From Conception to Launch: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Website Build
 

From Conception to Launch: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Website Build

on

  • 568 views

Presented at the Vacation Rental Managers Association annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona on October 22, 2012 by Alisa Holmes, Sales Consultant of Visual Data Systems. As a veteran in the field of ...

Presented at the Vacation Rental Managers Association annual conference in Phoenix, Arizona on October 22, 2012 by Alisa Holmes, Sales Consultant of Visual Data Systems. As a veteran in the field of web development I have found it is often times, confusing, overwhelming and frustrating to put together an effective website especially in the Vacation Rental Management realm. In order to get started there is a lot of prep work, that if done right can help prepare you for the proposal process, build and eventual maintenance of a site.

Statistics

Views

Total Views
568
Views on SlideShare
565
Embed Views
3

Actions

Likes
0
Downloads
1
Comments
0

1 Embed 3

http://raw.statichtmlapp.com 3

Accessibility

Categories

Upload Details

Uploaded via as Microsoft PowerPoint

Usage Rights

© All Rights Reserved

Report content

Flagged as inappropriate Flag as inappropriate
Flag as inappropriate

Select your reason for flagging this presentation as inappropriate.

Cancel
  • Full Name Full Name Comment goes here.
    Are you sure you want to
    Your message goes here
    Processing…
Post Comment
Edit your comment

From Conception to Launch: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Website Build From Conception to Launch: Tips and Tricks for a Successful Website Build Presentation Transcript

  • FROM CONCEPTION TO LAUNCHImportant Tips For a Successful Vacation Rental Website Build
  • ALISA HOLMES15 Years of Experience in Website Development  Webmaster  Support Manager  Project Manager  Sales Consultant 6+ Years in the Vacation Rental Industry
  • Confused By… Verbiage Contract Scopes Terms & Conditions
  • Overwhelmed By… Interviewing Developers Comparing Proposals
  • Unprepared for… Providing proper deliverables The amount of engagement required by their own internal resource Unforeseen changes needed to the original scope of work
  • Recipe for… Bad Partnerships Higher Development Costs A Sub-Par Final Product
  • How do we avoid this?Strategic Planning  Important things to consider upfrontUnderstanding the Process  What does this look like?  Some important things to consider during itLooking Forward  What to expect & consider after the site launches
  • Strategic PlanningEducate Yourself  Learn relevant terminology and how it relates to your website and the decision making processAudit Your Existing Efforts  Determine what you have vs. what you needThe Proposal Process  Outline what you are looking for so developers can provide you with feedback, a concise scopes of work, and fair estimates
  • Educate Yourself
  • 3 Terms You Must KnowPMS(Property Management Software)  Software application used to automate functions like guest bookings and much moreAPI(Application Programming Interface)  Feed of information generated by software components to communicate with each otherCMS(Content Management System)  A computer program that allows publishing, editing, and modifying content on a website from a central location
  • ABCs of Online MarketingSEMSearch Engine MarketingSEOSearch Engine OptimizationPPCPay-Per-ClickSMMSocial Media Marketing
  • Static Pages vsDynamic Pages
  • Static Web Page http://www.compass-resorts.com/propertymanagement.htm Delivered to the user exactly as stored Displays the same information for all users
  • Dynamic Web Pagehttp://www.booerealty.com/rental/results.html?User=BOO8986&Photos=&Limit=10&Start =1&Avail=20120908&Stay=7&NR=13&msg= Generated at the time of access by a user Change as a result of interaction with the user
  • Template Sites vsCustom Sites
  • Template SitesPros Shorter Build Time Less ExpensiveCons Limited Branding Options Customizations May Not Be Available Competition May Have a Similar Site May Limit SEO Options
  • Custom SitesPros Unique to your branding SEO opportunities abundant Customizations can be implemented specific to your business model.Cons Higher upfront cost Longer development time Maintenance
  • Mobile Website vsResponsive Website
  • Mobile Websites  2 separate websites  www.mittromney.com  m.mittromney.com  Allows you to customize the experience based on the device a visitor is usingResponsive Websites  1 website  www.barackobama.com  All content lives under “one roof”  Allows users to have the same experience no matter what device they are using by adjusting the layout or content to fit the browser window.
  • Site ArchitectureThe blue print for the navigation scheme of your website
  • Site Architecture Responsible for how users move through your site If structured properly makes it easy to find what users are looking for Helps emphasize shorter paths to key areas directing users to accomplish the goals of your site
  • Do an Internal Audit
  • Property Management Software The biggest piece of the VRM website puzzle Are you taking full advantage of it? Does it provide an API to 3rd party vendors?
  • Ask Yourself…What is and is not currently working for me? Functionality  Working  Needs improvement  Missing
  • Consistent complaints or compliments?  Design  Structure  FunctionalityWhat is the site traffic like?  How do they get there?  How long do they stay?  Where do they go?
  •  What is your visibility throughout the search engines? How is it affecting internal resources?
  • What Do I Need?Functionality  Booking Engine  Lead Capture  Other Helpful Tools & WidgetsDesign  Custom or Template
  • Mobile Strategy  How do we cater to mobile users?  Goals of your site  What works best for YOUR clientele  What works best for your budgetSEM  Strategy for implementation  How do you protect your current search visibility?  Who will handle this?  Internal Resource or 3rd Party Consultant
  • Room to Grow  What changes or additions do your foresee in the future?  Larger inventory  New types of units  New content  Changing industry trendsInternal Resource  The build  Updates & maintenance
  • Content!!!! What content do I need? How will my site architecture support it? Who will write it? Who will optimize it? Who will update it after launch? Don’t copy from other sites!
  • The Proposal ProcessWhat’s the best approach?Write an RFP!
  • Request For ProposalA document that invites developers to submit a proposal on aspecific project.  Supports effective communication  Speeds up the decision process  Establishes a common understanding of the outcome  Lower the bottom line Hire a consultant or write it yourself?
  • RFPCompany Information  Location  Current site  Inventory size and description  What sets you apart from your competition?Budget  Be upfront  Helps developer write a proposal
  • RFPProject Details Purpose/goal of the site Design expectations Property Management Software details Booking engine expectations  Unit types (houses/condos)  Restrictions  Unique business rules Other functionality you expect to have on the site
  • RFPTime Frame  Turn around of requested proposal  Internal decision  Project time frameExamples  Design  FunctionalityContact Info  Two points of contact
  • Compare Proposals & Choose a DeveloperLowest costFastest time frameHighest quality
  • Comparing Cost Up front cost? Payment terms? Recurring/monthly fees?  Support Fixed or an estimate? Itemized or packaged? Cost of future updates & functionality?
  • 3rd Party Fees Property Management Software Secure certificates Domain registration Other ancillary services
  • Considering Time Frame Estimates or guarantee How does the developer plan to stick to it? Impact to your business
  • Consider Quality
  • Scope of Work  Is the scope of work (SOW) completely reflective of your expectations?Requirements  Does the proposal deliver exactly what you need in terms of functional requirements?
  • Experience  Does the developer have experience building websites for other VRM companies with the same requirements you have provided?Longevity  How long has the developer been in business?
  • Adaptability  Is the developer up-to-date with industry standards?References  What do their current clients say about them?Relationship  Do you communicate well with them?  Do you trust them?
  • Now What? Know the project team and their roles Understand the process and expectations  Helps expedites the project time frame  Cuts down on unexpected expenditures
  • Project Team Your Internal Resource Developer’s Team  Sales Consultant  Project Manager  Designer  Programmer Marketing Consultant
  • The Build…1. Team Meeting2. Design Concept3. Design Comps4. Design revisions5. Design Approval6. Build & Programming7. Developer Testing8. Client Preview9. Client Testing10. Revisions11. Client Preview12. Client Approval13. Launch14. Testing
  • Meeting DeliverablesThe building blocks needed to complete each phase of theproject You  Images  Content  Review/Approvals Developer  Comps  Website
  • Meeting DeliverablesDictates the flow of the projectRequires effective communication between your internal resource and the developer’s project manager  What are they?  When they are needed?  How they should be delivered?Be specific!
  • Effective Design Why is design important?  Tells your story  Suggests internal order  Distinguishes you from your competition Important build blocks  Logo/branding  Photography Usability first! Communicate your vision effectively
  • Beyond the Scope of WorkWork not included in the original estimate
  • Budget Breakers You change your mind Request services that the developer had not originally proposed  Additional pages  New functionality  Customizations to proposed functionality You have not provided the proper deliverables You ask to expedite development
  • Budget BreakersDon’t Pay For… Additional hours spent by developer because the original scope wasn’t met Developer delivered a product that didn’t work Tools were added to the site that weren’t requested
  • Looking Forward
  • Upgrades & Additions What’s available? Who do I contact? Updates from your developer
  • Support Contact Process Cost
  • Analytics Measure short-term and long-term successes Knowing the behavior of your visitors helps determineusability Helps to evaluate profitability of 3rd party partnerships
  • Evolving Technology New 3rd party products New browsers New devices
  • Redesign? Technology has surpassed your siteThe website no longer matches your existingbranding The design looks outdated compared to yourcompetitors
  • Alisa HolmesAlisa@VisualDataSystems.com 410-964-8665 ext. 234