3 Things You Should Know Before Building a Website

When you are deciding to employ a web designer it can be a very daunting prospect. You rely on their expertise to ensure you are getting what you want and often you don’t know what to ask for. Below are my top 3 tips on what to look out for when employing a web designer.

—01 Check their credentials

Before you spend, do your homework. This exercise alone could save you thousands. I guarantee you will be surprised by what you find out. In my experience clients are very willing to share their experiences.

Call and speak to all their clients listed on their website and score them a point for every answer they give based on the following criteria:

  • Did they come in on budget?
  • Did they come in on time?
  • How easy were they to work with?
  • Did they offer suggestions that you have proved useful?
  • Was it the result you expected? Yes – 1 point, better than expected – 2 points
  • How effective has your website been at delivering your objectives?
  • Would you work with them again/recommend?
  • What would you do differently?

Because web designers also tend to put on the footer of the websites they build their website domain, you can use a tool called www.semrush.com to check out backlinks pointing to their website. This should give you a list of all the website domains they have not listed as clients.

“No one knows your business better than you. Employ a website planner / digital marketing professional to ensure you are building a site with longevity, allowing you to keep your costs down. ”

—02 Have a plan

No one knows your business better than you. A web designer will not have the time or the want to get to know your business. Employ a website planner / digital marketing professional to ensure you are building a site with longevity, allowing you to keep your costs down. A good digital planner will take into account the following areas:

  • How you operate your business offline and online – this can include how you sell your products offline and ensure it is translated digitally to how you ship out goods or deliver a service. This is important to make sure you keep your costs down.
  • Look at existing data – A digital audit will allow you to see what has worked well and what has not on your existing website. A good digital marketer will know what is missing from your website to increase your on-line conversion rate and build this into future plans.
  • Building with longevity – Taking a look at the long-term goals of the business is important before building a website. This can ensure that capabilities are there to minimise the risk of expensive rebuilds in the future.
  • Create template pages – Even though you are not a web designer putting together a drawing of each page can help you visualise how people might use your website. You can use these visuals to walk you through each process, allowing you to spot flaws before you even start. This can be as simple as drawing on an a4 piece of paper.
  • Think about the marketing – By employing a digital marketer to do this element of your website build, they will not just be looking at customer journey, but also about online conversion rates. This may be looking at adding tools like heat and scroll maps, ensuring you have social tracking tools, limiting your drop off rate through your checkout as well as making it easy to promote your website after it has been built.

Take this information to the website company you have chosen and supply them with this information, this should ensure your quote is accurate and if any changes need to be made you can create a new piece of paper to help visualise the end result.

—03 Before you part with the cash

Once you have approached a website designer they will send you quote. This is often their translation of what you have said. This can often be missing elements you discussed during the initial consultation. For the avoidance of doubt and any unexpected costs ask them to sign your plan that they will deliver what you’re expecting as well as them getting you to sign yours. That way if there was something you were expecting to be on your website or included you have covered yourself.

If you are interested in speaking to me about website planning or website development please email me at henny@pinkelephantmedia.com

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