What you need to know before hiring a web designer for your business

Perhaps, you’ve just established a new business and need a new website. Or maybe you’ve been in business for a while and want to refresh it. Getting a new website is an exciting and important step for your business that can be overwhelming for some people. 

By following these simple steps, it’ll be easier to know what you need before hiring a web designer, and the whole process will be smoother and less confusing.

1. What functionalities should my website have?

Having a website just for the sake of it won’t be useful for your business or studio. A website should reflect specific business goals. For example, do you want to sell your products online? Are you planning to start a blog and create awareness around a specific topic? Or, do you want to showcase your services online?

It’s important to clarify what goals you want to achieve so that your website can reflect those through some specific functionalities.

Action step: Write down a list of goals and organize them in order of priority. That means, what you’d like to have on your website as soon as possible and what in the future.

2. What and how many pages should my website have?

Designing a one-page website is a lot less work than building a 10-pages website. Even though sometimes you’re clueless, your web designer will ask you this question in the beginning. That way they can make a better estimation of the investment needed. Also, having this information in advance can save a lot of time during the development.

Action step: Write down a list of pages you’d like to have on your website.

3. Domain and hosting

Domain is a crucial point to consider. The domain is the name by which someone interested in your servicescan find you online. Usually, the domain is the same name of your business, and is straightforward.

If you have a domain or a list of domains in mind that’s great!  Once you’ve chosen it, your web designer can buy it for you together with hosting space.

4. Prepare your content

Web designers can, and will, work with sample photos and fill-up text, like Lorem Ipsum. However, ideally, you should have your copy and images ready and organized before starting with the development of your site. There are many benefits. First, spending a few minutes organising your content at the beginning of the project can help save time during the development. Second, during the development, you can give better feedback if you look at real content instead of sample content. Furthermore, your developer can give better advice on how to optimize the content, such as paragraphs, headings, and call to action.

Action step: Once you have your copy and images, create two folders. One folder is for your copy. The other one is for the images. The latter should have sub-folders divided by page names.

5. Legal pages/GDPR

Any website will need a Privacy Policy and Terms of Use page. E-commerce websites will most likely need additional conditions of sale and other policies. If your site captures user data, such as through cookies, newsletter subscribers or a contact form, it is mandatory to notify it via a consent bar on the site.

Action step: I suggest hiring a lawyer or a business consultant to help you with this and get tailored advice on where you need to put it on the website.

Conclusion

As you can see, the process of getting a new website can feel overwhelming at times. However, it needn’t be! If you follow the simple steps I’ve highlighted in this article it’s going to be easy peasy both for you, as the client, and your web developer on-hire.

If you’re interested in checking my work, have a look at my portfolio.

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