How to Prepare for Your Web Design Project
Starting a web design project is always an exciting time as you anticipate improving both the look and the performance of your site. However, it can also be a confusing or overwhelming time if you are not prepared. Your web design company will spearhead the design and development of your site. But, in order to do so effectively, they will rely on certain information from you regarding your business, your website needs and goals, text, graphics, and more. Preparing this information ahead of time can help you to enjoy a smoother, more efficient process. What follows is a look at a few of the steps you should take to prepare for your web design project.
Define your website goals.
In order for your web design company to identify the features and look needed for your unique website to thrive, they must first know what you want to achieve with your website and what qualities are most important to your business. As a result, the first step in preparing for your web design project is to define your website goals. In order to identify these goals, define the following aspects of your business:
- Your Target Audience
- Reasons Visitors Come to Your Site
- Your Business’ Unique Qualities
- Website Performance Goals
SEE ALSO: Web Design Trends for 2017
Select your domain name.
Your web design company will need to know your new domain name in order to set up your web hosting account. If you are using the same domain as a previous website, you need only make sure that your web design company can access your current domain. When choosing your domain name, there are few best practices that will ensure your website is easily found by your target audience:
- Consider using your name or your company’s name.
- Keep the domain name short and easy to spell.
- Use a .com domain if possible.
- Avoid hyphens that make the domain name harder to say or spell.
- Use keywords that visitors would use to look for the products and services you offer.
Create a web page list.
The third step in preparing for a web design project is to create a list of the web pages you want to include in your site. This list is important because it gives your web design company the information they need to create an effective site plan and work the right links into your mock-up.
Examples of the types of pages present on most websites include the Home page, About Us page, Our Services pages, and a Contact page. You might also request pages such product pages, a News page, a Team page, and/or a Projects page.
In addition to creating a list of preferred web pages, you may also want to include a list of the functionality you prefer for your site. For example, you may want to request a shopping cart, a blog, slideshows, and more.
Prepare the text content for your site.
In order to create a complete website, you will also need to provide your web design company with digital copies of any text you want included on the site. This content should come in Word, Publisher, or TXT formats. You may also have the text digitized from hard copies for a data entry fee.
Prepare the graphics content for your site.
Graphics will bring your website to life. In order to make sure the right ones get on your site, you will need to provide pictures and graphics to your web design company. Submit them in a digital format (JPG, GIF, PNG, PDF, PSD, TIFF) for easier placement. There are a few qualities that define the best graphics for a website. Following are the most important considerations when choosing graphics for your web design project:
- Select images that evoke the emotions you want your visitors to have.
- Choose images that achieve a certain goal for your website.
- Include images of real people.
- Strive for uniqueness and creativity in your graphics.
- Do not forget to include your logo for proper branding.
- Only use high quality images to maximize the professional appearance of your site.
- Make sure the images you select match your brand.
Select the fonts you wish to use for your site.
Selecting the fonts for your site is not strictly necessary. Your web design company can choose fonts for you as they put the mock up of your web design project together. However, if you have preferences for the type of font used on your site, make sure to let your web design company know before they begin your web design project.
Prepare all log ins.
In order for your web design company to successfully implement your web design project, they will need to have a number of relevant log ins. Following is a look at some of the log ins that your web design company might require.
If you are using a domain you already own, you will need to provide your web design company with the log in information for your domain name registration provider’s website. This information will be necessary for moving your domain name from the original web host to the new hosting servers.
Web Hosting Logins
Whether you host with your web design company or not, they will need access to the hosting server you are using. As a result, you will need to provide web hosting log ins that allow access FTP, database, and control panels for your website. You may also need to provide tech support contact for the server.
If you are already using software (i.e. WordPress, Joomla, Drupal, etc.) you will need to provide your web design company with an admin log in. This will allow them to create settings and migrate content more easily during the web design project.
Provide current email addresses
Finally, you may need to provide a list of your business’ current email addresses to your web design company. This step is necessary if you are transferring your web hosting from one server to another and you wish to retain the email addresses you have in your contact lists. While these steps are important, the most essential step in any web design project is communication with your web design company. Often, they can provide guidance, support, and services if you find yourself struggling with aspects of your website such as content, graphics, or fonts. As your web design project begins to gear up, take steps to prepare information that will be useful to your web design company and that will avoid delays in the process. With the right preparation, you can enjoy a smooth, efficient process and a website that works for you.