The New Frontier of Online Accessibility: 508 Compliance Standards and What They Mean for You
Wanted: The Perfect Website Client (yes, that’s you!)
With many web development and online marketing engagements, we’re often asked: “What can I do on my end to make sure this is a successful project?” Sound familiar? Well, we’re giving you the straight up answer. No fluff. No sales mumbo jumbo.
First and foremost – Trust us! You hired us to take one of (if not THE) most important outreach and communications methods that you have and turn it into a successful tool for your business or organization. And you pay us good money to do so! We definitely want your ideas, but we want you to listen to us as well. We’ve launched some pretty awesome websites, and there is a reason that they are successful. It’s because the client trusted us to do the right thing for them.
Communicate with our designers. During the design and development of your website, we need to know if you secretly despise the color red, even if it’s in your logo. We’ll listen and come up with alternatives! Don’t tell us that we have “full creative license” when, in fact, you already have a vision in your mind.
Be prepared. Once you sign a contract with us, you can’t just disappear. We need your help too! Branding materials must be available. Content must be written. Marketing strategies must be…strategized. At the start of the project, we will let you know what we will need throughout the development and marketing efforts. Don’t sleep on your homework!
Be Timely. If you tell your babysitter that you’ll be home by 10pm and you show up a week later, they are going to call the cops. Don’t make us call the cops. Let’s come up with timelines and stick to them. We know that things come up, and we can certainly be flexible. But we also schedule our staff based on our time expectations of you. Please don’t make us scramble.
Similarly, be cognizant of our schedules. We want you to feel like you are our only client, but let’s face it: you’re not. If you want a website in 2 months but you then wait a month to sign the contract, don’t ask us to cut our timeline in half. Good websites take time!
Communicate with your account manager after the site has launched. In addition to the communications DURING the development phase, keep your account manager up to date on your outreach activities, particularly online outreach. We had a client recently ask us to make some rush changes to their website because they had a press conference in two days. We suspect that they scheduled their press conference looong in advance and only thought of us at the last minute. Not cool!
View us as partners, not weird IT geeks in the corner. Our account managers work with a ton of businesses, and we see what works and what doesn’t work. Talk to us about your business goals, not just your technical needs. We’re pretty smart!
Finally, be honest about your budget, and don’t be cheap. The website is a vital, and we do mean vital, tool for your business or organization. We know. We know. It’s hard to trust mechanic and web developers. Unfortunately, web developers have given themselves a bad reputation by either screwing over clients or nickel and diming them. Believe me, we know better than most! But that’s not how we operate, and we can prove it to you. Just ask any of our clients. We’ll stand by anything that they tell you. Now, with budgets, we build websites for $2,500, and we build websites for $2,500,000. You know the adage: you get what you pay for. If we know that you have a $5,000 budget, then we will recommend the best website that we can build within that budget. And if we know that you have an endless bank account, then yes, we WILL build that Google/Facebook/Netflix/ESPN site that you dream about. As you can probably tell, rule #8 here falls right in line with rule #1 – Trust us, and you’ll be thrilled with the results.
Well, that’s about it. Hopefully this wasn’t too painful, and if we can leave you with one final take-away…
Trust + Communication = Success!
PS: This is what we don’t want…
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