Have you ever wondered what’s the hold up on your web designer’s timeline and what could possibly take them so long to deliver the site of your dreams? As usual, there are a number of reasons why this may be the case and this article serves to provide the common bottlenecks as well as things you can do as the consumer to speed the process up. Win – Win for all involved right? Let’s dive in.
- Initial Discovery To Gather Project Requirements
Just as in any type of project planning, you must start with some initial discovery. This can be just an informal call, some back and forth email or even in the form of a questionnaire. The goal of this step is to ensure the web designer fully understands exactly what you need up front as there are several decisions that must be made based upon the information gathered during Discovery. The type of website you need can greatly influence what type of solution you propose to your customer and therefore, this step is vital to any project. Often times, this can be one of the more lengthy steps just getting the project off the ground as this often requires discussion of bill rates and other projected costs.
What Can The Customer Do?
- The customer should be able to provide the designer some very basic information about what the company or organization does. This can influence the style of the site or recommended color schemes.
- The customer should have a basic idea of what type of content they wish to deliver on their website, such as an image gallery, music, service offerings, sale listings, etc.
- The customer should know if they have any special requirements of the site that may require additional technology, such as an online store, message board, customer logins, etc.
- The customer should come prepared with a budget in mind. Based upon all of the information gathered during discovery, the web designer and customer can determine what they can and cannot achieve within the existing budget. This can help to plan out future phases to expand the site at a later date if needed.
- Basic Technology Needs In Order to Start a Project
Unless you have worked in technology, have technology as one of your hobbies or have set up a website before, you may not be completely familiar with all that is required technically before you can even upload your first website.
What Can The Customer Do? Generally, the following is required in order to proceed. Familiarize yourself with these different components prior to discovery session.
- A Domain Name: The URL that visitors will type in to access your site. We can begin development without it, but it will be required before final product can be considered delivered.
- A Hosting Account: You will need server space somewhere, whether that is on a personal server or with a hosting firm like GoDaddy or HostGator. This will be where we upload all of your site files, images and other content to deliver your website.
- Other Subscriptions: You may need some other subscriptions, such as a eCommerce solution or SSL (secure transaction) certificate to keep your customer information safe if needed.
- Basic Site Structure
What pages do you wish to have? Home Page, Services Page, About Us Page, Contact Page?
What Can The Customer Do? Once you understand what type of content you deliver, you can begin to build out a diagram of how your site will be structured. This is the first step of building out your site. If you are prepared with this information, we can move quickly into the lengthiest part of the website design process which is…..
- Design Vision and Content, Content, Content
What do you want your site to look like? What do you want it to say?
What Can The Customer Do?
- Come prepared with examples of other sites in your industry that you like. This can include site layout as well as color scheme (Research what color scheme can say about your business here). This will help establish the vision of what you are looking for from a design perspective.
- Coming prepared with your company slogan, company history verbiage, etc will greatly reduce the time it takes to bring your website live. No one can tell your story like you can! Web Design firms definitely can interject with best practices and other suggestions, but having a starting point on the content takes a lot of time off of the timeline.
Hopefully you were able to pick up some tips on how you can help to speed up your design project and this article gave you a good idea of how to avoid common bottlenecks in the process. The sooner your site is up, the sooner you can get back to managing your business and utilizing your brand new tool to help promote and grow it!
We hope you enjoyed this article and feel free to leave us a comment below with feedback. Until next time. Have a great week!