10 problems of a website project you can't blame on the CMS
Discover the most common website project problems and how to fix them (spoiler: none of them involve your CMS).
The poor CMS: it bears the brunt of so much frustration over sluggish website projects. But website problems aren’t always down to technical issues.
Often inefficient project management, a lack of skills, and a far from perfect organizational structure are the real culprits.
Here are some of the biggest challenges facing website projects and how to solve them.
1. Maintenance over innovation
Does it feel like you’re sinking time and money into patching up inefficient systems? It’s probably because you are. Maintenance might seem like the easy option, but when it’s prioritized over innovation you can end up with a digital architecture that’s consistently slowing down your website projects.
One of the biggest website problems isn’t down to misbehaving tech but red tape. Ineffective policies, sluggish decision-making and an endless stream of paperwork can turn a simple website project into a Kafkaean nightmare. Instead, take inspiration from lean startup techniques designed to crack down on waste and shorten product development cycles.
Future-proof your digital experiences:
3. Communication problems across departments
It takes a skilled and diverse team to create a great digital experience, but that collaboration can also be the source of major problems. To prevent sluggish communication between departments, it’s important that you establish the best way to collaborate from the off. When you’ve chosen a method that suits everyone, stick to it—going off-piste can lead to important information being lost between the cracks.
4. Time-consuming small tasks
You might count yourself as a pro multitasker, but those small tasks can derail even the most carefully planned website projects when allowed to stack up. To keep your project on track, why not create a priority lane for small tasks. This stops them from getting in the way of other tasks and makes it easier for your digital team to sprint through them.
5. Skills shortage
It doesn’t matter how powerful your CMS is—without the right skillset, your website project is never going to get off the ground. Training can often be enough to get your team’s skills up to date, but other times it’s best to invest in expert help. It might seem like cheating, but bringing in outside help can be the right move. Development partners can help fill in the skills gap to create your digital dream team.
It’s not just building a digital experience that requires the right skills. Deploying and maintaining cloud hosting is another common roadblock for website projects. Choosing a cloud enterprise package can be a surefire way of guaranteeing uptime while freeing up your developers and digital team to work on other things.
6. Poor legacy system integration
Working with a legacy system isn’t always easy, but it doesn’t have to sabotage your website project entirely. To ensure a seamless experience as possible between a legacy system and your new one, ask the experts to expose the right APIs for integration.
7. Inefficient project management
If your website project is dragging on for months on ends due to constant bottlenecks and inefficient communication, it’s time to stop blaming your CMS and start focusing on the way your team works. This is where the agile method can really help. Designed to improve technical practices and project management, agile frameworks ensure a website project is finished on time and to the highest possible standard.
8. Lacking a design system
A design system isn’t just a one-off website project, it’s for life. A design system brings all of the visual and functional elements of an organization into one place, ensuring that every element of design, realization and development fulfills its brand principles. On a practical level, it also helps teams focus on the bigger picture rather than waste valuable time of frequently repeated design questions.
9. Missing a prime mover
Every team needs a mover and shaker. This is the person who inspires, leads, and gets things done. Without a prime mover at the helm, a website project risks being slowed down by inefficient decision making and a lack of vision. Before you start a new project, designate somebody in a good architectural role—who can make technical and design decisions—to be your prime mover.
10. Being out of sync with corporate strategy
If a website project isn’t aligned with a wide corporate strategy, it’s going to meet opposition on every corner. A well-mapped strategy is essential to keep the project on track and ensure it’s contributing to your organization’s goals.
It can be tempting to blame all your problems on your CMS, but look a little deeper and you might well find that something else is slowing down the progress of your project. From designating a prime mover to streamlining your workflow, there’s so much you and your team can do to eliminate pressure points and supercharge productivity—all without getting too technical.
First published 23 July 2019, updated 10 November 2022.