Having a website for your business is an essential tool for reaching your target market in today’s business landscape. For many, not having a website means your business does not exist – or is not serious. Although, some business have successfully launched without a website, having one makes it that much easier for your clients to find and do business with you.
So, you’ve found a web designer, signed a contract, paid your deposit, had a meeting and are now ready for your new web designer to do his/her thing. Here are a few things you need to have prepared to get the project off to a smoking start. After reading this blog you may think, “Duh!?” But you’d be surprised to know that there are some out there that don’t know these tips and what’s necessary to get a website up and running.
- Have a Domain Name Registered and Hosted. Unless your web designer offers a service to register domain names, you need to have a domain registered and have a hosting account for your website. You can find many registrars and hosting companies online using a Google search. Companies like GoDaddy, HostGator and Dreamhost among others offer these services and can assist you with getting started. I use GoDaddy myself and find that they are reasonably priced and have good customer service (just my experience).
- Provide Hosting Access Information. Be able to provide your hosting information (FTP server login/password) to your web designer. This information should be different than your hosting company customer account login information. Once you have a domain and website hosting and your designer has the information they need to access your hosting server, he/she can then create an awesome “Coming Soon” page instead of using the generic defaults provided by some hosting companies.
- Have Content Ready and Organized. Some web designers are just that, designers. They may not write copy for websites or may subcontract a copywriter. If your designer does not offer copywriting services, you need to have your content written and well organized to send to your web designer. Organizing written copy and images by page (i.e. Home, About Us, etc.) is a helpful way for the designer to get an idea of what he/she has to work with and can determine the best layout for your website…if that has not already been discussed. And even if it has been discussed – if you don’t have enough content to fill the agreed upon layout, that can be a problem. It’s extremely hard to design a website when the client is sending their content in pieces. I’ve had clients send me a paragraph or two of content and a note saying, “This is part of the About page. I’ll send more content and some images for this page by Friday”. That can be frustrating. If your web designer does assist clients in writing copy then No Worries. They’ll take care of it!
Just doing these three simple things can get your website project off to a great start. You’re prepared, the designer can get started right away and there’s less confusion and frustration. Also, you should review your contract just to be clear on other things that you may be required to do and provide for the project as well as what the designer is responsible for. When everyone is on the same page the designer can make your project ROCK!
What other things do you do along with your designer to ensure that your project is successful? I’d love to read your comments!