Are you looking into having a website re-designed or building one from the ground up but don’t know where to start? Below we’ve listed the top five things we find are important for you to work through BEFORE your first meeting with a web developer.
Know Your ContentBefore you meet with your developer compile a list of things you want for your new website.
Begin gathering all of your organization’s digital collateral as soon as possible. This includes all logos, style guides, photography, fonts, pages, text, and anything else that may be relevant and helpful for us to see as we get started on your new site design. Your content defines your brand personality and is what informs your audience, sells your message, forges relationships, and ultimately, makes you money. Make sure you are putting adequate time and thought into this area.
When is your deadline?One of the main questions we get when meeting with a potential client is, “how long will this take?” Unfortunately there is never one answer to this question as everyone's situation and needs are different.
Many factors can speed up or slow down a web development project. The complexity of the design and the number of pages are always a factor, but time for communication, review, creating draft designs, testing, and launching the site need to be included as well.
Set up several meetings with web development companies in your area and shop around a bit until you find a plan that best suits your needs and deadline.
Do you know about SEO?SEO is becoming increasingly important in our culture. Just because you have a new website does not mean you will show up on Google’s first page.
Search engines are like phone books. People use them to find out information. If your business isn’t on the first few pages of the phone book you probably won’t get found at all.
Having a game plan to bring attention to your business is vital part of building your audience. If you would like more information on this, contact our marketing department.
Who is your target audience?Who is the website for? What features will your users need? What content will you include to make it most useful and informative for them?
Determining your target audience will directly inform the design of the website and enable your developer to achieve the best user experience for your viewers.
What is your budget?I believe a website is always a good idea for your business but that doesn’t mean you will have to spend thousands of dollars.
If you just need a simple, informative page to claim your presence on the web, the investment will be far less than if you needed a robust website with heavy functionality.
We have three options for web development which we tell our clients outright, then based on their wants/needs we suggest which one would be the best fit for them and go from there. This is typical for most developers, and it’s more than likely that your developer will find a plan to suit your needs as well as your budget. Be open with how much you are comfortable spending and always keep an open mind.
Final ThoughtsCommunication is key.
Developers will have questions throughout the design process and nothing is more frustrating than emailing someone on a Monday and not getting a response until Friday. This is a waste of a week and means your developer has to switch gears to another project as he awaits your response. Keep yourself available to your developers and designers so questions can be answered in a timely manner and work can proceed on schedule.
As always, thanks for reading!