Every time a business launches a website, an angel gets its wings. Or maybe it’s bells that ring. Anyway, there are a hundred reasons why your business loses without a home-base on the Internet. You don’t need to be convinced that you need one. What you need is a brief education in working with a web designer.

This follows in our series of “Help Me Help You…” posts. See Jenna’s “5 Tips” as well as Allison’s “5 Tips for Working with a Copywriter.” Below are my own five things you need to make web development run smoothly.

1. Gather All Your Web/Online Info and Bring It

Details are important. Lose one and you could be screwed. Organize your website information and make sure you’ve got these three things:

  • Your hosting and domain name registration information.
  • Your website access information (login page, username and password).
  • Your social media logins, email marketing access info and details of your accounts with other web services.

A web developer will want this information in order to assess your current hosting package and determine if it needs to be changed or upgraded to accommodate the website project. Keep this data somewhere secure in your office.

2. Take Pictures (Now)

Any new website or redesign requires new images to to tell its story. Stock photography is one easy way to fill up on visual content for your web project. But the models in these photographs are no match for the positive impression your real life employees can make. Plus, you’re the only person who can snap photos of your facility and equipment.

Make time to take pictures now and build up a collection of snapshots. Or contact a professional photographer ahead of time to get a more polished look.

3. Have a Strategy Before Starting

With a strategy in mind, you can work up a wish list that your web developer can use to give you an accurate estimate and develop an outline to manage costs. It’s tempting to think that a free-wheeling, no-boundaries approach encourages creativity and innovation. But project scope-creep is the ugly step-sister of those good intentions.

Come to the first web design meeting with a strategy. Plan it with your communications team or contact a marketing strategy professional to help you prepare for a website project.

4. Have An Opinion

This one’s easy (s0rt of). If you have a strategy, you already have an opinion about the web design’s direction. When your web developer asks for feedback or needs approval to move forward, check their progress against your strategy. And if you still need help knowing what to say, ask others to take a look. Get the opinion of your colleagues and others invested in the project.

Indecision is a real problem. Please know what you want and why you want it so I can help you achieve it.

5. Take Ownership

When we finish a website project, you get a summary of all the accounts created in the course of web development. This includes the hosting/domain name arrangements, website access info and logins for various online services. Save this document! Then login to your website and start up a new blog post.

Websites are not like road-signs; they require the owner’s engagement in order for others to take notice. You’ve just spent big money on this new thing, so take care of it and start taking care of business.

Have questions about the web design process? Wondering where to start? Let us help.