Over my 20 years in the website design and development business, I’ve seen the same scenario played out time and time again when we’re talking to a potential client about a website redesign.
Here’s how it goes…
“We need a website that will:
• Outperform our competitors, thus increasing our market share
• Beautifully and accurately convey our brand and positioning to the world
• Be SEO’d skillfully to extend our organic reach and generate more inbound traffic
• Convert more visitors into quality leads
• Allow for an incredibly seamless user experience
• Be built so that the marketing department can very easily, quickly make updates
• Be scalable and sustainable so that it can grow with us over time
• Be launched with the highest standards of QA, browser-compatibility, and mobile-friendliness
• Be stable and secure, unsusceptible to hackers and other potential threats
…And we need it in the next 6-12 weeks”
In most cases, 6 weeks after stating the above, they still haven’t signed a contract with an agency.
Why would you rush anything that important?
In my experience, nobody is looking to cut corners or sacrifice any of these critical elements mentioned above. Rather, there’s an assumption that you can get a website with all of the above elements and have it be done right in just a few weeks.
There’s absolutely no doubt that you can get a website up and running in a few weeks. In fact, you could do it in an hour using Wix.com or Squarespace. It’s also likely that many agencies will tell you exactly what you want to hear.
Speaking from my own experience (and having gone into these types of projects several times), it’s not that anyone is being flat-out dishonest; rather, out of need to get the contract and keep the lights on, a “let’s do this” attitude takes over – even when you know that the client expectations simply aren’t realistic.
Weed out the agencies who say yes to whatever you ask for.
Just because your CEO wants a website up in a few quicks (and still done right), doesn’t mean it can be.
If an agency tells you they can build a website in less than 90-120 days, I suggest you weed them out of your selection process.
Again, that might be what you want to hear – but it’s just not true. Look to work with people who aren’t afraid to be straight with you, who know how to diplomatically push back. Look for a team who will tell you the drawbacks to your approach and the associated repercussions.
So, why exactly is it a huge mistake?
Friends, a website is not a brochure. Websites are technical. There are a lot of components that go into developing a site that not only looks great (although that itself should be given a few weeks to nail down), but is technically-sound, secure, content-rich, optimized for search engines and tested for optimal performance across devices.
Cutting corners will 100% result in a less-than-ideal online presence.
This is your most visible face to the world – available 24/7/365 and judged by first impression. It is not worth jeopardizing its quality in the interest of rushing.
Whether it’s user frustration, a site that’s difficult to manage, not secure, stitched together hastily with sloppy code and untested plugins, or simply misses the mark in terms of branding … a rushed website is a bad website. Period.
If an agency pushes back on your quick timeline, it’s not because they don’t have the resources or bandwidth.
It’s because they value your business (and their integrity) more than the check.
In the words of the astute S.O.S. Band in 1980, “Take Your Time (Do It Right).”