In the business environment of today, the virtual market is an essential aspect in the success of any enterprise. It is important for a business to own and operate a website to showcase its products and services directly to potential customers.
But when would you need a professional to design a website for your business?
Let’s presume that your business is already up and running, and you have the traditional marketing tools at hand including brochures and business cards to keep your business running. This makes your business ready for the real, physical market, but you have one more thing to accomplish: build a website to make your brand visible online.
Your website serves as your store front in the virtual market. Through your site, you are presenting your business to the entire world. Your website is the vessel that carries your business for the world to know. You should keep it up and running as soon as possible, but there are certain things that you need to put in place before asking web design professionals for help.
There are 7 essential steps you need to accomplish to make your proposed website ready for a provider of professional web design services who will work on the project :
1. Determine the primary goals and objectives of your website.
Even before you decide to engage a web designer, you must determine your purpose for building a website, whether it will be selling merchandise or services? Or you want it to exist only as a source of information.
Since you are not yet working with a web designer, the best you can do is search online for websites that you think are appealing and have the potential to represent your brand. Once you’ve chosen a particular model, you should start to list down what you would like your website to accomplish.
2. Create a design through a vision board.
Vision boards are not only for ambitious young individuals who want to direct the path they want to take in life. They can also help new business owners to determine how their brand would look.
Whether you’re using a virtual or actual vision board doesn’t really matter as long as you’re comfortable working with it. A good vision board includes all the things you want incorporated into your brand, including colors, font choices, tag lines or slogans, and images you want to utilize for your marketing strategies.
3. Create a design plan.
Practically, building a website from scratch and updating an already existing one are two different things. The first one focuses on the creation an execution of a vision while the second one is focused on the enhancement or revision of an existing concept.
If your business doesn’t have a site yet, make a list of how you want your site to look and work based on your vision board. Your list should include all the essential components including menus, buttons, headers, number of pages and all other visual elements you deem necessary for your online operations.
Don’t forget to include useful social media buttons and brand icons on your list. Writing all the things you want for your website can help your designer to estimate the time and cost needed to build the website you have in mind.
4. Prepare your budget.
Building a website involves cost which can be greater than you think. With that said, you must be prepared by doing a research to find out the possible total landed cost of your design work.
One of the best ways to get a realistic feedback is to ask owners of local business websites about the amount of money they spent to build their sites, and who they hired to do it.
Preparing a budget for your website is important. It wouldn’t be a good idea to start building only to stop for lack of funds. No web designer would be happy with that either.
5. Give each page a definitive purpose.
Before you begin your website building project, you must determine:
- the number of pages your website should have
- the purpose of every page
- the size of content on each page in terms of number of words and number of copies
The best way for you to determine what you really need is to emulate the structure of a website that you love and include its components on your wish list. Just in case you’re not yet sure how many pages you would want your site to have, you may start with pages that are important to customers:
- Product or Service Details
Should you want to add another page later on, you just need to update your site. Just keep in mind that making significant changes in the format or design of your website involves costs. Incidentally, it is also a major cause for asking professional web design help. Avoid spending more by creating a baseline site that can be updated easily with information instead of making structural changes should additional content be required.
6. Get ready with your copy.
This can be a bit surprising to you, but it is always good to have content for each page ready before your designer can even begin his work on your website.
The content that you need to be ready with aren’t raw ideas. These should be the final copy you intend to publish on your site. If you lack the skill to write the copies yourself, hire an experienced writer to do the job for you.
7. Establish a systematic process before meeting your web designer.
If your business has been existing for a while, there’s a good chance that you already have an established file management system for your marketing using digital tools like Dropbox and Google Docs. As you might expect, the simplest way to work with a web designer is through online collaboration. Make your files ready for your web designer by creating a folder online to contain ideas and key pieces of information that are required for your project.
The items you would want to store in your online folder include:
- Your Copy – One of the best ways to come up with a great copy is to create a draft that multiple people can review simultaneously.
- Pictures and Images – Any image that you own and want to be a part of your new website should be stored in this folder.
- Sitemap – A model of your website’s content, a sitemap is designed to help navigation of the site easy for users and search engines. It can be an XML document, an organization chart, or a list of pages organized by topic.
These are the 7 essential steps that you need to make before seeking help from a web design and development company. Once you’ve accomplished all seven steps, it would be time to look for an experienced and competent yet flexible professional web design services provider who should act to make your envisioned website a reality.
Here are the steps you need to undertake to find the right web design and development company:
Use your professional and business network to find an able designer for your website. If possible, hire someone who is highly recommended by someone you trust.
You can actually choose from millions of web designers around the world, but if you find yourself more comfortable working with someone up close rather than on Skype, you may rely on recommendations of people you know.
Be bound by a web design contract.
Once you’ve found a competent web design and development company to work on your project, be sure to tell them of the files, processes and plans you had made ready. Give them time to assess your inputs then let them know about your expectations and ask them when can you expect them to deliver the same. By doing so, you and your web designer can be on the same page, and ready to put what you have agreed upon into a contract which should specify:
- The estimated date of completion
- The frequency of progress report submission (daily/weekly)
- The frequency of your meetings
- Method of corresponding/communication (email, skype, etc.)
- The budget for the project
Devise a website launching plan.
You need to have a website launching plan as part of your website construction project. Upon completion of your project, you may create an event to launch your website and create a buzz about your brand in the market. You may also involve your best customers with their testimonials about your product or service.
Once you’re sure that your website is ready for the market, you should review it once more before opening it for the world to make sure that:
- Your content is grammatically correct
- Your links are working
- Your website looks good on a mobile device
These are the essential goals that you need to set when you plan to build your business website, and before making a move to see a web designer.
Building a website is a major move you should make for your business. But since it involves costs, you need to make all the components ready for the web designer to use when the project begins. This can help to minimize costs and allow you to plan what you can do for your website during the construction phase, and direct what your website can do for you when it becomes operational.
When building a website, you should construct one that works to showcase your brand. Let Muzeum Marketing do it for your business.
Call us at (303) 466-3055 for your web design and development concerns.