TO BUILD A WEBSITE: WHAT A DESIGNER NEEDS
So you are finally ready to hire a designer to build a website… What’s do you need to provide them?
The fact of the matter is, it depends. There are a few things that every designer will require from their clients, and there are some things that depend on what you need or the scope of what the designer is doing for you. For example. If the designer is doing all of the content for your website, obviously you would not need to provide the content. You may only need to provide them with a few topics or ideas.
If the designer is taking care of your domain or hosting, you would not need to provide them with that information either as they will already have it. So it really depends on what is needed to build a website for each specific client..
For the sake of simplicity, we are gonna assume that your designer will need everything.
One of the first thing you need to have ready is the domain registration information. A domain is the name or address of your website that connects visitors to your website.
This information can be provided in several ways. In many cases you can add your designer as a contributor to the registrar account, and grant them the appropriate access to make any changes needed. If you are not able to do that, you may need to provide them with your account username and password so that they can have access. They will eventually need this access to make sure the domain is pointed at the website.
A domain does you no good, without connecting it to a hosting account. Your hosting account gives you access to the server that all of your website files will be stored on. Just like your domain name account, sometimes you can add your designer as a contributor to the account, and they will be able to access this information. But again, you may need to proved your designer with hosting credentials or cPanel access. They will need this so that they can access and upload all of your websites files.
The two items above, I usually try to obtain first, even if I may not need them right away. I find sometimes these items are difficult to obtain especially if the client is not tech savvy, and sometimes holds up the process of making a website LIVE. Whether it is due to wrong passwords or wrong usernames, not everyone has immediate access to this information and it may take some time to gain it. So the sooner you can obtain your hosting and domain credentials, and confirm that they give you access to the account, the better and easier it will be on your designer. At Skilled Graphics we also offer domain registration and hosting if you do not have it yet.
WEBSITE DESIGN PREFERENCE
A large part of what guides a designer in the design of a website is what the client wants. Does the client have a specific layout in mind? Are there certain websites that the client likes that would offer as an example or inspiration? Are there any ideas that the client has and would like implemented? These are questions you will likely be asked by most designers. The more details you can provide your designer the better the designer can deliver what you want.
In some cases the client has no preference and allows the designer full creativity. While this sounds like a blessing for the designer, it often comes back to haunt them, when the designer has ideas that later conflict with the clients. Its best to have some say in your websites design, so take the time to think about what you would like to see in a final product.
Another guiding light for the designer is the branding materials such as a logo, colors, fonts etc. Businesses that have invested in their branding will in many cases have a style guide that tells exactly how their brand should be displayed. It provides the proper colors and logo usage along with loads of other valuable information that is key to maintaining a consistent brand.
If you do not have a style guide, don’t worry. Sometimes a logo will tell the whole story. However I highly recommend that before you dive into your website, you really should invest in your businesses brand. It is an important part of your business and can literally improve your success. Lucky for you, at Skilled Graphics we specialize in branding and would love to help you out. Feel free to contact us for a quote, and we will make sure you start off on the right foot.
In many cases you will be required to provide the content to build your website upon. Whether its the copy on the page or images and videos, you need to have this content ready for your designer.
I find it easiest when a client provides me with word documents for each page. For example a word document titled “About Us” and all of the copy and images that is to be displayed on that page. It doesn’t have to look good, that’s my job, it just has to be there, preferably proofread and ready to go.
It is also helpful to provide all of the images in a separate zip file or a downloadable link. Even if you have already placed the images in a word document. Microsoft Word compresses these images and destroys their quality.
Don’t forget to include contact info such as emails, phone numbers, address and any other business information you would like included on the website.
In some cases your designer may be providing search engine optimization for your content. This could simply be rewriting what you have already provided them, or simply writing it themselves based on the criteria you provide, which brings us to our next item.
SEO KEYWORDS, PHRASES AND TOPICS
Your designer may be doing the SEO for your website. To build a website that is properly optimized for search engines, some things are required.
You will need to provide your designer with key words and phrases that will be used to search for your website. For example if you are an automotive business in Atlanta. You may want to use keywords like “automotive”, “Atlanta”, “repair” etc.. And you may want to provide phrases like “Atlanta automotive repair”.
In some cases the designer may do all of the legwork for you, but it is important to educate yourself on SEO and how the process works so that you can provide your designer with the best information.
When it comes time to build a website, even if you provide your designer with all of the items listed here, it is likely more will still be required. Every business is different, therefore every business has its own requirements. However if you have all of this information ready to go, you will make some designer very very happy.