Getting your website design can be an exciting process but it can soon turn sour if you're not prepared with the right materials beforehand. Before getting your website designed by a professional, there are several important things you should have in place to ensure a successful project. Here are some key things to consider:
Before starting the design process, you should have a clear understanding of what you want your website to achieve. Is your site specifically for online sales, will you also be sharing content via your site, or will you need email sign-ups for your growing email list. etc. Establishing clear metrics is key to success from the start and will require quite a bit of planning on your end before you make a deposit. This includes defining your target audience, outlining your content strategy, and setting measurable goals for traffic, engagement, and conversions.
Your website should reflect your brand identity, including your logo, color scheme, and overall aesthetic. Visual branding is a prerequisite to website design, and should be approached just as thoughtful as the website process. Make sure you have a clear brand style guide that outlines these elements before starting the design process.
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Your website design should be informed by your content strategy, so it's important to have a plan in place for creating and organizing your content. This includes defining your content types, developing content shoots, creating a content calendar, and outlining your information architecture. This not only helps all your materials to be cohesive but will give your designer a better idea of how to best design specific elements.
Website design can be expensive, so it's important to have a clear budget in place before starting the project. This includes not only the cost of design and development, but also ongoing maintenance and updates. Affordability is important to consider but you also want to consider the potential ROI to set your budget. Understand that some affordable site solutions can cause you to redesign more frequently or diminish your brand's ability to attract the right audience.
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Depending on your website's functionality, you may need to have certain technical requirements in place before starting the design process. This includes things like domain registration, site applications, and content management systems.
By having these elements in place before starting the design process, you can ensure that your website is well-planned, on-brand, and aligned with your business goals.