What we need from you to design/build a new website

There have been a few occasions recently where potential clients have asked for website quotations without providing the appropriate information (or, in fact, any information). So, here's what we want from you in order to give a quote and, hopefully, design and build a great website!

We can help with planning your website and with creating the website content. However, that will be chargeable so if you have made an effort to plan and collect or create the website content in the first place, that's usually a better starting point. The website plan and the information/content may still need to be revised but it's better if you think about what you want before coming to us.

1. A website plan

Write down a list of what you want. What functionality do you want? For example, do you want a contact form? What other features do you want? Do they serve a useful purpose? For example, many websites have a so-called hero unit (key message, call-to-action) on the home page. Is that right for you? Many websites have a slideshow on the home page - but is that just glitz? or is it useful?

If you are intending to sell online with an ecommerce website, the website requirements might be quite a long list but that's perfectly acceptable. Have a look at other online shops and see what they do. If you see something that you want, write it down. We can advise on anything in your list.

Whilst we can add features and functionality to any website during the build process, it's better to have a plan for these in the first place. Adding features and functionality that are outside of the initial remit may lead to an increased price from us. We'll advise if that's the case.

2. Website pages and text content

We need a list of the pages that you envisage and the text content for those pages. You may feel comfortable writing the website content but if you have limited experience we suggest that a web copywriter may be a better option.

For example, if you end up with phrases like "welcome to our website" and "we invite you to browse the pages of our new site" in your website copy, that's 'fluffy content' and pretty much a waste of time. Get someone who knows what they are doing - a web copywriter.

Another example, if you find yourself writing exclusively about "what we do" without describing the benefits for your target audience, that's also an indication to us that more copywriting expertise may be needed.

  • When you plan and write the website content, consider the primary objective for each page and how you will add a call-to-action for that objective.
  • You also need to identify the key search phrases (search terms) that your potential website visitors will be using - and these need to be in your text. We need to know what the most important search terms are for each page.

3. Images and other content

We need to see some examples of your other marketing materials if you have these.

If you have images and other content, for example videos, that you want to use, we need to see these at the start. Please note that images or other artwork you provide must be either owned by you, or you have permission to use them. Images from a Google image search or from other websites will not be OK to use in most cases because the copyright of those images will reside with the website authors/photographers. You may be able to get permission to use an image though.

We can suggest a number of websites where professional images can be bought, often for relatively low prices.

Any images provided by you (for example, your company logo) should be in a suitable image format, for example Photoshop file, .jpg file. If you are intending to provide in-house designs to us, we need these in Photoshop or vector-based formats. We need the correct graphics files from you!

Microsoft Publisher software is sometime used but that's not the best software for creating web graphics. PDF documents containing the output from a Publisher project file are also not what we want. It will cost more if you provide PDF files containing artwork because we need to spend more time on these.

Summary

  • Think about your website. Please put some effort into coming up with a plan.
  • Write down what you want.
  • Have a go at writing the page content if you feel comfortable with that.
  • Collect together the imagery and other content that you want to use.

We're not expecting a 100% complete plan or perfect text content but we need something from you in order to give you a website quote.

Subsequently, if you become a client, we can help revise the plan (we'll probably send you a short questionnaire) and assist with the web page content. We can also bring in other expertise to help as well.

Further Reading:

Comments and Responses

  • 03 Apr 2013 04:10:04

    nice blog. Looking forward for more posts like this.

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