Step 1: Enquiry
There are a few details you should know about your project before contacting a web designer.
- Have a clear idea of how many pages and/or products your website will have, because those numbers affect how much the site will cost.
- Estimate your budget for the project, and remember that pinching pennies often leads to a site that isn’t good enough to return any profit.
- Review what the sites of your competitors look like, and take note of what you like and what your site could improve on.
- Browse through galleries such as this one (http://www.designfridge.co.uk/) to see what the most well-designed sites look like at the moment. Notice the stylistic approaches you like and mention them to your designer, who will appreciate that you are aware of current trends.
- Determine what your marketing plan will look like. Ask yourself if you have the time and resources to produce content and market your business on a regular basis. If not, consider adding content marketing and copywriting to the list of services you request.
Unsure of how to choose a web designer? Read more »
Step 2: Content
If you can deliver all content specifications to the designer, great. However, the vast majority of people think that content will take care of itself, or they get stuck when their designer asks them to articulate the text that will go on the site. Designers are responsible for the look of the site, not its content. Services like content strategy and copywriting will deliver the appropriate content when you can’t do it yourself.
Step 3: Design & Development
Once the designer has your content specifications, he or she will give you a mock-up, which is not a live site but an image of what it might look like. This is your opportunity to request any changes, because after the development process begins major changes will be costly. After a few rounds of feedback, the designer will ask for your final approval.
Step 4: Market
How you go from here will determine whether the site will continue to attract visitors and generate business for you. Many people make the mistake of sitting back and waiting for traffic to come, but sites that are static business cards will not attract much attention. Actively look for ways to promote your brand by updating your site with engaging, useful and shareable content.