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5 Mistakes to Avoid in a Web Partnership

By Trenton Ulveling, Director of Development

Building a great website is all about finding the right partner. Of course, whoever you select needs to have the skill set necessary to build a beautiful site, but the right partner is much more than that. There are some red flags you should keep an eye out for. Otherwise, it’s likely you could end up unhappy with the final product — or having to rebuild the site sooner rather than later.

1. Starting too fast

A good partner spends time considering a strategy for the site. They create a thorough plan that provides direction for the overall project from beginning to end. Though the plan may shift along the way, having one to start with is crucial to preventing wasted time and mismatched expectations. So make sure they put in the work early. 

Our method: We make sure all our bases are covered with a Tech Blueprint. This is a signature 5by5 service for our clients who know they need a new website but aren’t exactly sure what all that means for them. The Tech Blueprint process takes clients through a proven model to identify key audiences, define necessary functionality, and establish a strategic web site architecture so we can build exactly what they need and nothing they don’t.

2. Agreeing with everything you say

A good partner is committed to the right website, not just the website you want or envision. It’s natural to have an initial idea in mind when you begin your website project, but we’ve found the most productive and successful way to work is in collaboration. A strategic partner is more than an order taker. They will listen to you and make recommendations based on what they hear and discover. Bring in a partner who will help guide you through the process. The end actually should look different — and better – than your initial thoughts or vision.

3. Not asking questions

A good partner doesn’t just talk about themselves. Sure, you want to know about their experience and capabilities, but they need to really get to know you as well. A curious partner is more likely to serve you better, create a better site and be more enjoyable to work with. 

One area we especially recommend asking questions around is content. Everyone involved needs clarity on what the website will communicate and answers on the following details: Who is writing what? What content is transferring over from the old site? Who is putting the content in the new CMS? Having this discussion ahead of time can help you avoid confusion, frustration, wasted time/budget and dissatisfaction with the end product.

4. Focusing on appearance

A good partner is clear about what success looks like. And that’s not just making a beautiful-looking site. Yes, aesthetics are important and might get a few positive remarks out of the gate, but the real wins happen when conversions start rolling in. Consider your goals and how the site will help reach them. Your partner should set you up with the ability to report on web performance so you can determine what is working and what is not.

5. Getting too complex

A good partner knows the best websites are flexible and make it easy to pivot. As your audience interacts with your site and you observe analytics, you may realize it needs to change focus or be reshaped functionally. It may need to shift for different events or seasonal content. This adaptability is usually less about design and more about calls to action. Has your partner set you up to make the tweaks yourself? Or have they anticipated modification and put systems in place to efficiently manage these needs for you?


A great website is crucial to your organization's growth, and by collaborating with the right partner, you'll create the website you need to move forward confidently.

At 5by5, we work hard to understand your marketing challenges and the goals tied to your mission, allowing us to come alongside your team as committed partners. If your organization is looking to build or refresh a website, we’d love to talk!


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We work hard to understand your needs, challenges and the goals tied to your mission, allowing us to come alongside your team as committed partners. We'd love to talk about how we could partner with you!

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