So, it’s time. Maybe you don’t have a website yet. Maybe you do, but you aren’t getting what you want from it. You’ve started looking around and it can be overwhelming. Clients ask us all the time what they should be looking for and how they should manage the process. Here are the five biggest things you can do to make it go smoothly:
Know What You Want your Site to Do
This sounds simple, but set clear and defined objectives. If your site is being built to make your vendors’ or clients’ lives easier, you will be looking at different solutions than if you are focused on generating new business. Communicate exactly what you want your website to do, so your developers can accomplish your goals within your stated budget. It might even be helpful to categorize must-haves and wants. If your initial budget is limited, your web development firm should help you choose a highly adaptable solution that covers yours must-haves right away, but can easily be upgraded with the wants as budget permits.
Have an Idea of What Your Site Should Look Like
Even if it’s just a rough idea, you probably have some inkling of what you think your new site should look like. Communicating this makes the process go more smoothly. Even if they’re not precise, any examples, sketches, or other renderings will help. Get those ideas out of your head and into the hands of your design team. Not only does it make their job easier to have a clear starting point and direction, you’re sure to be happier with the results.
Be Honest About the Time You’ll Spend Updating Your Site
The success of your site is connected to how much attention you give it. It is almost like your landscaping. Once it’s installed, time and attention will determine how well your new landscaping does, much like writing and updating content with determine how well your website does. Maybe you aren’t a good writer. Maybe you don’t have time. Maybe you don’t have the resources to devote to keeping your site up-to-date. If you can’t write good content, ask for help. There are options out there for you (and we could also recommend some landscapers).
Have an Open Mind
It is important to be open-minded when looking at the various solutions for your business website. Don’t let a development group that would be a perfect fit for you go because they recommend using Drupal instead of Wordpress, or vice versa. Web development firms deal in the Internet world all day every day-- and they are all pros at one thing or another. If you have a concern or don’t understand their recommendation, please refer to tip number 5: Don’t Accept Because as an Answer
Don’t Accept Because as an Answer
Ask questions. Don’t stop until you have a satisfactory explanation. Any web development firm can tell you that their way is best. Make them explain to you why it is best for your business and in your situation. Developers love to impress people with their smarts-- really! If they know their stuff, they’ll be happy to provide you with a complete analysis of the available options and reasons for their recommendations. Ask questions and learn from the process.