What do you need to prepare when you hire a web designer?
5 things to prepare to get off to a flying start with your website rebuild.
So you’re ready to invest in your website.
You’re looking for a designer or developer to work with.
You want to get a website that actually acts as a valuable business tool and you want to launch on time and on budget.
Best thing to so is to prepare everything your developer will need so that there’s no time lost in emailing over and back, and no uncertainty about what needs to be created.
Here’s a list of things you need to prepare.
5 things your web developer will ask you:
1. What have you got set up already?
If you have an existing site or multiple sites, your developer will want to know about them. Maybe you’ve been registering domain names from various providers, or maybe you’ve bought hosting and other services and you’re not sure how to use them.
Instead of adding additional paid services unnecessarily your developer can help you make use of the tools you’ve already paid for or make suggestions on where to get a better deal. They know about this stuff.
TASK 1: Create a document detailing what domain names and hosting you’ve signed up for. And if you can, make note of any tools and systems that have been set up there.
2. Do you have your login information?
Have your login information ready to send, BUT only send it when you’ve officially got the project started. This means agreeing to the scope of work’ and having some written commitment that you’ve both signed. Even if this person has come recommended from a friend, it’s really useful to get some sort of agreement or contract written up for security and accountability purposes and so that there’s no confusion later on. Once it’s all official, you can send your site and online account logins over in a secure way.
If you don’t have that information to hand, your developer may be able to help you sort it out, but let them know up front. If they can’t access your online accounts, there can be a fiddly and annoying delay, before you even get started.
TASK 2: Gather the login information and agree with your developer on their preferred method to receive this kind of secure information.
3. Do you have an existing brand?
Do you have any branded material, style guides or mood boards to help your developer to understand what you want?
In some cases your developer will have a system in place to help you get your design references together, but not always. If you have a brand developed already make sure you gather all the highest quality files together in one place, ready to send over as a pack.
If you don’t have an existing brand you need to talk to your developer about the style of your site in greater detail. You can’t take for granted that the person making your site will do brand development too. Branding is a project in itself. Some developers will be able to help you get your visual style together, but you can’t assume that that is the case.
TASK 3: Create a file with all your brand elements and design references.
4. What is the purpose of the site?
A website is a business tool. It needs to have a clearly defined role and should fit into a broader strategy that supports your business. Some developers understand how to set up marketing strategies, and others will focus much more on the technical functionality of the site istelf. Take some time to consider the real purpose of your site. When you have a clear plan, your developer will be able to implement faster and you’ll get a website that serves a real purpose in your business.
Task 4: Figure out how your website will serve your business and outline a plan for your developer to refer to for context.
5. Will you be supplying content?
Find out if they need all the content in advance. Many developers will need you to send over documents and images before they get started while some developers will gather images for you and get copy prepared. With all of the points in this article, it depends on how your developer prefers to work and the actual budget of the whole project.
If you have to provide text and images, make sure you have an effective way to collaborate. Sending dozens of emails can be a bit confusing for both of you! Find out their preference. How do they want to recieve the content. I recommend using an online cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive so that you can add to it and send extra stuff without things getting lost in spam filters or overlooked.
Task 5: Set up a system to send files and collaborate throughout your project.
Still confused by the whole thing?
If you’re getting into a new website build or a revamp I’d be happy to offer you some guidance. I offer a free chat. Want to grab one?
I work one on one with my clients so that they don’t have to figure out technical stuff or the strategy. I help people to use their website to get leads and clients online. I’ve lost count of how many conversations I’ve had with people who had a bad experience with their developer, lost money or ended up with a website they hate! It doesn’t have to be like that.
If you have a looming launch date or you’re fed up of trying to figure everything out by yourself. Let’s get on a call.
Chat soon 🙂
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