
The Budget – Don’t Bring a Knife to a Gun Fight
The final piece of this strategy is the budget. Don’t bring a knife to the O.K. Corral and expect to come out a winner. The website is a fulcrum for marketing activity. It’s not advertising but is instead where your advertising sends customers to interact with the company or brand. Don’t spend thousands of dollars on advertising and then penny-pinch the website budget. Give the project the budget it deserves.
We’re not suggesting that you throw money at the website. Instead, when you know the budget during the planning stage, you can design a site that’s achievable with the budget. The team will make decisions that impact the budget in discovery before it’s too late. They will use the discovery process to map out a website that won’t exceed the budget. You have to make hard decisions before getting into expensive design and custom website development.
Custom Website Development – Final Thoughts
When you boil it all down, it’s simple to create profitable custom websites. Have a plan and have enough of a budget. Design against the plan and budget, and build efficiently.
See? It’s easy. You don’t need to fear website projects, and website projects don’t need to be loss leaders. You can achieve profitable website development nirvana with some simple planning and considerations.
Author: James Hipkin
CEO, Managing Director
James brings over 30 years of professional sales, marketing, and marketing consultation services to the table. Serving global brands along with small businesses, Hipkin leads a highly-skilled team of full-time developers, producers, and project managers who are committed to your success.
An excellent communicator and inventive problem-solver, his creative vision and bottom-line sensibility have proven successful at building productive, long-term partnerships with both employees and clients.