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New Website in the New Year? Eight Things You Should Do NOW

It’s now 2015, and one of your New Year’s Resolutions is to construct a new website. Not sure where to begin? We’ve compiled a list of eight things you should consider before you start building:
  1. Get I.T. involved. Your Information Technology team will have technical preferences for building a new website, so it is important to get their input early on and make them aware of your intentions.
  2. Get Finance involved. First, confirm how they want to treat the investment in an asset such as a new website. Ask about how they want line items broken out into capital expenses and operating expenses. They will have input to provide. However, in the end, it’s all about ROI—you will eventually need Finance to approve your budget, and you also need to know how they expect to measure things on the back end before making any moves.
  3. Assess your toolset. Take an inventory of what you already have, as it will influence other tools you may purchase. If you are planning on implementing e-commerce, then your accounting system may affect this platform more than you’d expect. Also, you may have purchased things previously that you have never put into service—it’s possible that you may choose to pay for upgrades instead of whole new systems.
  4. Map your inbound links. Capture what content delivers the best traffic now so you know what to carry over to your new site. Also, don’t forget that you’ll need to technically redirect any known inbound links later on.
  5. A/B testing. Implement testing now on your old site to determine what works and what doesn’t—you might be surprised with what you learn and the best practices you can transfer.
  6. Set up accurate analytics. Confirm that you will be able to correctly measure the difference between your old and new site.
  7. Review the brand book. Is there anything to review now that will affect the performance of your website? Be aware of the restrictions that may influence site design, and know where you can bend (or break!) the rules.
  8. The role of mobile. Determine the weight of mobile in the lives of your customers, as it may affect your budget. Being able to seamlessly go responsive is somewhat standard, but this can be a big undertaking if you need to build an app, or change the experience based on mobile vs. tablet vs. desktop.

Looking into the face of this New Year, consider keeping these tips at hand as you develop and grow in best practices for an exciting 2015!


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