Are you considering redesigning your website? Be sure to think about it from a marketing perspective more than from an IT perspective. In other words, focus on the messaging and content rather than the functionality.
When launching a new website, it's easy to get distracted by features and functionality. Be sure to stay focused on the real goal of the website, which should be to have a conversation with your audience in order to increase leads, and ultimately drive sales. The website should be built to support a bigger marketing and communication plan.
In a perfect world, the marketing department and IT department should be working together towards a common goal - which is to grow the business. But often times when it comes to the company website, that's not always the case. I certainly understand both sides - each department is just doing their job! But in the end, the website should really be about communicating with your audience, which becomes a function of the "communicators" more than the "programmers."
Obviously you want to have a website that isn't a security risk, but beyond that, take some time to really think through the functionality of the website from your audience's perspective!
Are your website visitors looking for a secure login area where they can access private information? Or are they simply looking for general support information? Do the features and functionality that you're proposing to build exist somewhere else online? If so, will your tool be better than theirs? If not, why not leverage tools that already exist?
Before spending thousands of dollars and several months in custom development, consider launching a website that is focused on bringing new visitors to the site. That's done through creating valuable content that addresses the needs of your audience. Once you've built up an audience that's interested in your product or service, then begin to roll out additional functionality, as needed.
The benefit of this approach is that you can get your audience involved in the process. Reach out to them to find out what features and functionality they're interested in. Look at your website analytics to see what story the data tells. Are customers really interested in what you thought they were? There's nothing worse than investing a large amount of time and money into a feature that customers aren't interested in - or can't find.
The idea that "if you build it they will come" certainly doesn't apply to your company website. You need to consistently create valuable content that increases traffic to your website. Without an audience, your features and functionality will be rendered useless.
What challenges have you had in going through the website redesign process? Are you looking for a tool that lets marketers be marketers? Consider HubSpot, an all-in-one marketing software solution that makes updating your website and increasing website traffic simple.