The reasons why your website has problems. Part 1

Popular situation: a company, which has recently made a new website, again appeals to web‐studios asking to modify their website, remake or even come up with a new one. The site exists but doesn’t give any return. Why might this happen? Let’s sort out.

The site does not meet the business goals of the company

It may not have divisions and functions that are important for the sales, or, on the contrary, it has so many functional that users need a manual to use the site. The result is one: you have visitors on your site but you have no sales. Here are two tips.

1) Conduct full analytics before development begins. It is understandable that you really want to save money, but the thing is that analytics is cheaper than developing a new site. What is necessary: analysis of competitors, portraits of potential customers, site structure, prototypes of the main pages (with usability testing), technical specifications.

2) Choose a flexible phased development. It is better to initially launch the site in the minimal configuration, see in practice how it works, and then add new features if needed. This approach not only dramatically reduces the costs (in fact you might not need some of the planned functionality), but also allows you to effectively allocate time.

Content is too difficult to update

Most often the reason is in exotic management system, which has no support, or in very creative developers, who reinvent the wheel. We advise to choose popular CMS (for example, one of these) and use all their functions in the project development.

At the stage of analytics you have to figure out what content will be filled in by hand, and to fix in technical specifications the requirements for the interface. When testing the site, you must use real content. So you can understand that the information on the site can be edited easily, and content manager will spend on it a reasonable time. If not, you have to think how you can simplify this process.

Ask developer to provide you with brief user’s manual, if some functions of admin panel go beyond standard CMS manual. It is also necessary to envisage in advance the integration with your storehouse and accounting systems. Technical specifications for the integration must be done simultaneously with the development of the prototype.

The code cannot be changed

When a web‐company gets a new website on maintenance, the first thing they do is code review. And often after this test you can hear a refusal to service the site. The problem is not only in the reluctance of developers to dig someone else’s code (although this is important). The catch is that the changes that the customer wants are not set in the original architecture. Yes, they can be made. But for this purpose one will have to stick “crutches” to the code. The site will work less and less stably, and each iteration of edits will require more costs on testing. And then it will not matter who will first lose patience – the developer or the client. One will still have to redo the site almost completely.

It is therefore important to plan maintenance with the same team that developed the site. At SoftwareGarage we are willing to develop and support projects as well.

Such mistakes can cost you a further significant expenses when attempting to bring the site in order. Next time we will look at a few more reasons due to which the problems begin in the future work with the site.

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