If this is your first stab at creating a website for your business, you’re in luck. As a busy Calgary website design company we’ve got a ton of experience guiding individuals through the web design process.
You’ll want to do your homework when hiring a web design firm and you’ll also want to prepare some things to present to whoever it is you trust to build your site.
Here are 10 things we suggest you have ready for your web team:
1. A List of Pages
You’ll want to have a list of the pages you would like to have on your website. This is often referred to as the site map. It’s the architecture in which your website will be laid out, a skeleton of what the site’s content will look like. Even if things change at the advice of your team, by outlining the pages you think your site should have, you open the discussion for what you hope your website will be and how it will function.
2. Examples of Websites You Like
Consolidate a list of websites that you admire the look and feel of. This is extremely helpful for your designer. Think about what fonts and colors you like. Find examples of page layouts that you love. Spend some time perusing the web checking sites both in and out of your industry. Take note of any special features or tools that you’d like to incorporate in your own website. This will help your designer immensely.
3. Special Tricks and Features
Are there any tricks that you want your website to do? We don’t mean handstands or back flips. What we mean is do you want your website to automatically send emails to visitors that fill out a form or save these form submissions into a database? Do you want the ability to upload a bunch of photos at once and have them automatically create a photo gallery? That’s what your web developers will be looking for. Any sort of automation will typically cost more and you want to make these things clear to find the right company for your needs and also get an accurate quote.
4. Check out Your Competitors
What are your competitors doing really well and then what do they suck at? You want to learn from those who excel in your industry and at the same time you want to define what it is you want to avoid. By identifying the good, the bad and the ugly, you’ll be capable of explaining how you want to define your own online presence.
What’s your budget?
Do you need your site to launch by a certain date? If there is an event or marketing push that requires your site is online on a specific day, you need to let your web team know. Depending on whether your site is a comprehensive e-Commerce store or a basic HTML site, they should be able to give you an accurate launch date.
7. Existing Marketing Materials
Do you have existing marketing materials like a logo, business cards, brochures or a corporate font that you use? Hand them over to your designer to ensure that they’ll present your company in line with your current marketing strategy and maintain a consistent branding appearance.
Write on! Write as much as you possibly can in the way of what you want your website to say. Your about section, your services section – all of it. We often find that we’ll design a site, program it, and then end up stalled on inputting content for the site because it doesn’t exist. Don’t let your website stall because you don’t have the words ready for your site. By writing your content for the site, it helps you clarify what you want your website to say, achieve and also helps expedite your site’s launch date.
9. Website Goals
What you do you want to accomplish with your website? What are you aiming for? If you don’t know where you’re going – how are you going to get there?
10. Your Calls to Action
What do you want your website visitors to do? Do you want them to call you? Buy something? Sign up for your mailing list? Make sure you know what conversions you are aiming for to ensure that your website achieves such.
By having all of these things ready for your web design, the team working on your site will be ever so grateful. And you will have a ton of work off your shoulders so that you can sit back and let the web developers commence the heavy lifting.
Good luck with your website and thanks for reading.