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How to Prepare Before Hiring a Website Designer and Developer

June 26, 2018

Business

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A motivating factor that brings a lot of small business owners to the point where they want to hire a website designer and developer is simple: overwhelm. This seems like a no-brainer. Websites have a lot of moving parts, tech, and design possibilities so having someone else do it sounds like a dream.

But let’s pump the breaks for a minute. Whether you hire someone or do it yourself, you need to prepare before diving into creating a website. Your designer can’t do it all! There’s certain tasks you can complete before bringing them on your team that not only helps the designer, but keeps you organized as well!

ASK YOURSELF: WHAT DO YOU NEED YOUR SITE TO ACCOMPLISH?

Whether your designer asks you for this information directly or not, you should have a goal for your website. You don’t want your site to be appealing on the surface without substance. Whether you’re looking to get inquiries or new subscribers on your email list (or maybe something else entirely!), you can help your designer figure out what call-to-actions will work on your site and how your pages should flow.

COLLECT AND RESIZE YOUR IMAGES

Maybe you’re a photographer. Even if you aren’t though, the pictures on your site can make or break the design. When you start gathering images, keep in mind where they can go. You’ll have favorites and putting those on the homepage, for instance, will help draw in clients and visitors that you want to appeal to.

You also don’t want to bog down your site loading speed with huge pictures. Have you ever left a site before because it was taking forever to load? You don’t want that when someone visits your site. The general rule is that you want the longest side of the image to be 1500px. Having this already done and ready for your designer helps save a ton of time.

PREP CONTENT

The most time consuming part (hey, I’m not gonna sugarcoat it!) is writing out all the content for your website. Hiring a copywriter might be an option for you. But writing it yourself doesn’t have to be the worst thing ever.

You’ll know better than anyone else what information your website needs. When you’re thinking through the pages you want to have, ask yourself: what does the reader need to learn about on this page? Keeping the focus on being helpful can make the task a lot less daunting. Plus, having the content that needs to be included helps your designer to style your typography to make it easy to read and visually appealing!

PROVIDE YOUR BRAND FILES

Your brand designer may be able to help with this step, but you want to make sure every type of graphic and detail your brand includes is given to your website designer. And make sure they’re vector or high resolution. You’ll minimally need:

  1. Your logo
  2. Any secondary logos or marks
  3. A favicon
  4. Your color palette hex codes
  5. Your fonts and their assigned purposes
  6. Any graphics, patterns, icons, etc. that are in your brand


Another really beneficial document that could help your website designer is your brand guidelines and strategy. When you work with your brand designer, you’ll be working through the intention behind your brand’s visuals. Knowing these important steps you covered with them can help your website also be more intentional.

BE REALISTIC WITH TIMELINE

Depending on your chosen platform, a website can take from a couple of weeks to months to complete. It varies greatly designer to designer. But you’ll want to be able to take that time for the best results. Rushing through something so important can just lead to wasted money.

A great way to feel like you’ve had time to research and schedule your project at a time you won’t be overwhelmed is by contacting the website designer and booking further out. This also ensures that your brand, content, all that good stuff is done. But you may need to book early so you’ll need to be ready to commit to a date so you don’t lose it. Which brings us to…

BE READY TO MAKE AN INVESTMENT

A true, smart investment in business is one that you see a return on and can elevate your business. Your website is so important in your plan when you are creating goals focused on being stable income. Your website can make or break your inquiries, interest in what you offer, and leaves a lasting impression, good or bad, on your site visitor.

A lot of time is needed to create a website, and while it can seem like a lot of money at the time, know that your designer is aimed at taking all the time needed to make a website that will have a real impact on potential clients. Saving whatever you can, especially if you’re in the stage of your business where you need a completely custom site, will allow you to hire the best designer for your job without feeling restricted.

TRUST THEM AND THEIR PROCESS

Finally, with all the details they need to create and all the boxes that need to be checked, your designer will have a process they follow so they won’t drop the ball. When working together, they’ve found just the right order to complete tasks and will guide you through them.

Make sure to be open to providing feedback, your needed site elements, and communicating with them the way that will work best with their timeline. You’ll both remain on the same page and they will take care of all the super technical details while you can focus on your site reflecting your brand and appealing to your ideal clients.


Do you feel more prepared to hire a website designer and developer? We offer those services and if you have any questions or are ready to take the next step let us know!

Are you missing out on potential clients? The fix can be as simple as updating your website.

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