So, you’ve started a new business, are looking to re-brand or have been in business for some time and finally decided it’s time you put yourself out there on the internet and are thinking “I need a website”. Before you jump in with any website designer and to help find the right developer for your needs take some time to prepare yourself for the process.
A few questions you should contemplate:
What do you want your website to do?
Is it purely to show your business name and contact details or are you sharing information about a variety of services and products? This will help to determine how large or how many pages your website may require as each service may require its own page, content, and images.
How do you want customers to find or contact you?
The main purpose for many websites is to enable customers to find where you are, call or email you for products or services. Placement of your contact information should be easy to locate, ideally on your homepage and can also be added throughout your site.
Do you want to sell products on your website? Offer subscriptions for customers to receive newsletters or updates? Provide educational videos? Adding these features will affect the functionality requirements for plug-ins or coding of the website to fulfil these tasks. They may also indicate the need for additional policies, terms, and conditions to be added into the pages of your site.
Will you need or want to make regular changes to the site? Making changes or posting updates often on your website will influence the accessibility design in the back end of your site. This may also increase the maintenance costs of your website if you require the changes to be made through your designer.
Some other important factors to consider are colours and mood boards that fit your logo, branding and industry. Images and videos enhance the layout and design of your website and contribute to the message you are trying to convey. Do you already have a supply of images, intend to create your own images or are you happy to purchase stock images? If you need to produce images either on your own or with professional assistance this can increase the time taken to build your website. This also applies to written content for the pages within your site. Providing your own written content can simplify some of the process for your designer.
When talking with your designer you may also like to provide some samples of inspiration that you have regarding colour, themes, and layout of your website. You will also want to clarify the expected timeframes for delivery of your site – how long will it take to create and ‘go live’? How often during the design build will you receive updates for review? How many changes can you make and are there additional charges incurred for changes?
Communication with your designer is key. Having a clear idea of your concept and vision for your website will help your developer bring it life. Once you have your websitedesigned and live on the world wide web you then have further options to increase your exposure through SEO (search engine optimisation) and SEM (search engine marketing). Website developers will often ensure SEO is included within your website. Marketing and advertising your website are an optional extra with additional costs.
There are the basic considerations to having a website designed. Being prepared with this information will give your designer the best opportunity to develop a website that is a true reflection of your business.