A website design project has a few distinct phases that you can help move through swiftly and smoothly if you’re well prepared. Here is a broad overview of some of the main phases you can expect with your website design.
- Consultation and information collection
- Website designer creates templates for main pages
- You provide your feedback about likes and dislikes
- The website designer tweaks your website design
Each phase will take a different amount of time to finalize. If you’re hoping to get your new website live quickly, there are several preparation steps you can take to speed up the process and ensure the best outcome.
The more preparation you do before initiating your project, the better your website designer can execute your brand and ensure your website highlights your products and services effectively.
Materials to prep to ensure a smooth website design project
While the goal is to begin your website project with as much preparation as possible, don’t feel like you have to have everything together before reaching out to a website designer. Your designer will let you know what they need to proceed with the project.
These are just some general guidelines that can help you get organized and prepare for your project.
Create a sitemap (outline of webpages you want to be included)
Your website designer will create templates based on the types of pages you’ll need and what content you expect will be on these pages. Create an outline of your website. This is also known as a sitemap and shows the hierarchy of parent pages and their child pages that sit underneath them.
Most often, a website includes a homepage, about information and services/product pages. Based on your business and your content, you might also include a blog, staff page with bios, or industry-specific information.
Once your website designer sees this information, they can make recommendations for menus that are user-friendly and guide the website visitor toward the content that’s most important on your website. A skilled website designer will consider the customer experience and the customer buying journey to encourage visitors to take the actions you want them to take to grow your business.
Write content for each webpage
Now that you know the webpages that will be on your website, you can begin building out that content. It’s helpful for your designer to see how much content goes on each page and the nature of that content. That way, your content can be in short, readable snippets to avoid overwhelming your website visitor and help keep them engaged as they scroll.
As you write your website content, try to break up your content into short paragraphs with headings, subheadings, and bulleted or numbered lists wherever possible. Long, bulky sections of text might discourage your website visitor from continuing down the page. Plus, today’s consumers expect to be able to skim content on websites and still get the most important messages.
If you’re unsure about how to engage audiences online or you feel uncomfortable writing the website copy, consult your website designer. Your designer might be able to recommend a copywriter with experience writing for SEO and customer engagement. Website copywriters are skilled in making complex concepts or products simple with just a few words to engage readers and guide them toward your calls to action.
Outline your brand in brand guidelines
In the initial phase of getting to know your business and your brand, your website designer will ask for more information about who you are and your visual identity. Brand guidelines can communicate who you are clearly.
Even if you don’t have full-fledged brand guidelines, information on your logo, color palette and tone can be extremely helpful in creating a website that speaks to your customers. Many website designers are also branding specialists. If you are still working to build out your brand guidelines, consider hiring a designer that also does logo design and branding services.
Wieting Design offers additional graphic design and logo services to help you develop your branding. We then build custom website designs that match the overall branding and look and feel we’ve created for your brand.
Organize your branding files in an online folder for your website designer
Use a cloud program, such as Google Drive or Dropbox, to organize your branding files and share them with your website designer. This folder should include the following:
- Illustrations or photos
- Brand guidelines (if you have them)
- Graphics you want to include in your website design
Having all these materials in one place with easy access can help speed up the website design process and ensure your website matches your brand and meets your goals.
Find a skilled website designer near you
You’re all set now to execute an organized and smooth website design project. All you need is a skilled website designer to make the project come to life. Many small business owners have never hired a website designer before. But don’t worry, here’s how to ensure you’re hiring a good designer.
- Take a look at the website designer’s online assets. Their website should be impressive and easy to navigate. Read up on any blogs or case studies on their website to learn a bit more about them and what makes them unique.
- Read online reviews from previous customers to learn more about the website designer, their skills and how easy it is to work with them. Some skilled designers take too long on projects or are not enjoyable to collaborate with. Avoid hiring a designer who doesn’t meet your requirements for collaboration by reading online reviews.
- Interview the website designer to learn more about them. Ask about previous projects that are like yours, such as other websites in your industry or other websites with functionality like what you’re looking for.