It’s a problem I come across again and again and it can be extremely frustrating for both parties.  So how do you manage your web designer to ensure that your website is delivered on time and on budget?  Here are some steps that should help.

1. A good brief can be the saving grace for any web design project: Do not start into any website project without having a detailed brief / spec signed off by both parties.  If your designer knows exactly what you want,  what they deliver will be bang on.   If necessary get advice from a third party so that all questions are asked and answered before the project kicks off.  Trust me, this initial preparation will save you money and a few less grey hairs.

2. Create a timetable and stick to it, the timetable should details what is to be delivered, by whom and what date it is to be delivered by.  Make sure that both parties stick to it. While it would be nice if the designer could give you all of their time, they do have other clients and if you loose your place in the queue other projects will be moved up and your project moved down.

3. Communication is key: Make a point to follow up with your web designer regularly, ask them to give you weekly updates on project progress, this way you feel part of the process and you do not get frustrated. Nothing worse than handing over a couple of thousand euro and to be left out of the loop.  It can cause you huge frustration.

4. Snag list: When the first draft of the website is ready for review, send a full list of snags to the designer. This may mean taking a few days to review the site and getting a third party to review it with you to ensure all snags are identified.  Snagging a website means testing all functionality, content, layout, spelling errors etc.  I have been involved in projects where snags are sent in bit by bit – all this does is cause confusion and extends the project.  If a designer received a full list they can set time aside to correct all snags at once.

5. Going live:  Decide the best time for your website to go live, choose a day during the working week (Monday-Friday) this means that if anything goes wrong the web designer can be contacted. Choose the day with the least website traffic and if you are moving your email, ensure that all mailboxes are set up prior to the changeover.

6. Final snag list – review the full website again once it is live and send a final snag list to the designer.  Agree when the site has been completed so designer can sign off on the project.   Remember: any changes that are needed after sign off will most likely cost you money so completing the second snag list if very important. (Ensure that this snagging period is included in the brief/spec)

I hope this helps your website design project run smoother.