Planning for, managing, and executing a website redesign project for your college or university requires juggling numerous tasks at one time. With luck, you’ll reach your deadline and launch your new site with little or no roadblocks. But… the likelihood of doing so is almost zilch. Even the best planned projects encounter changes and delays at some point in the process, adding another layer of complication.
This is when a soft launch of your website redesign becomes well worth the extra time.
A soft launch is a preview or test run of your website in the real world, but with
a limited audience. With the major work accomplished, a soft launch gives you time
to add a professional touch and catch any bugs in the website.
Contact an OmniUpdate expert to see what OU Campus can do for you.
There are a variety of reasons that some colleges and universities choose to soft launch their newly redesigned website, but the following three stand out:
1. A soft launch allows you to test the functionality of your website redesign.
Consider rolling out your website in phases with certain website functions and features launched over a preselected time period. This gives you time to perfect particular sections of your website before moving on to the next ones. This is especially important before publicly announcing your new website.
2. A soft launch creates a window of time so that you can fully train users.
One of the benefits of a website redesign project is an improved workflow. If you plan to have multiple content contributors scattered across campus, then you’ll appreciate the extra time a soft launch gives you to fully train users so that they understand how the new site works before they need to post critical information.
3. A soft launch allows you to solicit feedback from a select audience and then refine the site as needed.
One of the “select” audiences is your college or university’s employees. Because they know the nuances of your institution better than anyone, they are apt to catch errors that you overlooked in the design and implementation phases.
Rather than announce your new website to the world immediately, you might consider doing a soft launch of the website and delaying the formal marketing campaign to a later date. Only when you are confident that your website is working properly will you be ready to showcase your new website.
A soft launch is just one of the many topics covered in our white paper series on website redesign in higher education. These resources can help you understand, plan for, and execute a successful website redesign project at your school:
- Launching Your Website: Boosting the Success of a Redesign
- Successful Website Redesign: Comprehensive Planning and Strategy
- Website Audit: Cleaning Up Your Content Before a Redesign
- Choosing a Web CMS: Laying the Foundation for a Redesign
- Design with Purpose: Creating a Performance-Driven Website
Investigate how a content management system can improve your website redesign project. Call 805-484-9400 to speak with an expert or schedule a demo now.