BEFORE You Hire a Web Designer

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Are you ready to re-design your website?  Have you been searching for a web designer and are ready to contact them?  Congratulations!  BUT, before you do let’s look at 10 things you should know and do BEFORE you contact then!

1. WHY? 

As a business owner, your website IS an investment and it is a {BIG DEAL}! Make the most of it!  So ask yourself, “Why do I want a new website?”

2. Breakdown your current site.

Make a list of what is working for you and what is not. What do you like about your site?  Things to think about, is it easy to navigate, do you get lots of feedback from your posts or services, etc.

3. Set SMART Goals. 

Set SPECIFIC, MEASURABLE, ACHIEVABLE, RELEVANT and TIME-BOUND goals for your site.  Examples could be: to increase unique visitors by 20% in 6 months, increase online inquires by 50% in 12 months, etc.  What matters to you and growing your business?

4. Define your IDEAL Customer.  

Who buys into your product or services?  How old are they? What do they do? What gender are they? And so on!

5. Why would your IDEAL Customers go to your site? 

Give at least 3 reasons why your IDEAL customers would visit your website.  What are they looking for?

6. Know your Competitors. 

Make a list of at least 3 of your current competitors and their websites.

7. Breakdown your Competitor’s sites. 

What do you think they are doing right online and why?

8. What do YOU like? 

Create a short list of websites you like.  Maybe it is the way they portray their products or services.  Their site’s navigation is easy to maneuver.  Maybe you like the way their site makes you feel.  LIST IT!

9. What are your “Must-have’s”? 

After you’ve done your research, you’ve looked at the competition and you know WHY you want a new site… what do you want it to DO?  Jot down a few things that you know your new site “MUST-HAVE”.


Coming from a web designer this is the most important thing you could do!  Make a list of pages you know that will make up your site.  Create Word documents for those pages.  Create electronic files of images, logos, links, affiliate programs, etc. Whatever you want to make up your new site, make a list or folder!  So often when working with a new client, I will request what information they want on their new site and weeks will go by before they send me anything.  Other times I will be sent ‘topics’ (for lack of a better term) of what their pages will be about.  Then as time goes on they send what they have when they have it ready.  If you prepare the information ahead of time it will cut down on overall turn around time!  It will eliminate you, as the business owner, frantically pulling information or pulling your team members in to get information together.  This also keeps your designer busy while you work on the point!


11. Start Writing! 

Most of my clients are small business owners.  They do not have a Marketing Director or have the resources to hire a copy writer… so what does that mean?!?  They are writing all their own!  This can be a very time-consuming task… UNLESS you followed the above points on how to prepare before you hire a web designer!  Then, you already sent off the why, the what and the who.  Your designer is busy working with all the current information you want to use and they are NOT bugging you for content!  That means you can schedule a few hours to plan out your blog.  You have time to think about your Services page.  You even have time to update your images of the products you sell!


In closing…

The above is a very general list of items you can do to better prepare for working with a designer.  This is by no means a rant against clients!  Raney Day Design understands that hiring a web designer can be costly and stressful!  There are many things that goes into making a great site!  We pride ourselves on meeting the client’s needs and walking them through the above process.  On the other hand, if you are business owner and have specific deadlines that must be met, being proactive can almost guarantee timeliness on the our part!

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