When you are looking for a new place to live, typically you have a list of things you are looking for in a house/condo/apartment/yurt.
Having a website designed is exactly the same. Just like finding a place to live, if you have a wish-list and all your paperwork in order, it’s going to go much smoother and quicker than if you haven’t decided if you want something west-facing and can’t remember your social insurance number.
What if you don’t know what you need? Well, that’s why I’ve put together this little guide on how to get ready for web design so you can get online faster.
For each page, product and post on your website, you will need words – the right words, your words. Your web designer’s job is to make those words look good, not to write them. If you don’t feel comfortable with this yourself, hiring a copywriter is always a good investment.
Colour schemes and layouts you like
Before setting out on any design journey, your designer will need to know what is attractive to you. Have at least three websites you love (or at least like), as well as some colour schemes for your designer to look at.
Colour schemes and layouts you don’t like
Just as important as knowing what you like, your designer needs to know what you definitely don’t want to see on your website. Have a strong dislike for red? Really don’t like chunky fonts? Hate fat footers? Your designer should know that before they start.
What type of social connect you want
Social is all the rage these days, but not everyone uses it the same way. You should have an idea of how you want to use social with your website before you start, so your designer can best meet your needs. Do you want posts to automatically filter through to Facebook and Twitter? Do you want people to be able to share your posts directly from your site? Have a short social wish list before you start.
Relevant usernames and passwords
One of the very first things your designer will ask you for is usernames and passwords for your domain registrar and web host. Depending on your social needs they may also need your social logins. Have these in a handy place before you start and save lots of scrambling around when your designer is ready to go. (They really can’t do anything without them.)
The purpose of your website
I’ve left this one to last because it is the trickiest to answer. What do you specifically want people to do, see and understand while they are on your website? Do you want them to look at a gallery of your work and then get in touch with you (hopefully to book you)? Do you want people to listen to your music and then buy some? Do you want people to watch your trailer and sign up to be notified of upcoming screenings?
The options are legion, but in the end you need to choose one path you want your visitor to take. You might think figuring this out is part of the design process, and you would be right, well, half right. Your designer will definitely work with you to create the best path for your visitors to take to achieve your goal, but you need to have a place to start. The purpose of your website is that place.