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When the time comes for a company to build a new website or overhaul an existing site, the options can seem daunting at first. The questions you need to ask yourself are:
This is before you even start thinking about what content you want and which features to offer!
To help you find your way through the minefield, we've put together some basic pointers to help you get started. If you're still none the wiser, drop us a line. Come to think of it, drop us a line if it does help and we can steer you through the next part of the process!
The first question you need to ask yourself is:
"Do I need to be able to update the content on a regular basis?"
If the answer is yes, you definitely need to go the content management route - don't be reliant on a "techie" every time you need to get that critical announcement online last thing on a Friday. If you go this route, you have a number of options.
It goes without saying that this is only an option if you have in-house expertise. Typically, it is the reserve of large companies with substantial IT departments. As a minimum, you would need a web developer (typically someone familiar with HTML, web scripting languages, databases, etc.), an online designer (don't make the mistake of thinking you can use an offline designer with no experience!) and a systems administrator. If you don't have these skills in house, don't do it - however experienced your IT team may be in other areas!
Don't underestimate the amount of work it takes to build a decent content management system. Most systems used on a commercial basis will have been developed and refined over man years.
It may sound like cost-effective option, but our experience is one of nothing but pain for the person running the site. Ask yourself if your website is a marketing tool or a software application. If the answer is a marketing tool, make sure you have control. Somewhat counter-intuitively, we have found most clients have much more control and reactivity when they outsource their sites.
This has many advantages over option 1. Choose well and you're getting a tried and tested system with a lot of in-built functionality. CMS are usually pretty modular, so the right system will give you room to grow. There are still a few stumbling blocks though...
You will still need someone to design the site, someone to build the site (even re-skinning standard templates can be quite intensive), and ultimately someone to support and maintain the site and server it runs on.
Outsourcing is the preference of most commercial organisations. It takes away the headaches of having to recruit the right people and means you get to tap into a far larger pool of skills. A company like 7dots will tailor everything you need - from design to the right CMS to the right hosting - without the hassle.
What's more, if you get the right project management team looking after the project, you'll be surprised to find that an IT based project can run smoothly!
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