Final Stages of Web Redesign
October 6, 2009 3 Comments
For those of you who don’t know, I’m deeply embroiled in a web redesign project. We’re (fingers crossed) very close to completion. But while I’m really looking forward to launching the site, I’m fully aware that even when the “live” date comes and goes, the work is far from over.
A web project, as previously discussed here, is never truly complete. The launch of a new site signifies the completion of one phase of the project, but at the same time ushers in a host of new projects and tasks, including keeping your site current and relevant. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Training. When you’re close to launch, train your staff on how the new tools work. Give them the opportunity to try things out for themselves – staff members make great beta testers. This will prepare them to use the site and to troubleshoot problems when your users are stumped. Additionally, brief the “higher ups” about the new site and how it will function. Communication is key.
Marketing. It sounds obvious, but have a plan in place for letting your users know that the site has gone live. Consider rolling the new site out to a small group of stakeholders, then a larger pool of several hundred people, then to your larger audience. This will help you make corrections and fix problems before your entire user base runs head first into a major bug.
Debugging, revisions, and inevitable issues. You might think you’ve found every bug, tested every link and examined each page with an eagle eye. It turns out your site probably still has wrinkles to iron out. Gasp! Have a plan in place for managing such problems. In other words, don’t cancel the project management/bug tracking software package just yet. You’re going to need it for at least a few more months.