How to Plan a New Website for your Organisation
- 27 October '21
- 3 mins
Being tasked with introducing a new website for your organisation can be a daunting experience, especially if you don’t have a PhD in technology from the University of ones and zeros.
So where do you start? Well, that’s an easy one and you’ll be pleased to know that it doesn’t start with technology. It starts with your organisation’s strategy.
This will help you understand what the website will need to achieve for your organisation to meet its aims.
If you already have a website, then you should think about where the problems exist that are preventing you from meeting your strategic aims and think about how they can be solved. Not sure if you need a new website? Read our top 10 signs you need a new website.
At this stage, it’s also good to speak to the key process owners and collectively develop a list of requirements that can be used to help a procurement process.
Content doesn’t just appear by itself, so thinking about who will audit the existing content, add it to the website once it is live, and whether they will need any additional training is also important.
Now, here comes the science! If you have an internal web resource – or a supplier – then chances are you will have access to usage data. This can be useful to understand the volume of traffic and the effectiveness of tasks users undertake on your website.
Usage data is also key, as one of the main challenges with any website project is deciding how to transfer or remove content. Its usefulness can only be answered by data and its ability to aid in meeting those goals.
It’s now time to talk servers and tech stacks. Your IT team may have a specific tech stack (typically either .net or PHP) in mind and this may be due to other technologies and systems (for example, a CRM system or Learning Management System) that are in place and may require integration with the website.
They will also be instrumental in advising on the base level of security requirements, and how and where the website should be hosted. They may also have a view on uptime. This information will help build out the non-functional requirements.
By now you should have a high-level understanding of what is required to develop a brief for a procurement exercise. It’s at this stage that you should consider a supplier and allow them to recommend the right Content Management System (CMS) to meet your requirements.
Many organisations think they are unique, so when it comes to choosing a new website, some requirements and processes can become complex. The aim is to find a supplier that fully understands your organisation, and can meet most of your requirements with out-of-the-box functionality and customisation within their proposed CMS and limit costly bespoke development.
Once your procurement process has finished, a project will typically start with a ‘Discovery Phase.’ This will enable the supplier to work with your core project team, wider stakeholders, and customers to help define the exact requirements for your new website, and the timelines for launch.