Just for Agencies: How We Built Our New Site Without Losing Clients — Or Our Minds
Even though we’re in the business of helping other people make their websites beautiful, it was all too easy to neglect our own. We knew it was time for an overhaul, but there was always another client site that needed tending or a cool new project on the horizon. We needed to get it done without losing clients.
We know it’s a common challenge for other agencies and design firms. Here’s how we made it happen while also juggling the demands of serving our clients.
Start with a Goal
When our website no longer reflected the work we were doing, we knew it was time for a change.
We knew it was time to take our own advice and approach the website as the billboard for our own company — something that would promote the business, build our brand, and inform prospects and clients alike about what we do.
We wanted a beautiful, responsive website for ourselves, just like the ones we build for our clients.
Our site needed to highlight the skills and experience of our extremely bright, creative designers, developers, and digital marketing experts.
Create a Concrete Plan
We knew what we wanted, but that wasn’t enough — we also needed a realistic plan to make it happen.
For us, this meant treating it like any other external project. It was hard to put together a timeline because we had other client projects going on at the same time that generally took priority. Instead, we set a goal to have the website redesign finished in the first quarter of 2015. We have quarterly management meetings, where we set goals for the coming quarter, and we included our own website as one of the goals to finish.
One small difference between our internal project and client work was that Ours took more than a year to finish, much longer than the three months for a typical client project.
Setting small, quarterly goals made it possible to make progress without sacrificing our clients’ quality service. Doing the work in small pieces is fine as long as you’re moving toward a goal.
Spread the Workload
To get all this done without losing clients, we assigned the tasks to different people on the team according to their expertise. Viki Pandit tackled front-end and web development. Jenny Dubinsky did overall page production and project management, while Rachel Evans managed QA and proofing.
Getting everyone involved made it a group effort we could all be proud of.
We’re thrilled to call this project complete (for now). We’re already seeing the rewards of building a new, content-driven site: more traffic, more leads, and a better destination to send prospects.