If you’ve ever created a website, made web content updates, done maintenance, or managed web projects, you already know that it’s not for the faint of heart. Aside from the overall technical skills, some understanding of design principles, and the overall competence that you’ll need to execute a website project, you’ll also need to continually practice these six principles for successful execution:
Understanding the site’s requirements — pages needed, functionality, goals, stakeholders, messaging, technology, etc. — is essential to answer the why, when, what, and how the site should be built. Can you ad-hoc a site? Sure. But the likelihood of you adding at last double the stress is very high.
Depending on the scale of your website project, your process may have varying levels of complexity. Nevertheless, there should always be a process. It’s good practice to complete your site in phases and utilize a strategy that can hopefully become somewhat systematic for latter web projects. A design process could be something like:
2) Content and wireframing
6) Maintenance and refresh
Of course, the process will vary according to the individuals involved and the scope of the work. It’s up to you (and your team and/or the client, if applicable) to make sure that you are all on the same page about how the process will work.
There is no website build void of problem-solving, big or small. At the heart of website design/development is problem-solving, so this is something you must enjoy (or can at least tolerate).
Like anything else, the more you practice, the more proficient you will get. It may take time, but breaking the website project down into phases or sections will help. Practice will not eliminate potential problems; but the more experience you have building websites, the more you can plan for what to expect, build processes, and create more efficient workflows to get them launched successfully.
There will be bug fixes, hidden challenges, scope creep, learning curves, research, typos that turn into turmoil, things that work, and then don’t work (and then suddenly work again…jeeez!), change requests — you name it. Patience is a must!
Don’t stop, keep going! Combine your planning, process, patience, practice, and problem-solving skills to stick it out and finish!
Best wishes on your current or next website project. You can do it!
If you want to read a crazy website story, read How We Built a Company Website from the Ground Up With a Small Internal Team.