Just for Agencies: How We Built Our New Site Without Losing Clients — Or Our Minds

Marc Avila

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 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 type of 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 completely 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.

There was one small difference between our internal project and client work: 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 the quality service we give our clients. 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, we assigned the tasks to different people on the team according to their expertise. Robbie Moore did graphic design and photo selection. Viki Pandit tackled front-end and web development. Jenny Dubinksy did overall page production and project management, while Rachel Evans managed QA and proofing.

We also outsourced some of the work. Our partners at Reputation Capital Media helped us with messaging and copywriting, and Ivan Djikaev from Mind On Photography took photos.

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.

Questions to consider before you redesign your website
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