A Guide to Managing a New Website Launch

Working in marketing in B2B or SaaS is challenging at the best of times, but when it comes to managing a new website project it is never straightforward. After all, it can be a complex activity, with multiple actors and one that may only happen every 2-3 years.

Alan Gleeson - CMO Contento

Alan Gleeson

Co-Founder / CEO

November 28, 2022

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8min read

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A Short Guide to Managing a New Website Launch (B2B & SaaS)

Working in marketing in B2B or SaaS is challenging at the best of times, but when it comes to managing a new website project it is never straightforward. After all, it can be a complex activity, with multiple actors and one that may only happen every 2-3 years.

There are usually several triggers for a website upgrade including:

  • A New Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) keen to demonstrate impact

  • Problems with the existing website

  • After a fundraising event e.g. Series A or B raise

  • A desire to reposition the brand in a competitive market

  • Refreshing the site as it is due an upgrade

Before you start it is important to be clear on:

  • The scope of the project

  • The budget

  • Any deadlines you need to be aware of. 

  • The objectives of the project. E.g What does success look like? Why are you (considering) switching in the first place?

Depending on the site size, complexity, and scope of the project, tight timelines can be difficult to achieve (especially given external dependencies) so it is worth bearing that in mind before “locking in a date”. After all, the marketing function is usually resource-constrained and is probably already over-committed with ‘business as usual’ tasks.

It is also worth making early decisions on some key elements.

  • Are you going to bake in a visual identity/brand refresh or a brand uplift as part of the project? If yes, the impact on budgets and timelines will be a factor you need to take into consideration.

  • Are you planning on re-platforming your CMS also? This means moving off one CMS onto another. Again a decision as to whether you are moving off your existing CMS or not will impact timelines, project complexity, and costs.

  • Are you looking for a one-stop-shop or are you happy to separate the brand work from the web development? 

On this last point, I believe that few agencies in the UK and Ireland have the in-house capabilities to deliver all elements if you are simultaneously trying to keep the budget down. My preference has always been to use specialist brand agencies, married to freelance web developers (specialists in B2B SaaS websites) to help deliver a great outcome without nudging the budget north of €50,000.

Who's involved?

So who tends to get involved in site upgrades?

From my experience the following players are often involved (assume the context is for B2B or SaaS companies):

  • The Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

  • The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO)

  • The Chief Technology Officer (CTO)

  • The Marketing team

  • An External Agency 

  • Freelancers

Given the various actors involved, it is important to recognize that in some instances there will be conflicting views, and therefore it is necessary to manage the process carefully.

So what are the typical issues that arise with the various actors involved?


The CEO should have a very modest role to play (unless they are a technical founder and are thus interested in decisions regarding the CMS choice). Their primary concerns are likely to be financial.

  1. What will the website cost be?

  2. Will there be ongoing costs?

  3. What is the risk of the site going down?

If the brand is also to evolve, a Founder CEO  will likely need to sign off on any brand changes also. Finally, it is likely they will have had ‘history’ with a previous B2B SaaS site migration so it is worth speaking to them about any concerns they may have in advance.


The CMO should be the main decision maker and project manager for the entire refresh. It is a very visible and public-facing part of their role (the website) and thus they have to be comfortable with the final output given it will reflect on their capability and decision-making. Non-technical CMOs (the majority) may struggle with all the choices they need to make from partner selection to choice of CMS’ and tight deadlines can make the process all the more difficult. In short, they should not rush the process (especially if they are relatively new in the door) and they should first seek to have a deep understanding of the challenges the marketing team has (as well as the capability) before rushing into a major project like this.


The CTO will also need to be involved in the process. Depending on their experience they may have strong views as to the route to go down when it comes to CMS selection. The growth in Jamstack CMS websites and Headless CMS websites is largely driven by developers or CTOs. They will be keen to ensure the site is fast and secure. They will also be sensitive to any dependencies concerning their developers, as they’ll be keen to keep developers working on the SaaS product and not being called upon to support web development.

The Marketing Team

Some of the marketing team will be heavily involved in the process and will need to manage things like SEO, 3rd party applications, and content. They will be hoping the CMS chosen (if a switch is made) will be intuitive and easy to use. Most aren’t despite the messages to the contrary. 

The Agency

When it comes to Agency selection “word of mouth” is key as otherwise trying to navigate the sheer number of agencies is extremely challenging. Most B2B SaaS companies are at the Seed / Series A end of the spectrum (than the Series C/D one) so more modest budgets are typical, meaning that smaller agencies are in play. These agencies will have their preferred CMS, often WordPress (as there are so many WordPress developers around, costs are lower) so it is important to have some prior notions as to your preferred CMS before engaging with the agency. Ideally, you won’t want to go on a retainer so picking a CMS that can be managed in-house will be important (very few can be). Finally, as mentioned above I have a preference for using specialist brand / visual identity agencies for the brand and having someone else manage the web development (often a Freelancer) but some people prefer an all-in-one solution.

Incentives are misaligned since many agencies/freelancers want to sell their services which often means selling their solutions—not necessarily the right ones. This makes it challenging for CMOs to make the right platform decision. A good understanding of the CMS landscape and the different CMS solutions (monolith/headless) available is important. I would recommend looking at agencies that offer a range of CMS options, so the choice is not limited to their CMS of choice. But this comes at a higher price. This is one of the key reasons I start with a small (paid) discovery project, and I let my clients know when there are better solutions for them outside my expertise.

—Source: Rob Turlinckx, Product Design Consultant for B2B SaaS

The Freelancer

There has been an explosion of Freelancers in recent years accessible via the likes of UpWork, Fiverr, and other Freelance marketplaces. Many of these freelancers have become very specialist e.g. B2B SaaS copywriting freelancers , or B2B SaaS UI/ UX developers. As Freelancers don’t have much in the way of overheads you should get more ‘bang for buck’ and they represent attractive options to refresh your website. Ideally, a word-of-mouth referral will help you short-list a couple.

Choosing the Right CMS for your Scaling B2B or SaaS Company

When it comes to a site refresh, a CMS re-platform is often part of the scope. As B2B and SaaS companies scale, they often outgrow the platform they are on. A typical route is from: 

  • WordPress/ Squarespace/ Wix to Webflow to Headless CMS, or 

  • WordPress/ Squarespace/ Wix straight to Headless CMS. [What is a Headless CMS?]

This journey is not easy for CMO’s as I have mentioned. They tend to be time-pressed, resource-constrained, and out of their depth when selecting a CMS solution. They are also unlikely to be users of the CMS themselves (the marketing team will be) so inertia will often trump a desire to move given the risks of something going wrong. If there are strong push/ pull factors to move CMS’s they face a paradox of choice:

  • What CMS category to choose?

  • What vendor to select?

  • Who will build it? 

There are of course Pro’s and Con’s of the various routes. Like many other CMO’s I’d argue that sticking with WordPress [Issues with WordPress are widely known] is not a great choice for scaling SaaS companies so it often comes down to a decision of Webflow versus Headless

Webflow - A Credible Option?

Webflow can represent a great choice, however, corners mustn't be cut by the agency or the freelancer when building the site. I’ve experienced numerous examples of Webflow looking great on the outside but the marketing team being unable to maintain the site.

Looking “under the hood” of one Webflow site recently lead to the following being uncovered:

  • There was no clear naming convention for class names.

  • The elements didn't seem to have any meaningful names or were just using the default Webflow naming when applying styles. (This makes it hard to maintain the website and scale it properly). 

  • Images were not properly organized and many of them were also not optimized for web use. Webflow automatically compresses images, but it's better to have operations in place for images.

  • The images didn't have proper names or alt tags. 

  • Color variables were not properly used. etc etc

It appears that multiple developers were involved in the build and they had not agreed on any project classes (this is a useful site Client-First you should have your WebFlow developers follow). 

So the lessons here are :

1/ to ensure that training your marketing team on the CMS is part of the vendor selection process and that the agency /freelancer offers training post-launch, as distinct from a retainer.

2/ to ensure that they have implemented consistent naming and that the marketing team ensure they can duplicate a page and build a new one unassisted before “signing off”

Recommended Resource: Webflow v Headless CMS

Picking a Headless CMS solution like Contento, is an attractive option for scaling B2B and SaaS companies. It is an increasingly popular choice as I argue in The CMO’s Guide to Headless CMS. This is in part due to the benefit set that CTO’s find so attractive (largely flexibility for them to select their own solutions, married to performance benefits for the site). 

In fact, the main challenge for CMO’s when it comes to Headless CMS sites is that the majority of solutions are focused on appealing to early adopters (often the CTO’s) and thus the messaging can be very off-putting to CMO’s. 

This is one area where Contento is focused on being different. Our Headless CMS is designed with CMO’s in mind and thus ensures that the most pressing needs of a CMO are met.

So what are some of the key benefits of a Headless CMS?

  • Speed : Headless CMS based websites tend to very fast

  • Flexibility: It is not an all-in-one solution so developers can pick their favourite technologies

  • Security: It is a securer approach to building websites compared to legacy CMS’s

  • Design: There are no design constraints based on the adaptation on rigid templates

  • Usability: Solutions like Contento are designed for marketing teams to manage websites


When it comes to major projects like a new website, CMO’s can struggle to navigate the option set when it comes to CMS selection as well as who to use to deliver the project. They are often time-pressed and over-stretched so “deep diving” on the above is rarely an option.

This short article suggests a few ideas to help make better decisions when it comes to delivering a new site.

  1. The first one is for marketing leaders to familarise themselves with the various CMS’s including the broader Headless CMS category so that they are clear on the merits of the different routes.

  2. The second main suggestion is to consider splitting visual identity and website development so that specialists from each category focus on doing what they do best.

Alan Gleeson - CMO Contento
Alan Gleeson

Co-Founder / CEO

Alan Gleeson has 15+ years extensive B2B SaaS experience working with several VC backed Startups & Scaleups in the UK, US & Ireland.

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