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3 Things To Consider

The top 3 things to consider when changing your website agency

You might be considering a full rebuild, a more cost-effective approach to managing your website or would just like to understand if you’re getting value for money?

Your website is one of the first experiences your audience has with your organisation. And COVID has evolved audiences to be far more technologically savvy and unforgiving of any friction they experience whilst transacting online.

You might be considering a full rebuild, a more cost-effective approach to managing your website or would just like to understand if you’re getting value for money. And at LEWIS we’ve got a lot of experience of creating, inheriting, managing, and maintaining websites across the arts, culture, museum, and visitor attractions sector (as well as other sectors too).

These are our tips and go-to questions that we cover in any initial chat.

Your annual budget

The million-dollar question! Having a clear picture of what your website is costing you on an annual basis is obviously, really helpful. Of course, consider your annual agency development costs, monthly maintenance, hosting costs and any subscriptions or fonts. But also consider the cost and effort on your time and that of your team.

Having worked in the arts and culture sector for at least a decade, we have a lot of insight on what it costs to create and maintain a sector leading website. And we can help you align your budget to that of your peers.

As part of an initial chat, we can help you identify if you’re budget is being utilised in the best way and give you simple tips of how that might be improved. We find that being transparent about budgets and expectations early on avoids any confusion down the line and ensures all parties know where they stand.

The technology and APIs your website uses

If you’re thinking of transitioning your existing website to a new agency partner, it goes without saying that you not only need them to be comfortable using the code and technology that your website uses but you want them to be experts in that field. And if you’re looking at rebuilding from scratch, it’s important that your team are comfortable using the CMS and technology that your agency recommends.

Our team can provide insight on CMS platforms to help you achieve what you need to achieve. Advice on ticketing systems and how they integrate with your selected CMS. Or the best way to integrate APIs for your collections or library databases.

Your website hosting set up

Understanding the hosting set up is helpful in identifying process and infrastructure changes that may make your budget more efficient.

If you’re transitioning your website hosting to a new supplier, check with your existing supplier as to whether there is a required notice period or cost associated with packaging files and transferring the website to a new environment. And your new agency may have some initial set up costs that make things seem more expensive but could save you budget in the long term; particularly if the new hosting environment makes it quicker or more efficient to publish changes live.

If your website is hosted in-house, it’s helpful to engage your new agency with your in-house team as soon as possible. Working closely together they will be able to make sure launch dates and security protocols are followed with little impact on you day to day.

And if you’re looking at a rebuild from scratch, we would almost always recommend the Microsoft Azure Cloud based hosting platform. It’s scale-able in terms of infrastructure and costs and is far more cost effective than a dedicated hosting solution and more secure and robust than a shared environment.

Looking to the future, above all it’s about finding a partner that you trust. Like any relationship, you both need to be committed to making the partnership work. With time and regular communication, your agency will understand your business and external audience, whilst still retaining enough distance to help you to look beyond the parameters of your day-to-day internal demands. They can help you take a step back and really focus on what the goals are, how you’ll measure success and how to speak to your audience in the right way.

In short, working with a great agency long term will support you to deliver the best project for internal stakeholders and your audience. Of course, this comes at a price, but long term the investment is worth it. You have a team on side that knows your needs inside-out, so you don’t need to invest valuable time establishing a relationship every time you put a brief out to tender.

For a limited time, we’re offering a free strategy session with our team of experts. It’ll give you a unique opportunity to challenge us to provide insight into some of your current challenges. You can contact Gill or Kirsty to arrange a time that suits on or

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