Ordering your first website or having your current website revamped is an exciting, creative step forward for your business, and it is something that you should want to be fully prepared for.
Even though it is 2021 and websites have been popular marketing tools for decades, clients often assume that all they need to do is contact a designer, explain their needs, and then the designer will simply get to work and create a masterpiece, without any further input from the client’s side.
But while some website designers operate this way, the best websites are those that are the result of a team effort, where the client brings certain things to the table which ensure that the final result is something that is not only fully functional, but which also perfectly reflects the business for which it has been built.
Working alongside your designer is not just a necessity for design success, but it also goes a long way towards guaranteeing that the design process is not held back by something as silly as delayed email correspondence.
Having a working relationship with your designer will make you feel more comfortable with the way your website is progressing, and it will also make you feel as though you are really being heard.
Just as your designer has a list of things to prepare when they first take on your project, there are a few things that you can also do to make sure that you are ready to assist the designer in making the website build as seamless as possible.
5 Things to Prepare
What your designer needs from you is likely to differ, depending on who you are working with. Some designers don’t mind asking for information as the design process progresses, while other designers like to launch the project with everything close at hand.
But regardless of the way in which your particular designer works, these are 5 things that you should have prepared or at least have answers for, should your designer have any questions.
Your Current Website Setup
Many clients who enter into a design agreement do so with domains already registered. It could be that they have dormant domains, which means the URL is registered but is not yet being hosted, or it could be that the client already has a website and are now just looking for a rebuild.
If you are one of those who already have a website or if you have a domain that is registered and which you’d like to build on, you will need to let your designer know.
Your designer could actually help you save money on your future hosting expenses or they could give you great advice so that you end up using the right domain for your exact needs.
When you are preparing, it will help your designer if you create a document with a list of your domains as well as where you have these domains sitting. You can also include which of the domains have something set up on it already.
Create a Design Wish List
Going in blind is something that is neither helpful nor productive. If you don’t have a list of the basics, like the number of pages you need, colours you like, or header ideas, you are only making the design process longer than it needs to be.
Before you contact your designer, have a look at other websites, particularly those of your competitors, and start creating a list of what you like and also include things you don’t like.
You can be creative with this step, but also keep in mind that you need to be practical. Now is not the time to reinvent conventional website layouts, but to rather make sure that you have the basics ready for your site.
Build with Purpose
Every website on the internet has some sort of purpose. Some are simply educational or informational, while others are being used as online shops.
To guarantee that your website is suitable for your needs and your expectations, you need to think about what you want to achieve with each page. And to help with this, you will need to know how many words you’d like per page, and what kind of graphics or photographs you’d like to feature.
If you are planning on selling items via your website, you will want to give plenty of thought to this process. It helps to see what your competitors are doing, as this can give you a clearer understanding of the direction in which you wish to go.
While your designer is going to build your website, you are responsible for the photographs and written content, unless this is a part of the service you are buying.
When you are supplying the content, you are basically collaborating with your designer and you need to prepare for your collaboration so that it is as easy as possible for both you and the person or company you are working with to push forward.
This means you should think about creating an online folder, on a platform like Google Drive or Dropbox, which you can share with the designer and add to when necessary. This method is far easier than relying on email, which as mentioned before, can delay things.
Prepare your budget
This is perhaps the most important preparation phase of all.
Before you get started, you should make sure that you know how much money you are willing to spend on the website. It helps to discuss your exact needs so that you can an accurate estimate. Certain design elements can end up costing you more than others, especially if you are creating an online shop which generally takes a little more effort and a few more plugins.
Thinking about having your first website designed? At Imaginet we not only create stunning, useful websites, but we also go out of our way to make our clients feel comfortable and understood. Contact us today to start the discussion about your new website.