04 November 2008

Building a Website Ain't Easy

When I joined the Winters Health team at Page One PR to help rebuild the foundation's website, I thought I was in for some fun and games. NOT the case!

Building a website takes an inordinate amount of time, attention to detail, and the ability to communicate clearly and manage meticulously while also inspiring the troops and keeping that "light" at the end of the tunnel within reach.

Working with the Winters Healthcare Foundation (WHF) was not my first experience with building a new website, but I did learn some key lessons:

1) Don't boil an ocean
Although we imagined a variety of "cool" elements to incorporate into our website, we had to focus on core marketing goals. For example, who do we want to attract? Who do we want to reach? How do we want to reach them? These are the questions that drove the design and content of the site.

2) Delegating less is more
The logistics of the site became complicated as we had we developers, a graphic designer, our PR team and several constituents from WHF involved. Although it seems intuitive "if you want something done, do it yourself," I learned that going the extra mile is even more important when working with vast groups of people with various specialties.

3) Pick your battles
Despite trying to tightly manage the process of creating a new web site, there are definitely times when you must surrender to outside forces. Content, design, artwork – these may turn out different than you pictured but, hang in there and everything will turn out fine.

My "lessons learned" are fairly vague, but trust me, they apply. I think any project that combines so many different talents will encounter the same challenges, but doesn't that make the finished product that much better?

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