Before your web designer can get started on your site they are going to need some information they need from you. Not only should your designer seek to understand what you want your site to look like and your aesthetic preferences, but they should also seek to understand your business. This will help them craft a site will benefit you and your customers.
The first thing your designer will need to know from you is why you want a website? This may sound silly, because every business in the 21st Century should have a website, but the truth is it isn’t. They need to understand what you motivation is for getting a website built. Do you need a completely new website or do you just need to have your old one updated and redesigned? What are you looking to accomplish through the website? What do you like or dislike about the site that you already have? All of these things are very important to understand as your designer prepares to build your site.
Next your website designer will need to understand from you what your business is about. Of course you’ll want to give them this information to put on your site (your ‘about’ page, which we’ll take more about later) but you should be able to verbally express to your web designer the vision, mission and goal of your business.
To clarify, what does your business do? What products or services do you offer, and how do you get them to your customers? What are your long term goals for your business? What brand and image do you want to portray to your customers?
As you provide your web designer with this information, they will be better equipped to help your business succeed by designing a site that is aligned with these answers. While it may seem like a lot of information to give to your web designer, it will help them to tailor a site specific to your individual needs.
Your web designer will need to know who you are targeting because, again, that will help them to create a site that specifically serves your business. The more you understand your target market’s tastes and wants, the better you will be able to express this to your designer. If the both of you are able to understand your target market’s tastes you’ll be able to create a site that really appeals to them. If you know the type of visitors you’d like to attract to your site, your content, design, and overall package that your designer creates.
Whether you already have a website and are just looking for a redesign, or you need a whole new site built from scratch, you need to know what you’d like visitors to do when they come ot your site. More than likely you want them to make a purchase or some other action. If you’re your business sells products or services, can visitors make a purchase on your site? Do you want them to share your website content on their social media pages? Do you want them to participate in a particular event? Whatever it is that you’d like for visitors to do when they come to the website needs to be clearly expressed. Before your designer will be able to develop a site that meets both you and your customers’ expectations, they will need to understand what it is you want them to do while they are there. Your web designer may be able to offer you some advice on a better way to get them complete whatever the action is.
Hopefully, you’ll have a pretty clear idea of the features you’d like to have on your website. For example, an image gallery or event registration system, or maybe you’d just like a banner that showcases your top 5 products on the home page. Also, whatever visual or color preferences that you may have in mind. Whatever specifics you already know about your site (a calendar, links to your social media sites) share them with your website designer.
If you share your design ideas with your web designer in the beginning, your designer will have the opportunity to guide you in the direction of other features that add more value to your website, and steer you clear of anything that may cause confusion for your potential customers. A great way to provide your designer with a clear understanding of what you like and what you’d like to have on your website is by sharing with them a few sites that you like, and what specifically you like on those sites. Because your designer is going to be creating a visual product for you, they will best be able to understand your preferences if you show them to them visually.
Remember, you web designer wants to build a site that you’ll be completely satisfied with, so be sure to discuss these things in the beginning, before they begin the design. And you should be just as upfront about features that you do not need or want on your website?
If you’ve ever come across a feature that you don’t particularly care for while browsing the internet, you may already be aware of things that you absolutely don’t want to have on your site. Mentioning these to your designer in the beginning of the process will eliminate the possibility that they will include them on your site.
What is your long term vision for your business’ website? This question is important for a few reasons. If you help your designer understand what you ultimately want to do with your site, they may be able to help you effectively plan to implement those design features over time. The other reason it’s important to discuss this with your designer is because things that you think may not be able to be done right off the bat, may actually be easier (and more affordable) than you think. Your designer is your website expert advisor and knows a lot more about websites than you. Allow them to help you and guide you along this process.
Finally, and most importantly, you’ll need to provide your website designer with your website’s content. The content is the text that forms the main body of your website. Your designer could create an awesome site for you, but without great, attention grabbing content, your site won’t look like much. Each page on your website needs to offer a full explanation. This includes a description of your business’ vision and mission, it’s products and/or services, your team, and more. A great website isn’t complete without this information.
Your website designer may offer copywriting services, or you may be able to outsource this if you don’t have the necessary copy for your website. But most small business owners will create the content for their websites themselves, and this is usually the best bet. Why? Because if you are the visionary behind the business, you’ll be best equipped to explain all of this to your potential customers and clients. Who knows your business better than you?
Once you provide your website designer with all of this information, he or she will be able to get started on your site. If you are able to provide them with clear and detailed answers to all of these questions, as well as excellent content, you’ll be well on your way to an amazing website. The rest is up to them.
When you give all of your information to your designer, they should give you a clear timeline for when your website will be completed. Your designer may have some other specific information that they need from you, but this is pretty much all your web designer needs to start building your website.