Redesign? Are you sure you want to do that?

It’s funny how things happen that only reinforce my decision about what to write about. We’re undergoing a redesign of our website and the new one will be awesome and have all the basic glamorous features that most new websites have – updated navigation, better organization, and throw in a back-end application – basically it’s everything that our current website lacks. But recently I’ve been asked to review yet another set of proposals. This time for an affiliate organization to which our company is a part of. Of course this one requested quotes on new creative, content management, e-mail marketing strategies, and even search engine marketing consultations. Is this basically what we aspire to when it comes to having companies issue RFPs for redesigns of their website?

For some reason, I’m looking for something else that’ll have my proposal standout from the rest. Everyone is worried about having their website creative be the top of the pile, which is always true for the first few months and then someone else comes out with a better design. Mostly everyone, if not save a few, request some sort of Content Management System as well – and the debate is whether something homegrown or simply open source. Next is perhaps an obvious search engine marketing. How many times have you gone out to find someone to help you get your site or application noticed by the masses? There are keywords that you’ll need to use that are common or that you’ll need to buy in order to become popular in your audience, so isn’t that really a given that your contractor will help you with that?

But what happens to all the “lost” technology that everyone wants to do, but doesn’t have the financial opportunity or lacks the know-how to integrate into their web strategy? Whatever happened to podcasting? Delving into social networking? Enabling user-generated content? Adding other interactive content like RSS feeds? Mobile Marketing? The sky’s the limit. So why are companies tending to ignore these features when seeking the uber common website redesign?