So you’ve decided that you need a new website for your business and are planning to hire a web designer. You may think that figuring out how to find a great web designer is your main priority. But it’s only one step you should be taking in order to prepare for your web design project.
A good web designer will have a proven process to get you from where you are now to where you want to be. Maybe you’re in desperate need of an online presence that attracts your ideal customers and a strategic website that helps you grow your business online.
That’s exactly what an experienced web designer (like me!) is going to help you do.
However…the thing you have to understand, that many new web design clients don’t, is that there is going to be some work that falls on your plate as well. While great web designers are awesome and creative (yes, I’m gonna toot my own horn a little bit here), we unfortunately do not have magic wands (though my toddler thinks I do!).
In this post I’ll outline some of the important things you can do to prepare for your a web design project. By taking care of the tasks on this website redesign checklist, you’ll be setting yourself up for success and giving your web designer a better opportunity to do their best work.
Create an outline of the content you need
What information does your website need? Think about what would be the best way to organize the information.
Ask yourself these questions:
- What questions do you receive the most often from potential clients and customers?
- What are you customers’ pain points? What do the struggle with and how is their experience changed after working with you or purchasing your products?
- What are your most popular offerings? (best-selling products, blog content, something you’re known for)
- What are you (relevant) skills and expertise?
- How can you gain the trust of potential clients and customers? Social proof such as screenshots of people posting about you or your offerings. An “as seen on” section with logos or big names you’ve worked with works well.
Write some website copy or hire a copywriter
Once you’ve outlined the content that your website needs, you can start to write the copy, or the text that will go on your website. It’s really helpful to web designers when clients have some idea about content that will go on the website. If you need help you can ask if your designer offers copywriting services or if they have recommendations.
Gather nice-looking photos
Having beautiful photos on your website is so important these days! If you work one on one with clients, I highly recommend having a photo of yourself on your website. This helps people feel like they’re getting to know you and connecting with you. If you sell products, it’s very important to have high quality images to display them on your website. Having some professional photos taken will really help make your website look great and add to your branding.
Don’t forget about photos that will add to your brand story! You should also gather a variety of photos that help paint a picture of what it’s like to work with you or how your products/services help people. Nice imagery can help potential customers visualize themselves using your products or imagine how they’ll feel after working with you.
Note: It’s good to loop in your web designer before purchasing stock photos or doing a photo shoot. They can help you figure out what types of shots your photographer should take and also the best settings and colors to incorporate to match your website style guide.
Ask for testimonials
Gather some nice things that people have said about you or your products and services. If you’re a service-based business, be sure to gather testimonials from past clients. You may also want to ask them if you can use their photo on your website. This will help the testimonial be more effective because people can relate better when they actually see the person who’s saying the words.
Define your offerings
Before you go through the time and effort (and expense) to create a new website it’s SUPER important that you are clear about what your business is all about. You need to know what you’re selling (products, services, etc) and who you’re trying to sell it to(target audience/ideal clients). Your web designer needs to know this info in order to create the best designs that will appeal to the people you’re trying to reach.
Define some website and business goals
Think about what you’re trying to achieve by doing a web design project. I’m pretty sure it’s more than just “having a pretty website,” right? Maybe you need to grow your email list, make more sales or create awareness of your brand. Think about how your website plays into your larger business goals. This information will help your web designer come up with the strategy behind your website. This strategy will help lead users through a clear path to take the actions you want them to take.
The main point is…
When you being a web design project, be aware that there are some things you’ll need to give to your web designer in a timely manner for the website to be completed quickly – and strategically. If you’ve given some thought to each of the above points you should be in great shape to hit the ground running once you find the best web designer for your needs.
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