So your content management driven website is a shiny new yacht sitting in port. Your vendor just built it. The outside is spit polished, the engine hums, and the navigation tools are state of the art. You imagine yourself as Donald Trump when you step aboard. But wait! There’s no fuel in it. The inside hasn’t been decorated yet. The galley doesn’t have a drop of champagne. And as you peer out into the rough seas of a CMS website launch, there are some mighty big waves. Sound familiar?
One of the most common mistakes organizations make is the underestimation of the amount of work they have to do to get their site up – their ship out to sea, if you will.
Building a great website is only the start. How much have you thought about your content? How are you going to train your content administrators? Do you know who they will be? You’d be surprised how many organizations don’t consider these questions when planning a website project.
You don’t want to be left on the dock. Luckily there are some easy steps you can take to limit the headaches you’ll encounter:
- Take full stock of your content, both new and old. Make sure your vendor is aware of everything that lurks in the darkest corners of your content annals. Don’t get tripped up by having content that doesn’t fit the mold of the design and architecture of the CMS.
- Get on the system immediately! Encourage your vendor to start training you early and often on your new content management system.
- Pick the right content administrators. Providing content isn’t just an editorial process. Understanding the technical concepts of a CMS can be just as important. Choose administrators that are excited about the opportunity to work with new technologies, and also have a good understanding of your content.
- Encourage your administrators to learn some basic HTML. WYSIWYG’s are a good thing, but they don’t always get you the exact results you want when it comes to stylish web pages.
- If you are migrating users from an old system, think about how that transition is going to happen. Have a plan for communicating the launch to them. Whether it’s a mass email or formal training sessions, know that this process takes time.
With some planning and preparation, you can take your brand new content driven website out to sea, and experience smooth sailing.