If you are considering having a website created, it is important for you to understand what is required from you and what is delivered by the designer. Website designers are here to provide you with a great website, so to be as time and cost efficient as possible it is important to understand that we need certain requirements from you first.
Understand Your Target Audience
Website designer's need to know the demographic you are targeting so they can create the design to appeal to your audience - what appeals to teenage girls will be very different to middle-aged men. Therefore it is vital that you know this before starting the project.
How Much Content Will You Need
Content is the meat of your website. You need to know how much content there will be so you know how many pages are required. Most web designers charge per page, so to get an accurate quote, you need to have this information ready. You also need to think about what details the customer needs to know about you and your business – not too much information as no one likes reading through slabs of information, and not too little as they need to know what your business does and what you are about. Website designers are there to guide you through the process, however, it is a good idea to have a good understanding of what you want.
Building Your Website Is Only The First Step
After your website is made, you need to have an online marketing strategy. This includes SEO implementation, a social media presence and dynamic content (content that is regularly posted or updated such as a blog or social media feed). An online marketing strategy widens the avenues in which you can be discovered, therefore increasing the amount of customers that are brought to your website.
Don’t Cut Corners
Your website represents you and your business. A website is usually the first impression on a new customer. It is integral for your website to be modern, include all important information, and to have a strong presence. If you cut corners and don’t do this, it will cheapen the image of your business.
This also extends to your online marketing strategy previously mentioned. This is definitely not an area where you should cut corners as you will be drastically cutting the number of potential customers.
Balance Design and Functionality
Yes, it is important for your page to look impressive but it should not come at the cost of functionality. There needs to be a happy medium where both design and functionality are considered as important as each other, and therefore balanced.
Understand Your Responsibilities
As the business owner, you need to provide the website designer with any applicable design materials, such as any logos, images and company branding. This ensures that the website is made in alignment with your business’ branding. It is standard practice to provide these materials at the commencement of the project to save time later.
Accept Professional Guidance
It can be hard at times to let the reigns go, but in terms of your website, the designer is the professional with the experience to build you a strong online presence. Your opinion is obviously very important and will be respected, but it is also important to listen to your designer and have faith that they know what they are doing. At the end of the day, you are paying them to create a great website in keeping with your business’ image.
Decide On Your Budget
It is essential that you and your website designer know from the start what your budget is. Do some research and find out what a website based on your requirements usually costs, you get what you pay for so it is important to be informed.
Understand On-Going Maintenance
After the website is finished, will you pay for ongoing maintenance on a retainer or hourly rate, or will you take over and keep on top of everything your website needs? This is anything from updating content and images, to posting articles for your blog. If you do decide to run it yourself, try to ensure you update the website in accordance with the original design principles that were discussed to keep the website consistent.
If you have each of these points down, creating your website design should run very smoothly. it is important to understand the requirements and deliverables from both yourself and the designer.