When a WordPress contract goes badly wrong…

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By Maciej Nowak

Redesigning your website (or building a completely new one) is a strategic business decision, made for various reasons. You could for example be looking to bring more leads down the sales funnel, or just make a step towards maintaining visual consistency of your brand. Whatever the reason, you want it done right.

It’s a common thing to fail on the first try. When exploring new possibilities, testing fresh opportunities and simply trying something new, you’re somewhat bound to make mistakes.

While life is all about gaining experience, in business the key word is iterations. Services, products and processes are improved within repetitive procedures, each time making them one step closer to ultimate efficiency.

It’s crucial to repeat, analyze outcomes and draw strong conclusions, time after time. This way, you can immediately tackle your mistakes and avoid repeating them in future proceedings.

Now imagine the focal point of interest is a web project built on WordPress or WooCommerce. The project is being carried out by a hired agency or internal team without substantial experience. One worrying situation after the other during the process leads you to doubting the quality of the final product. And to further twist the knife – the clock is ticking and you don’t have enough time for changes in personnel.

The project is going terribly wrong – what now?

First of all – don’t waste time seeking out scapegoats. Even if the problem can be narrowed down to miscommunication, it’s most likely too late to start all over again. 

The fault isn’t on you either. Even if you made the best possible decisions, it could backfire. We’ve all been there. At this point, it’s crucial to identify your situation and set out the course of action. What can you do? 

1. Audit what has been done.

Chances are that at least parts of the projects match your expectations. Isolate them and focus on the foundations. Having gathered enough comprehension of what’s on your hands, you can proceed to making further decisions.

2. Get it back on track.

You have a team or contractor working on your project, so look to make them finish it according to your previous arrangements. Establish what you’re not satisfied with (if possible – seek an expert’s opinion) and rediscuss the project. Problem can fall into one of two categories:

    • A scope related category, e.g. the results are not matching the requirements – this can be fixed easily once identified, or;

    • A competencies related category, e.g. communication skills, or understanding business context. This is much harder to solve, because such soft skills are extremely difficult to improve or learn quickly.

In either case, it is important to be precise about your expectations regarding improvement. Set a measurable goal for your team, so you can clearly gauge if you are moving in the right direction. If you do not see obvious improvement, move to #3 below.

3. Find a new contractor.

Sometimes the cooperation just has no future, and there’s no time to waste hoping for that to change. Business-wise, it could turn out to be profitable to take a financial hit and move the project to a different team or person. You are now wiser than you were before. You saw how the project was derailing, and you are able to make a connection between what is said at the beginning and how this translates into the project. Pick another partner wisely and leverage your new insights. You can find useful our blog post about picking a right technology partner here: Agency red flags

4. Find reinforcements.

It might be that the project’s scale was severely underestimated. Another head (but not two or three!) could do the trick. It can also be a case that the current team lacks a bit of organization, focus or given field expertise. In this case hiring an expert to orchestrate the works, and advise on the focus areas can make a huge difference. It’s like a coach for the team of players. The trick is to be able to advise what to do from a certain perspective and to direct the team’s energy efficiently. The added benefit is the insights such a person has, and the fact that the team can learn a ton just from working with an expert.

The devil is not as black…

There is good news, though. 

First of all, you now most likely know much, much more about a website building process than you ever had. You’re possibly able to more precisely identify your needs and outcomes, and verify the quality of ongoing projects. No one will take this knowledge from you and you can leverage it in the future.

The other good news is that if you find the right help, the project can be salvaged. We at Osom are ready to either assess your current project state, assist you with our knowledge, or fully intercept your project. We specialize in WordPress and WooCommerce, with years of experience to back it up. We are also one of only a handful of WordPress VIP agencies in the world.

Most importantly – we understand the business aspects of web presence and its consequences. We have helped rescue hopeless projects in all states and have stepped in when the situation seemed completely dire. 

What now?

If the above situations sound only too familiar to you, and you think you are ready to consult your business case, then shoot us a message by clicking here.

But you are in a hurry, then book a free 15 minutes consultation directly with Maciej, Partner @Osom.

Here is Maciej’s calendar; just choose the best time for you! 

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