Diary of a Redesign: Pick a CMS Before Hiring a Firm for Your Website Redesign
Planning a website redesign project requires managing multiple moving parts, each being a major project in its own right: setting website goals and timeline, deciding on the best infrastructure and content governance process, deciding on a new look and feel, and refreshing or completely rewriting your website content. To reduce the complexity of the process, we often rely on design firms to act as partners in the project, and to vet and recommend the right technology to support your site.
There are many reasons to choose and control the technological environment for your new website instead of deferring these decisions to another party. Here are the two most important ones:
1. Your goals are not their goals
This might seem obvious, but it’s the biggest reason why your choice of web content management system should be yours alone. A design agency’s goals on a project will include minimizing their labor and costs, maximizing their revenue, and creating a portfolio-worthy project that will garner awards and future customers.
Helping you meet your organizational and business goals is tied into achieving theirs, but make no mistake, your project is a means to another end in a lot of ways. This doesn’t imply any malice on the agency’s part, but underscores the very real fact that you need to always keep your business interests front and center. It’s not fair to expect another business to do it for you.
Your current infrastructure, future spending, and availability of on-site technical support are also part of the bigger picture and overall costs that an outside agency will not consider.
Finally, your website should directly contribute to your lead and revenue generation, and needs to fit into your long-term content strategy and the arsenal of marketing technologies ranging from automation, to personalization, to CRM to be truly effective.
2. Short-term relief can create long-term reliance
Decision fatigue is a real phenomenon in which constant decision making wears down the ability and willingness to make more decisions. It’s tempting to hand over the reins to an experienced partner in order to find some relief.
The old adage about teaching a man to fish rather than just feeding him fish runs counter to the needs of a business that relies on ongoing revenue streams. Regardless of the one-time cost of a website redesign, a design agency can make a lot more through ongoing design and website management services. In some cases, it’s in their best interest to guide you towards a solution that opens the door to an ongoing support and service model.
When the short-term relief leads to long-term reliance, it’s really no relief at all, it just means you’ve deferred the pain.
A website redesign is more than just a design project. Design agencies have years of experience in design and implementation, and will have a good understanding of the WCM products they’re familiar with. Their preference will be to stick with what they know in order to reduce friction.
Understanding your goals and needs and choosing the right WCM system for your ongoing content marketing needs requires time and effort, but owning your decision and finding the right fit will put you in control of the redesign process, and pay long-term dividends.
Dan is a product management specialist with over 15 years of experience building new enterprise products and launching them successfully to market. He has extensive customer and sales facing experience, outlining product solutions that have been successful for customers from 300 to 300,000 employees. Well over 3 million users are using products he has launched. In his spare time, Dan spends his disposable income on Apple products and dreams of seeing his name in TechCrunch.