Geof: One of the things that we hear a lot is the question of how long is he going to take to develop our website. It’s a good question that any prospective buyer should be thinking about before talking to their potential group because sometimes there’s a pending event, sometimes there’s an urgency. Some people figure that they’re losing money every day by not having their website up and running. But that doesn’t change the process, and everyone’s process is a little bit different.
What are your top three things you think about when talking about timeframe with people?
John: I feel like the majority of the time, whenever people are asking for a timeframe, they’re not taking into consideration the things that lag timeframes and cause things to go off track. Whenever we’re trying to collect content from the people who we’re working with, that is always one of the hardest things to gauge because it’s one of those things that everyone is like, “I will have this to you next week; you’re going to have all of my content.” Then they get busy, and it’s the first thing that falls off.[aesop_quote type=”block” background=”#282828″ text=”#ffffff” align=”left” size=”2″ quote=”Put together a game plan.” parallax=”off” direction=”left”]
Geof: In other words, when planning this process, use this manual to put together a game plan, one of the things you’re saying is figure out what could possibly be a delay. Or rather, I guess it’s not a delay so much as an expectation because maybe we don’t realize “I have to create content” or something comes up. One of those things that you’re saying can factor into the amount of time it takes is content creation.
What does that mean to different people?
John: For a lot of people who we’re working with, they’re bringing their own content.
Geof: Define content real quick.
John: Most times, I think that people view content as the words on the page or the words on the website. But a lot of that is photos, as well: photos, the words on the page, all of what goes to where. On that contact form, when someone is going to fill out the contact form, they need to know where that’s going to be sent. So all of that stuff.
Part of the way that we’ve had success is to really sit down and say, “If this is the launch date” – let’s say that your launch date is May 1st – and then working backwards from that launch date to make sure that everyone is on the same page.
I think a lot of people are just trying to get the work and they’re thinking that it’s all going to work out in the wash, or whatever. So they’re not taking that time to say, “If we’re going to have this done by the 1st, then we need to make sure that the site is going to be uploaded to your hosting – or our hosting, however you want to do that – by this date, which means that we need to have this much time for you to go through, check all of the pages, and everything.” Work through the entire process backwards.
Geof: Content creation, launch transfer, and quality control checks so far.
John: And just being really realistic.[aesop_quote type=”block” background=”#282828″ text=”#ffffff” align=”left” size=”2″ quote=”How do you find that people balance their time expectations with maybe compromise on how much it costs?” parallax=”off” direction=”left”]
Geof: We deal in this world where people don’t have huge, unlimited budgets. How do you find that people balance their time expectations with maybe compromise on how much it costs? Isn’t there a tradeoff there? Is that something to put a checkbox next to when planning this process?
John: It’s a question that I ask in all my conversations: “Hey, is there a specific day by when you were wanting to get the site launched or is there a timeline that we’re working within?” For us and for the clients who we’re typically talking to, they don’t really have any kind of impending event or pressure to get it up by a certain day.
I think that a lot of people are working with some kind of marketing department with some kind of campaign. There’s going to be a focus around that website, which, I think, is something that pops up very regularly because you want to put the word out, and that way, when you have the site launched, if you’re working with a marketing person, they’re driving some awareness about that event. But for a lot of people who we’re working with, they’re not working with a marketing person, so it’s less of a deadline.
Geof: We’re talking about a few things. One is making sure your content is created, plan for things to transfer if you’re moving to hosting or registration, be sure to quality control, check it, and if you’re working with an extreme limitation on a budget, then trade time for money or trade money for time because in our world, the development takes longer; if we take longer, we can, therefore, not be under the gun and can deliver.
Geof: Anything else on that checklist for what happens when you’re working towards getting something launched that could take extra time?
John: Not anything I can think of. I feel like everyone is concerned about it, but then when I jump in to have a longer conversation about, no one is really working within deadlines. They just want a general knowledge about how long a site takes.