Most successful websites, apart from the smallest, are the result of teamwork. To that end, I work with external developers and designers, but not for them. Here’s why:
- I am independent
- I help you identify what you want
- I help you control costs
- I manage the project
- I help you organise and deliver content
- I provide a complete service
You would be surprised to discover that many Web design agencies that claim to be independent of software vendors are receiving payment for recommending a specific product to clients. I am not paid by any vendor. I represent the client's views: I will match your requirements with a number of suitable developers and designers, and provide a comparison to help you towards an informed decision, but the choice is yours.
Because I am independent, I can identify the strengths and weaknesses of developers, and find the most appropriate and cost-effective solutions. It is not uncommon for prices quoted for a website development to vary by 50% or more. I can help you understand what is or is not included in a quote. Being independent of any platform makes it easier, for example, to compare open-source and proprietary solutions, so you can compare the strengths and weaknesses of each.
You have an idea about the website you want, but you aren’t familiar with how to get this across. I can help you identify what kind of site you might need, and give a rough indication of costs; we see what kind of content you have, and suggest a structure (the information architecture) for the new site.
You describe what you want, but the developer builds something different. This is a very common situation! There are several effective ways of avoiding this costly situation. Formerly there would be an attempt to capture all the requirements in a lengthy document; the emphasis today is far more on lean development. I am familiar with both approaches and in each case I can carry out the role of product owner but also translate between the terms the software developers understand and the way that publishers think. In this way we reduce the risks on the project.
Just because you want a website doesn’t mean you have to be a full-time project manager. In-house staff have a full-time responsibility already. Expecting staff to manage a major project is unrealistic. I focus exclusively on getting the project completed to time and to budget. I have experience of project management for digital projects ranging from a timescale of two years and a budget of half a million pounds to sites of two or three pages. I take on the stress of managing the project so you can concentrate on your job.
Do you want to provide free or paid content to your users? We have wide experience of delivering content via e-commerce systems, using pay as you go or subscription systems.
I don’t just help build the site. Before you start work on the development, it is valuable to know your users and what they will expect from the site. Before you launch, I can arrange checks for accessibility and usability.
After launch, I can arrange for the site to be maintained, and make sure that if anything goes wrong the site can be restored.
I can also help set up and interpret the analytics reports you ge, and supplement the standard analytics reports with additional management information to enable you to take strategic decisions once the site is running.