Whether you’ve hired a web designer in the past or looking to hire one for the first time, it’s important to have everything ready before work starts. Not only does good preparation make your project go faster, it can actually save you money in extra fees due to redesigning. And there’s no better way to prepare for your web design project than to have all your ideas and materials ready early on.
A designer can be full of ideas, but they are simply a tool. It’s your ideas that matter most and good designers will work with you to develop a great site based on your suggestions. So before you even request a quote think about the purpose of your new site. Will it provide company information (like a brochure); be your very own storefront and shopping cart; or show off your content, images, video, and photos?
Next ponder the layout. Think about the colors you’ll want for your new website, consider other website styles you’ve seen, and write some content draft to get you started. If writing isn’t your thing, check into a great copywriter to pen some fresh content for your site. This is the phase where you crack open that old notebook and jot down a few ideas.
Once you’ve determined what you want in a website you can start to draw up a budget. How much site can you afford? Can you really have everything you want in your design and still afford web hosting and a domain name? If $500.00 is your absolute limit, narrow your designer choices down to those willing to stay within your budget. Ask them what you get for the price and get another quote without all the bells and whistles. Staying within your budget is a preparation phase many people mistakenly overlook.
After you’ve fallen in love with your designer’s affordable quote, collect your images, text, and other content. These materials should be based on your initial idea phase, things like your logo, written content, product descriptions, and photos. Consider colors and the general “style” of your website too and relay this information to the designer in an email or by phone. Send these as soon as you’ve signed the contract or accepted them as your designer. The sooner they get this material, the faster they can return you a polished site.
Finally, consider some extras! Did you have a little left over in the budget – why not spend it on an interactive forum, blog, or a contact form? Plan ahead to decide what you will do if you actually have a little funds left over. Maybe you’ll plunge it into a new print ad for the site or ask your designer’s graphic design team to create an advertising banner. Whatever you choose to do with extra cash, plan it early so your designer can know earlier too.
Spontaneity may have it’s place in the most groundbreaking ideas, but when it comes to furnishing a web designer with the materials he or she needs, preparation is the key. Just grab all your ideas, discover what you want from your site, and figure a budget before you hire a designer – your web development job will go much smoother. You’ll get everything you want in your website, the way you want; at the lowest price.