Understanding an Accurate Timeline for a B2B Website Project

By Andrew Macey

Every few years, it is time to revisit your company’s website. Maybe you’re gearing up for a new product launch or you’ve gone through a rebrand, but whatever the reason is, the website needs to be redesigned. As we all know, this is no easy feat. As a B2B company, your website should be your best salesperson: clearly outlining your value proposition, sharing your thought leadership, and generating qualified leads.

As the leader of this project, it is important to clearly understand timelines and set expectations for your entire team. There is no doubt internal stakeholders will be involved, so it is critical to manage this project effectively and keep everything on track and moving forward. Like many tasks, it can be effective to work backwards; establishing when you want the site to go live and then working the timeline back from that date. This launch date can be the determining factor as to how the website will be built and what resources are necessary.

Two Ways to Build the Website

There are two distinct ways to build your next website. In order to accurately forecast the project dates and milestones, it is necessary to choose which process will be used, waterfall or growth-driven design. Each has its own pros and cons, however the main differentiating factor is timeline.

Waterfall Process

Building a website using the classic waterfall process is a tried-and-true method that incorporates best practices and yields a quality website. These include the steps most marketers are familiar with and is ideal for projects with the luxury of a long timeline, not in need of a quick turnaround. The timeline for a website using the waterfall process can range from 12 to 18 weeks, depending on the size of the website and complexity of development. Additionally, if custom applications are needed to be built or additional website sections (eCommerce or product catalogues) required, this can extend the timeline as well.

What’s important to note is that by using this process, the whole site is built at once. Early on in the strategy phase, the entire sitemap is laid out and includes all items within the website. There may be lower-priority pages included, but by following this methodology, the site is built as a whole and taken live all together.

Steps in the waterfall development process include:

  • Discovery
  • Site strategy/sitemap development
  • Page wireframes
  • Design
  • Development
  • Testing/QA
  • Launch

As you can see, this process follows the common steps you are probably most familiar with. The focus here is to include all items from the get-go, prioritizing all pages and website sections equally.

Growth-Driven Design

For website projects that have a more aggressive timeline or require a shorter turnaround, the waterfall process might not be the best fit. In many cases, a new site needs to be live by a certain date to accommodate an event or product launch, where there is little flexibility in postponing. If this is the case, growth-driven design (GDD) is an alternative, yet equally effective option. GDD is designed to get a site launched quickly by developing a “launchpad” site that Go to the full article.

Source:: Business 2 Community

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