In today’s business environment, 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 customers.
But when is the right time to hire a professional to design your business website?
Let’s assume that your business is already up and running, and you have the traditional marketing tools at hand including brochures and business cards. 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 storefront in the virtual world. You should get 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 to prepare for a provider of professional web design services who will work on the project :
1. Determine the primary goals and objectives of your website.
Before you decide to hire a web designer, you must determine the purpose for building a website, whether it will be selling merchandise, scheduling services, or simply a source of information for customers.
Since you are not yet working with a web designer, the best thing to do is search online for websites that you think are appealing and represent the way you want to world to see your brand. Once you’ve chosen a particular format, you should start a list of 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 determine how their brand will look.
Whether you’re using a virtual or physical vision board doesn’t 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, taglines 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 site are two very different things. The first focuses on the creation and execution of a vision while the second is focused on the enhancement or revision of an existing concept.
If your business doesn’t have a site yet, brainstorm how you want your site to look and function 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 costs, which can often be greater than you think. With that said, you must be prepared by performing research to find out the possible total cost of your design work.
One of the best ways to get 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 imperative.
5. Give each page a definitive purpose.
Before you begin your website design project, you must determine:
- The number of pages your website should have
- The purpose of every page
- The amount of content on each page in terms of number of words and number of images
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 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. 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.
It is always good to have content for each page ready before your designer begins to work on your website.
The content that you need to be ready with should be the final copy you intend to publish on your site. If you lack the skill to write the copy 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 existed for a while, there’s a good chance that you already have an established file management system 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 that contains ideas and key pieces of information that are required for your project.
The items you will want to store in your online folder include:
- Your Copy – One of the best ways to come up with 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 make navigation of the site easy for users and search engines to navigate. 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 take before seeking help from a web design and development company. Once you’ve accomplished all seven steps, it’s time to look for an experienced and competent professional web design services provider that will make your vision 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 a talented designer for your website. If possible, hire a designer that comes highly recommended by someone you trust.
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 give them access to the files, processes and plans you have prepared. Give them time to assess your input then let them know about your expectations and ask them when you can expect them to deliver the site. By doing so, you and your web designer can 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 launch plan as part of your website construction project. Upon completion of your project, you should create an event to launch your website that will 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 to make sure that:
- Your content is grammatically correct
- Your links are working
- Your website looks good on a mobile device
When building a website, you should construct one that works to showcase your brand. Let Muzeum Marketing do the hard work for your business!
Call us at (303) 466-3055 for your web design and development concerns.