January 13, 2020
Website Implementation Strategies: Do It Yourself (DIY)
Website Implementation Do It Yourself

Some organizations choose to go the route of doing the entire redesign project in-house. Typically, these are organizations that have a strong development team as well as designers. In this approach, the development team understands how to work with the CMS already, or they get trained to work with the CMS before they start developing the new website.

When You Decide to Do It Yourself

Even if the CMS you use to host your website is new to you, you can do all the work to implement the CMS and design and build your web experience, if you have the skills in house to do it. Training in the CMS is required to ensure you understand how it works and how, if necessary, you’ll need to customize it to work for your web experience.

Aside from understanding the technology and having a development team, you also need to have a strong business analyst and solutions architect that works with the various business teams to document all requirements and understand the processes in place to create and manage web content. There may be opportunities to streamline and improve processes as well, and these team members can help identify and define those areas.

Benefits of DIY

The benefits of doing all the work to implement a CMS and build your website internally are clear. You learn the ins and outs of your CMS and how to work with it. You work closely with IT and the business stakeholders to understand their needs and can design a web experience that works with everyone.

By doing the work internally, you also immediately set yourself up to successfully manage the web experience on an on-going basis. You won’t have to worry about waiting for a third-party integrator to assign resources to work with you or do the work for you.

What to Watch For

While DIY has many benefits, there are things you should be aware of, especially when it comes to continuing to work with processes that you have always done a certain way. Sometimes, it’s difficult to see another way of doing things when you are so close to the current processes. Content management systems improve over time and can provide the ability to do things in a better way, increasing time to market for new content and features or changes to existing content.

If you decide to do it yourself, you should spend extra time researching and examining the capabilities of the CMS that could help you streamline work.

There is another word of caution to note here. If your organization does not have a strong development team and process, reconsider going this route. According to VOCalis Voice of Customer survey from Digital Clarity Group, organizations that use in-house teams to implement technology have the highest failure rates.

In a blog that discusses the survey results, Scott Liewehr wrote, “Rather than setting the implementation up for failure, why not recognize the extremely critical role that the internal IT team must play in order achieve successful outcomes? In-house IT must partner with the outside agency to bring organization-specific technology and process information into the fold, but they should lean on the experts for the rest.”

What’s Next?

There are two more website implementation approachs left to look at – having a vendor implement and co-developing your web experience with the CMS vendor. We’ll look at the benefits and challenges of these approaches next.

Posted by David Hillis