In our last post, How to Manage a Remote Team, we discussed how to best work with a remote team to ensure that your project is being completed on time and on budget with as little stress as possible. You are now at the stage where the designer/firm will be ready to hand the site back over to you. But before you sign off on the project, there are some key things you should do. Prior to your site going live, your developer should give you a link to a test site. This site will look like your redesigned site but will not be searchable by anyone. Use this to make sure the site looks and functions properly. Normally whoever creates this will test for any bugs, but it is a good idea to do a test of your own just in case. Keep in mind that any major functionality or design changes may result in additional costs.
After any kinks have been worked out, it’s time to launch your website! Once the site has been live for a little bit, circle back to the metrics that you looked into when planning your website redesign. Take note of any noticeable, positive or negative, changes. Some design teams include site maintenance or minor adjustments for a brief period after the site is launched, so try to use that time to address any issues with your metrics.
The final thing to keep in mind is how you will maintain your site. The easiest option is to have the designer, developer, or firm maintain it for you. While this should keep your site up and running properly, it will of course come at a price. If you have a developer on site, they can provide basic maintenance for you. Not only is this a (potentially) cheaper option, but it will also help keep you in the loop in regards to your site. Just remember that the web is constantly changing and your website will need minor tweaks and maintenance. After all this time, effort and money, the worst thing you can do is just forget about your site.
Now sit back and relax because you survived a website redesign!