Before you talk to one of our web designers, you may find it useful to prepare by considering the following:
- Be clear about your deadlines. What is the date that the site must be online? This is the first thing your designer will need to know.
- What is your budget? Different kinds of features have different costs to implement, and so your designer can tell you what is available, given your needs, within your budget range.
- Who is your intended audience(s)? And what specific services does your website provide? The more clearly you can describe this, the easier a time the designer will have in meeting your requirements.
- Do you need a new domain name, or do you already own a domain?
- Do you need a web hosting service to host your web site, or do you already have a service?
- Do you need graphic design (logo, masthead), or do you already have design elements? If you have them, can you provide them in digital form or do they need to be scanned?
- Can you make a flow chart of the website you would like us to create? Do you know what pages should link to your main entry page, and how those pages should link to each other? Even a rough sketch of this can be very useful for your designer, and help her to prepare an accurate estimate of costs.
- What special features would you like on your website? Do you need an events calendar? A picture gallery? An information request form? Does it need a public and a private area? A shopping cart? Look at other web sites and select the features that will best serve your purposes.
- Do you have content ready to provide to a designer? (This is the biggest pitfall in website development — the technical end of things often gets finished quickly, but clients are sometimes very slow to provide content.)
- Once your website is up and running, it will usually be your responsibility to update the site, so you need to make sure the designer knows whether you will be updating the site personally or hiring a professional to do the updates. Updating can be made very simple, or it can be very complex. Ensure that your designer meets your needs in this regard.
Designers will have further questions, but if you can be prepared with the answers to those listed above, your discussion will be fruitful and you will be able to get a fair and accurate estimate of the costs and the time required.