These days, anyone can design a website. Whether it’s attractive, user-friendly and actually helping you build your business is an entirely different question! If you want to make the most of your business website – let it grow your audience and create sales – you might want to use the expertise and knowledge of a web designer.
The process can seem daunting but with the right partner, the results will be amazing. And you can still save yourself a lot of time and money by going into the talks with your web designer prepared. The following questions will help you get an idea of what you want and how to communicate those ideas with a web designer so they can get straight to work.
Create your vision
The more detailed your ideas about your website are, the quicker and more efficient a web designer can turn them into practice. If you only have a vague notion of what you are actually looking for, it can create plenty of misunderstandings and frustration along the road on both sides. Also, if your vision is unclear in the beginning and only developing as the website project continues, it may result in the web designer spending hours on work that is later thrown out, again causing frustration and wasting time and money.
“I’ll know it when I see it” is one approach but it can take longer, be more expensive and requires your web designer to read minds. Be clear about what you want, and look at other websites in your industry to see what else is out there to help you formulate your ideas. If your business is already established offline, why not approach customers and ask for their input on what they would need from your website? Going online will add value to their experience in doing business with you and including them in the process will strengthen your customer relationships immensely.
Take your time to create your vision, and don’t hesitate to use pen and paper to draw up designs that inspire you. Check out what competitors are doing or business in similar industries to yours. By studying their online presence, you will find plenty of material to work with and might even find a couple of things on how you could make it better.
Talk before you start
If you’re unsure where to start and exactly what you’re looking for, schedule a planning meeting with your web designer before they get started. They have gone through the process many times and can help point you in the right direction by asking questions and giving advice on how best to turn your vision into reality.
Your web designer may want to know general information about your company including target audience, competitors and goals for your website. To ensure you are working towards a common goal and are on the same page, answer any question as detailed and honestly as you can. The more information you provide, the more likely your web designer will create a product that truly reflects your business culture and philosophy and that offers your audience exactly what they need.
The most important question to answer will be about the purpose of your website. Do you want to provide information about products and services? Offer online ordering? Rebrand your company or simply provide people with an additional way of contacting you? Ask yourself why you want or need a website and communicate this clearly with your web designer.
Consider how your website will fit into your overall marketing strategy and determine a budget that aligns with your vision. Communicate your unique selling point with your web designer, potential competitors and the basic facts about your industry. That will help your web designer determine the best SEO strategy to ensure your website will attract the right audience.
Gather supporting material
Depending on your contract, you will need to supply your web designer with files such as graphics, business logos, text content and more. Making these accessible in a timely manner and according to your web designer’s specifications will keep the process of creating your website smooth and within the set time and budget. Most web designers use photographic libraries and can give you access to choose stock photography that you like.
Deadlines are important, and you would have set a time limit by when your website will need to go online. A good web designer should stick to those timelines unless unforeseen circumstances slow the project down. Check-in with your web designer regularly and stay involved in the process, but don’t rush them along. Quality web design takes time as different solutions and approaches are being tested against what works best for your business. If you have severe time or budget constraints, communicate them openly and early on so your web designer knows what to expect. Otherwise, you might end up expecting something that was never discussed.
If you have any questions about your website and how to create user-friendly designs that will grow your audience, contact the experienced team at Energise Web today.