There are many ways you can approach a website redesign or new web CMS implementation project. In this post we’ll look at having the CMS vendor run the project and do the implementation work.
When the CMS Vendor Implements
Some CMS vendors have a professional services team that helps you implement the CMS and your new or redesigned websites. With a CMS professional services team, someone from the vendor’s team acts as the project manager in charge of the full implementation project.
The CMS vendor’s project manager works directly with the internal design team or external design agency and can also recommend a design agency they have a partnership with. In some cases, if the design requirements are light, the CMS vendor may be able to do the design work as well.
Although you rely on the CMS vendor to manage the project, you still have a key role to play in the implementation of the CMS, including ensuring it works the way you expect.
Benefits of Working with the CMS Vendor
One benefit of working directly with the CMS vendor is that they understand their technology intimately and know what it can and cannot do, as well as how much effort it will take to implement features and functionality. The right vendor will be upfront and honest if something you want doesn’t make sense or won’t work in the CMS the way you expect.
When you outsource the website redesign project to the web CMS vendor, you can make them responsible for all parts of the project, from supporting the brand/messaging redesign to gathering detailed requirements, building the design and development specifications, implementing the CMS, testing, and so on. Or you can have them work with your internal design team or external design partner to make sure the design is cut appropriately for implementation into the CMS.
Also remember, the website implementation project may not be a complete redesign, but only a new CMS, or it may be a complete redesign implemented on the existing CMS. In the latter case, working with the CMS vendor directly, you can ensure the current CMS is updated and continuing to work as needed to support the new design.
What to Watch For
As with working with a systems integrator, there are things to watch for when working directly with the CMS vendor’s professional services team.
If you have the CMS vendor lead your website implementation project, you are putting them in control of the project schedule and depending on them to ensure the design and system requirements are implemented correctly. You will still need to play a key role in reviewing designs and testing backend administration capabilities to understand how you will work with the CMS when the project is over.
You also need to think about what happens when the implementation project is over. Who will be responsible for making changes and supporting the website? It’s important to have a plan in place that trains your development team on the CMS and the architecture the vendor put in place so that your internal team can support it going forward. If you don’t have a developer or team of developers to support the website after implementation, then you need to set up an arrangement with the vendor for ongoing support.
So far, we’ve looked at working with a third-party integrator or design agency or the CMS vendor, having them manage the implementation of your new website and/or CMS. But what if you have an internal development team who wants to do the work themselves? That’s what we’ll look at next.