Even if you’ve never developed a website, it should come as no surprise that there is quite a lot to think about. Great websites are the result of a lot of hard work and planning by a professional web design and development team. If you plan on developing your own website it’s good practice to get a heads up on the web design process so the end result is much closer to how you wanted it to be.
Planning, planning, planning.
The first basic step with a lot of things is planning. Web design is no different. You will need to consider what you want your website to do for you. You website needs to have a purpose in mind and that purpose should drive the planning process. For example, if you want to sell products you will need to think about ecommerce web design and the range of required functionality that comes with it.
Here is a list of basics for the planning process:
- Content Creation – Copywriting, video, images
- Design & Branding – Logo, colour scheme, fonts
- Search Engine Optimisation – Keywords, URLs
- Functionality – Shopping carts, forms, content management
- Budget – What you want against what you can afford
All these areas should be assessed and investigated until solid conclusions and agreements can be made to each one. All are equally important parts of the whole and are vital to achieving the web design you want for your company.
Planning also helps you project the requirements your website may have in the future. You may for instance want to add lots of written content at some point so getting yourself a content managed website upfront would be a much better decision than having to upgrade to one further down the line.
With some basic planning in place you may now want to find yourself a web design company with whom you can work alongside to bring your requirement to life. You’ll need to shop around, ask questions, see examples and get some references. Costs can vary from agency to agency but in the end you usually get what you pay for. As the saying goes, you pay peanuts, you get monkeys.
However it’s been said that the newer the company, the cheaper the rate and the more willing they are to give you what you want without too much fuss as they’re still trying to build a solid client base.
Be realistic about delivery times.
Many people make the huge mistake that a web design can be delivered by your web company within a week or two. Timelines and delivery can be a huge issue for some people. Make sure you discuss delivery upfront with your web agency. Any well designed, well-built website design will not happen overnight.
A professional web company will take you through delivery expectations; there can always be issues and setbacks along the way and you may find yourself pressurising your web agency to deliver to unrealistic schedules. This can mostly be avoided by listening to what your web agency has to say and trusting that they have your best interests at heart. I’m not saying to go all soft, but in most cases they are trying their best to deliver on time and to budget.
When we boil it down to basics the best web design projects are created through the process of careful planning and leaving no stone left unturned. You need to be realistic about your expectations in regard to costs & delivery.
Take the time to find a web company either with a decent history of delivery (might cost more) or a newer company (eager to please) and make sure you feel comfortable working with them before you press on. If you take the time to understand the processes involved and the part you play in them, you’ll be much more relaxed and confident that the end results will be exactly or better than what you were looking for.