Planning Your New Website Upgrade


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Originally presented to the Marketing Director's Support Group (MDSG) on 2/22, this presentation provides tips on approaching your web development project including creating a website RFP / planning document and tools to help you with the process.

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Planning Your New Website Upgrade

  1. 1. Tips for Planning Out Your New Website MDSG February 22, 2011
  2. 2. Define Your Goals <ul><li>What do you want to accomplish? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Share Info </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sell Stuff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Save Time </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Who are you trying to reach? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>New Customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Existing Customers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Sample Goals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve client experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve communication </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Generate new business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce drain on internal resources </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Convert Goals to Features <ul><li>Improve Client Experience </li></ul><ul><li>Secure Client Login </li></ul><ul><li>Allow Client to Access Account Data </li></ul><ul><li>Allow Client to Subscribe to Content Updates </li></ul><ul><li>Provide for Emailing Clients from Site </li></ul>
  4. 4. Features Define Requirements <ul><li>List All Features Needed to Meet Goals </li></ul><ul><li>List Additional Requirements You Might Think Of: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy-to-Use for Non-Technical People </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Video Upload </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Define Your Budget <ul><li>Building a Website is Like Building a House </li></ul><ul><li>Do Your Requirements Define a Mansion? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can You Afford a Mansion? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Revisit Requirements and Divide Into MUST HAVE and NICE TO HAVE </li></ul><ul><li>80/20 Rule: 80% of desired functionality will consume 20% of budget </li></ul><ul><li>20% is usually bells-and-whistles not core to achieving goals </li></ul>
  6. 6. Define Timeline <ul><li>Actual Deadline Trying to Meet? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rush = Probably Increased Cost </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Phased Development Approach? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Core Features Now </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Nice-to-Have Later </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Determine Technology <ul><li>Most Modern Content Management Systems (CMS) Provide 90% of STANDARD Functionality </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Save Time </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Save Cost </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Custom = EXPENSIVE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Custom graphics / layout </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Custom features / functionality </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Where Hosted? </li></ul><ul><li>Email? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Sample Systems <ul><li>WordPress </li></ul><ul><li>Drupal </li></ul><ul><li>DotNetNuke </li></ul><ul><li>Magento </li></ul><ul><li>Joomla </li></ul>
  9. 9. Establish a Baseline <ul><li>Google Analytics or Similar </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Current Traffic Volume </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current Traffic Sources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Current Conversion Rates </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Use Baseline to Set Measurable Goals <ul><li>Increased Traffic Goal (Marketing) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Improve Sources of Traffic </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEO Objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>SEM Objectives </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Increased Conversion Goal (Sales) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>User-friendly Checkout </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased Lead Generation </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Determine ROI </li></ul>
  11. 11. Define Site Architecture <ul><li>Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid Complex Navigation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid Too Much Info on Home Page </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Easy Access to CRITICAL Info </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Search for Everything Else </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build Site Outline </li></ul>
  12. 12. Compile RFP / Planning Document <ul><li>List out your goals. </li></ul><ul><li>List out all required features. </li></ul><ul><li>List out all desired features. </li></ul><ul><li>List out proposed site map. </li></ul><ul><li>List out baseline site metrics. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide budget constraints. </li></ul><ul><li>Provide development timeline goals. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Manage Your Project <ul><li>Use a system </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Basecamp – free plan for single project </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google Sites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Track </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Milestones </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>To-Do Lists </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Issue Tracking </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scope / Specifications </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Wireframing <ul><li>Provides developers with direction </li></ul><ul><li>Can save on cost of development </li></ul><ul><li>Prevents “back-and-forth” </li></ul><ul><li>Balsamiq ($80), Gliffy (free), Pencil (free Firefox plug-in) </li></ul>
  15. 15. Vendor Selection <ul><li>How will project be managed? </li></ul><ul><li>How will issues be tracked? </li></ul><ul><li>How will hosting / email be handled? </li></ul><ul><li>How will scope changes be addressed? </li></ul><ul><li>Milestone payments? </li></ul><ul><li>Vendor history? </li></ul><ul><li>Proposed technology? How will “golden handcuffs” be avoided? </li></ul><ul><li>Cost of maintenance? </li></ul>
  16. 16. Questions? Brian Razzaque [email_address]
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