When the time comes, you may be looking at a web designer to help build your website. Maybe improve one you already own, or possibly create one for you from scratch. Since this process is so costly, you definitely want to be able to do the research and supply the correct things so the whole process can go as smoothly and cheaply as possible.
Despite what most may think, it’s not as simple as dropping a very brief description and expecting the results you want to get - it does require an extensive amount of preparation and study before you can begin this, or you may end up with something you’re not happy with! Today, we’re going to be going over 6 major things you should have prepared and ready prior to looking for a web designer to help build your website, or improve it!
Your signature logo
One thing designers love to do is to base your website around your logo. The logo for your business is your identity, and you want to have a site that matches that identity. If you still don’t have a logo or are unsure about the one you’re currently using, there’s a lot of wonderful, free logo builders out there which you can play around with.
Once you find something you like, you can always request a graphic designer or an artist, and get your logo commissioned. You’ll want to make sure you know exactly what you want before you do this, or it’ll be a money-sink for you.
Once you do have that logo and are happy with it, it’ll be the first thing most web designers will look at. If you don’t have a specific look for your site in mind, this will at least be a wonderful foundation for them to know what your taste is, and how you’d like it to reflect on your business. This step can take a while, so don’t hesitate to take weeks, or even months - it is something that can be upgraded and reworked later, but it’s good to be confident going forward!
High Resolution photos of anything relevant to your business
When building your site, every web designer will import the images you sent them, or the ones already existing on your site to apply them to the layout, and make them look as beautiful as possible. That won’t be possible without high resolution images - if you’re sending off images that you want plastered on your homepage which are thumbnail size, there isn’t much that they can do. Making sure you have everything supplied for them and organized in a folder goes a long way - no duplicates, and named appropriately for extra points.
Just remember that a web developer is using your resources to build your website. If they don’t have those resources, things may be delayed, or there will be a lot of back and forth.
Show them what you want it to look like
Examples can go a long way. Let’s use an example to start this off - you tell a graphic designer that you’d like a small, grey 2D alien for your website logo. But then the questions arise - what style? What expression? What would the client like? It can be a bit of guesswork sometimes, which may result in you being dissatisfied with the results. You can completely cut out this whole work by providing examples.
Besides the logo, which does help a lot, you should check other websites you like the look / style. Are you a fashion store and you want it to look very modern and sleek? Go do a bit of searching around and see if you can find any sites which match your vision.
Taking a few screenshots, or copying some links to send to your web designer, will help cut down the time it’ll take on any back-and-forth, and help you achieve the look you really want! This is a very important step, and one that many may not think of right away.
Content for your pages, no "lorum ipsum"!
If you already own a website and are just looking to have it upgraded, this shouldn’t be a huge factor, unless you’re looking to expand a lot more - but for those looking to start fresh, this is essential and something that will be needed for building up your site. They’ll need information such as your product information, employee bio’s, About Us page, and anything you’d like on your website. With that, they’ll be able to recreate or create the website perfect for viewing for anyone. A form of plug and play.
For those who don’t know, "lorum ipsum" is a type of filler text that is sometimes used just to see how a website looks with text populated. You won’t want any of that, of course - make sure your web designer has everything they need.
Need a specialist?
If you’re using a CMS (Content Management System) such as WordPress, Joomla, or many others, it’s a good idea to find the web designer that has experience with the CMS you’re using! You can usually find out the CMS the web designer is specialized in or has experience with rather easily, but making sure they’re aware of what platform you’re on is a good start.
Most web designers can work with a variety, but things can go a lot smoother and faster if you do pick one that has experience, or even portfolio’s with those specific CMS.
It also never hurts to include other important information in your original email or contact with the web designer you are looking to work with - letting them know what you work with, what your business is oriented around, and the vision you’d like does help as well. Anything you may think is irrelevant is usually not the case - it’s never bad to supply too much information (well, most of the time at least!)
In closing, just remember that web designers do need information, and giving them the freedom to build what they want usually ends up with you as unhappy, which leaves them as unhappy as well. Giving clear direction can prevent a lot of errors and confusion, and make for a very smooth transition from idea into reality.
Last thing to mention, is to always keep SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in mind. When trying to find a good web designer, look to see if they have SEO experience - there are many great websites out there you can find through Google that will grade websites based on their SEO which may help you in making your decision.
If you ever do have any interest in upgrading or building a website, e-dimensionz Inc. offers web design services at reasonable prices as well. We handle all forms of CMS and websites, and always work to make sure your site follows proper SEO, and we stay communicative with every client.