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Top 10 Reasons Why Web Projects Fail

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How to make your Web Development project a success. What you should do? And here is a mistake. You'd better ask What you shouldn't do. I've prepared a pile of articles covering top 10 mistakes when …

How to make your Web Development project a success. What you should do? And here is a mistake. You'd better ask What you shouldn't do. I've prepared a pile of articles covering top 10 mistakes when it comes to starting a website development project. Why repeat someone's mistakes when it is much easier to leave them aside. Do not waste your time and money on solving that deadly mistakes.

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  • 1. TOP 10 Reasons Why Web Projects FailWe hope that this 10 point summary will help you better understand the specifics of the web business andprepare you for the way ahead. These 10 point are accumulated over the 10+ years plus experience atIntelex Corporation. Some of them might not apply to your particular case.Ok, let’s get started and see if you are about to make them? . 1. No clear vision of the website and its purposeHow to failApproximately 20-30% of the client do not have a clear vision of the web project they are about to embarkon. Here are some of the most common mistakes website owners make: Have not studied what is out there already. Have not studied the competition. Do not even have the structure of the website that they want to build. Mostly preoccupied with the colors and the look of the site rather than the structure and the functionality. General misconception is to add more functionality and see what happens. Clients start building websites with all sorts of features: blogs, forums, chat rooms etc. but have no means of keeping them live and active.How to succeed Study your competition If there is no competition, ask yourself why? Envision your site from the visual and functionality standpoint (create the site map). When ordering functionality like blogs and forums, think if you have enough time, dedication and visitors on the site to support the activity.
  • 2. 2. No business modelHow to failThe best way to fail is to build a project and then start thinking how to make money from it. Going back tothe first question: when planning a project you have to make sure you have a business model. It does notmean it may not change, but at least you have an initial plan. It is better to have a plan and change it thanhave no plan at all.Case studyThe best example would be a guy who ordered an e-commerce website to sell CDs online. We built thestore, uploaded 10,000 plus CDs… waited for two months and nothing… no sales. He asked us to analyzewhy there are no sales. We did the analysis and discovered that he was selling CDs for 17.95 when theexact same CD on other sites was selling for $14.95. I asked the guy, why he is selling so high. The answerwas: “I cannot sell for less because I am buying them from a wholesaler at $15.95”. In the case of a genericproduct like a CD there is no way this project will survive.How to succeedBefore doing anything else think how you will make money on this project (may not apply tocharities, NGO etc.). It does not have to be a single income stream; it can be 3-4 or even more.When you build the project and start working on it everything can change, including the businessmodel, but if there is no initial plan, it is hard to achieve the goal that does not exist.
  • 3. 3. My site will be perfectHow to failThis is my favorite one. I would say close to 40% of the customers are making this mistake.Right from the beginning they want to build a “perfect site”: It usually starts with 30-40 logo concepts, 6-8 rounds of revisions and 2 months for choosing the “perfect logo” Then we start with a “perfect site”: 5-6 concepts, 5-6 or even more revisions, choosing the “perfect shades”, “perfect bullets for the text” , moving the images 1 pixel to the right and 3 pixels up to make it “Perfect” and so on…This is just 5% of the total list of similar tasks that take a lot of time and efforts and have NO EFFECT on thesuccess of the web project.How to succeedAll the successful clients are able to choose the logo from the first batch of 10, than get it finalizedin 1 or 2 rounds of revisions. The same story with the website – select from the first batch, makesome minor corrections and move on to the development stage. I am not saying it to simplify ourlife and make everyone accept the first design. I am just expressing my observations based on thecomparison of successful and not so successful projects.It is better to start faster with minor design imperfections and then improve it on the go, thenstruggle with the pixels and shades for 2 months exhausting yourself, designers and developers.
  • 4. 4. I want to build a site “like no others”How to failThe best way to fail is to try to build a website “Like no others”. The first question would be: “have youseen such a site”, most of the time the answer is “No”. Ok, let me show you some weird sites, do you likethem? , “no, because I do not like the colors, I do not know how to navigate etc.” If you do not like theweird sites, why do you assume that other people will like yours?Case studyA client (not in our portfolio) in the business of selling door locks online needed an e-commercesite. Once the design was almost finalized and accepted he requested us to build a site intro. Theintro was supposed to display a 3D graphics of different objects flying in the greenish light like inthe movies about submarines. Imagine yourself looking to buy a door lock and ending up on thewebsite with the submarine intro…. will this intro make you buy the lock there or leave the site?How to succeedBy no means am I advocating building boring website all alike. The site has to look nice,professional and most importantly IN LINE WITH YOUR BUSINESS. The visitor has to know rightaway what this site is all about. If it takes him even 2-3 second to figure out the purpose of thewebsite, it is TOO LONG. There are tons of other websites just a click away.
  • 5. 5. I need it FAST and CHEAP for now and once I make money I will build a good oneHow to failThis kind of approach has 100% failure rate. If the client approaches the business this way, HE (so far I didnot have a single request like this from a woman) would be better off spending the money on beer andsaving the disappointment. This model never works. You have to do it right and with the full force andeffort. Then, and only then you have a chance to succeed. If you “just want to give it a try” I can assure you,you will fail.How to succeed Get yourself organized Concentrate on this SINGLE project Give it 100% effort Dedicate all the resources you have to this project Do not think about escape routes Do not think what will happen if you fail Be bold, persistent and confident
  • 6. 6. If I build it they will comeHow to failThis is probably the most common mistake of all. People assume that building the site completes theproject. This may not apply to the 5-page presentation site built like an online business card. But we aretalking about web projects that have to generate income. The rule of thumb is “If you build it, they WILLNOT come” I should add “by themselves”. Even if you wait for a year, nothing will change. The mostcommon excuse in this case is: ”I spent all the money for building the website and do not have any left forthe marketing”. These projects sit idle for years and nothing happens.How to succeed Think about marketing and promotion before even starting the project. Set aside a certain amount of money for the marketing purposes. In most of the cases the amount should be comparable to the amount you spent on building the web project. In some cases it could be more. Be prepared to sustain the marketing efforts for at least 3 months without income . Consult a marketing professional Take part in marketing and promotion personally
  • 7. 7. Can you create the content for meHow to failAt first glance it seems like there’s nothing wrong with this request. You want to build the website, you arenot a writer or a journalist and you would like to ask someone to create the content for you. Why this iswrong, let me explain. Let us take scenario number one: you are working in your business for a number ofyears and have a ton of knowledge and experience about your business. In this case how is this possiblethat you cannot write a few pages about what you do? Can you imagine a person who has no knowledge ofyour business describing what you do better then you? Ok, let us look at the scenario number two: you arejust starting up and do not have enough experience and knowledge. In this case do you think that you areready to start the business and run it successfully if you cannot describe what you do? Or is it better to gostudy it a bit in depth and then be better prepared for the real world.How to succeedMaybe I have been too harsh in the previous paragraph. Let me explain myself. I am not againstcontent writers per say. I am for them however the site owner has to determine the site frame,structure and the main message and the copywriter can help with the grammar and the style.When it comes to content writing for SEO you pretty much do not have a choice, you have to get aSEO copywriter. So to summarize: do not be lazy; try to be a part of your website project especiallyfrom the beginning.P.S. Having said that, I have to admit that sometimes, in some cases I wish the clients would haveleft the writing to us 
  • 8. 8. No budget after site launchHow to failThis point resonates with the mistake number 6. In my experience this applies to more than 50% of thewebsites. For some unexplained reasons website owners are very passionate about building the website,however after it is completed they lose passion and enthusiasm and just leave the site there. No budget forthe site promotion, no budget for the site maintenance, no budget for the expansion.How to succeedIn order to succeed you have to make sure you have enough passion to sustain your website afterlaunch. Once it is launched you should have enough resources to market and promote it. You haveto analyze the performance of the website, make changes and if necessary be ready to start fromscratch. Running out of money is one of the most common reasons for the failure of start-ups.
  • 9. 9. When the site is built the project is completedHow to failIn most cases there is a strong belief that all you have to do is just build a site. Created once, website canserve your business needs for years. Customers often think that there is no need to update anythingbecause their business remains the same, nothing changes. Updating is an additional cost and time spent.But how long is your website going to live with such approach? Not much. Internet is developing veryrapidly and needs constant changes and improvements. You should at least try to go with the flow andkeep up with the changing environment.How to succeedBy no means am I persuading you to spent hours thinking what can be added to your website. Donot think that adding some odd and unimportant facts would be suitable. Updating your websitedoes not necessarily have to be daily, however it has to be regular, at least once every fewmonths. Try to update content when your business experiences certain changes. Your clients havethe right to know about it. You know, your clients can get bored with your site. It would be a goodidea to add nice images to make your site look slightly different.All in all, do not be lazy to update your website, and remember: if you are not interested in yourwebsite anymore, so aren’t your clients.
  • 10. 10. Bad personal taste and judgmentOwner’s personal taste is one of the most delicate aspects of web design that we intentionally leftto be the last but definitely not the least. All the website owners want the best for their websitesand their online businesses. They are using all their passion, creativity, experience to help thedesigners build the best website possible. They are sincere in their aspiration but sometimes in theeffort to do something extraordinary or extravagant they tend to go overboard or a bit ofsideways.Since you are the customer you are able to make web designers do whatever you wish becausethey are getting paid for it. However, a good web designer will always tell you if you requestsomething that is not appropriate for the project. Not all, but most of us will tell you that you arenot right. The virtue is to have the strength to revisit your vision or your taste and look at it from aneutral position.How to failThe best way to fail in this case is not to listen to anyone (designers, friends, etc.) and do what you think is“cool”, or “nice”, or “good”. It is YOUR site and you can do whatever you want because YOU pay for this.Who cares what others think about it, as long as you like it, everyone should like it too.How to succeedIn order to succeed you have to remember that the site is built NOT for you but for your potentialclients. The success of the website depends on the fact that the CLIENTS like it. In order to assurethis it is prudent to listen to professional designers because they have built way more sites thanyou. It also pays to listen to your friends, relatives etc. Most of the time, not always, but MOST ofthe time collective wisdom will be a better measure than a single individual’s.Having said that, I have to admit that there are exceptions to this rule, and there are individualswho can foresee what others can’t.
  • 11. I sincerely hope that these 10 points will help you in your web design and development quest. Ifyou have any questions, would like to express your option or comment on the topic, please feelfree to contact us. Intelex Corp. www.intelex.ca 4195 Dundas St. West, Suite 306 Toronto, ON M8X 1Y4 Tel.: (416) 239-2022 Email: info@intelex.caIf you made a decision to order a website for your business, do it right now. There is no need topostpone. Just contact us for more information.

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