5 B2B Website Development Best Practices
If you’re a tech, marketing, or business leader, chances are you’ll work on a significant website project every few years. The upside is that this gives you a semi-regular opportunity to drive major improvements in the business. The downside is that it’s hard to maintain expertise in an occasional process. And when the average B2B website development project ranges from $25K to $75K, you don’t want to make a mistake.
Recently, we asked Brian LaCrosse, one of our Solution Designers, to share the best practices he’s observed after helping dozens of B2B customers build a new website, eCommerce platform, or application. Here are his top five recommendations for an effective B2B website development project.
5 B2B website development best practices
#1: Get clear on the problems you’re trying to solve and why
Before doing anything else, you need to make sure you’re solving the right problem. This stage usually involves tough choices because you can’t include every possible feature. That being the case, what specific problems do you need to solve? And is that a realistic list of problems, given your available time and budget?
Not every development project needs every bell and whistle to start solving expensive problems for your business. We recommend focusing on what’s causing the most friction for your customers, vendors, or partners. Then pare it down even further.
When you accept that you can’t solve every problem, you can focus on solving the problems that matter most. This will lead to a more focused and productive team and a project that runs more smoothly.
#2: Accept that there is no perfect solution – decide, and move on
Early in most B2B website development projects, the team arrives at a foundational decision-making point: Are we going with an off-the-shelf solution? Or are we doing custom website development?
This decision is complex because both options have pros and cons, and neither will be perfect. If you go off-the-shelf, will it meet all of your needs? Or will you be constrained by what the platform can do? If you build a custom B2B website, are you overinvesting in relation to a potential ROI?
It’s common for customers to hesitate or pause at this stage to avoid a misstep. When this happens, we remind them they’re not building a physical structure. Sometimes, the best decision is to get started and then quickly define, deploy, learn, and iterate. Otherwise, your project ROI can stay stuck in a wireframe instead of live on your website.
#3: Find a B2B website development partner you enjoy working with
When working with a B2B website development partner, you’re going to face some challenges together. It just goes with the territory. So, you must be a good match in terms of how you approach the work, align with the vision, and deliver the project.
As you assess potential partners, look at whether they invite you into the detail, work through challenges collaboratively, and know how to navigate crucial conversations. In other words, do they seem like people you’d enjoy working with?
At fjorge, we believe that experience is everything and approach every relationship and project with that in mind. We work best with B2B clients that see us as partners and are willing to ask questions, challenge assumptions and work through uncertainty together.
#4: Stay involved and engaged in the B2B website development process
When you’re responsible for a web property or application, you’ll reach a point where the site needs a major upgrade or rebuild. It’s always best to get ahead of it and do the work on your terms instead of waiting for your boss, customers, or vendors to force the issue.
Once you’ve started the process, the best way to keep the project on track and reduce potential risks to your business is to stay involved and actively contribute.
It is important for you to know and understand the project priorities, be clear about the required features and expectations for any of these features. Your project will run more smoothly and be more successful when everyone’s aligned.
We know B2B website development. You know your customers, employees, and vendors. Let’s get into the details and work through your business challenges together.
#5: Have a plan for supporting and managing your site
When so much of the B2B website development process rests on the launch date, it’s easy to be overly focused on that alone. But in many ways, going live is just the beginning. You also need a plan to monitor performance, ensure reliability, and continuously improve the site’s features and functionality.
We’ve found that most companies understand the need for strong post-launch support, but many of them don’t have the internal resources to do it.
Should you need a hand, fjorge offers ongoing support through our managed services plans. You get access to our team of developers on a monthly retainer, with free hosting included. That means you get the support you need without adding more to your team’s plate.
Need a B2B website development partner?
Even though we live and breathe software development, we understand how daunting B2B website development, launching an eCommerce platform, or developing an application can be.
You can increase your chances of success by:
- Solving the right problems
- Taking decisive action
- Working with like-minded partners
- Staying involved throughout the process
- Thinking beyond launch day
fjorge creates great user experiences
At fjorge, we’re 100% focused on creating great user experiences, starting with yours. We collaborate with clients to deliver custom web-based solutions that build brands, blow minds, and drive sales.
If you’re a B2B company that needs help with software development, we’d welcome the chance to introduce ourselves. Contact us today.