Designing a new website can be a difficult time for business owners. Often time business owners and web designers can butt heads if the design team doesn’t have the experience necessary to properly manage the web design project. Through this article we’re going to provide some tips for web design clients on how to get the most out of your new website and how to be a good web design client.
I’ll start by saying that over the years we have designed dozens and probably hundreds of different websites. From entertainment to attorneys to farms to construction — we’ve done different sites for all sorts of different niches. And over the years I’ve learned that no two websites are ever the same, and no two clients are ever the same either.
Some web design clients just want the job done and don’t care how it gets done, while others want the job done in a very specific way right down to the color of the link hover in the footer of page 210. I’ve developed some tips for web design clients to follow to truly get the most professionally designed website that works as your company’s best sales person:
1: Be Prepared: Most of the time when we design a website we don’t know nearly as much about your business as you do. While we’re a full service marketing agency, we certainly need to learn more about your business from you first. This means being prepared to explain various aspects of your business and prepared to provide us with specific details about your products/services, photos of your products/services, and sometimes page content for your website. This is the number one thing that slows down a design project, so be prepared to spend some time with us and in front of your computer preparing for the project
2: Outline Your Requests: I always ask our clients 3 or 4 times before we get started about their special requests for the site. Whether it means they want a certain layout, certain color, or certain image, I always ask for special requests multiple times. But out of every 10 sites we do, there’s always one person who we present the final website to and THEN they come out with dozens of special requests. While we always include revisions in our packages, we don’t include revisions for special requests that weren’t received prior to starting the project. That means the cost of your website is going to go up since we have to go back in and redo various aspects of the site, and this is something that is easily avoided. If you think you have a special request just let us know, we’ll be sure to work around that to keep your costs in line.
3: Micro Management: I have an excellent team of designers, coders, programmers, and graphic designers who are excellent at their job. I also personally am well versed in web design and coding and I’ll jump in and handle certain aspects of the project. But the one time we usually aren’t happy with the final outcome is when we are micro managed by our client. We want you to have the perfect website, but at the same time you need to understand we have years of experience in web design and have reasons for doing one thing over another. In every case of having a website where the client micro manages us, they are happy with the site initially, but they always come back to us to make changes down the road. This just translates into added costs for you.
4: Marketing Your Website: You have a HUGE advantage of choosing us for your web design project: everyone on my team understands online marketing as well, which means you get a site that is built for SEO, built for conversions, and built for sales. There’s often times we do one thing or another to help market your website and increase your conversion rate — we have spent hundreds of hours experimenting with our own sites to learn what works vs. what doesn’t work in online marketing — and we can transfer that knowledge into your site for you. But when our client inhibits our marketing efforts, they end up with a site that is a paper weight — it doesn’t convert well.
5: Work With Us Not Against Us: We have your best interest in mind as we want your website to be your best sales person out there. Often times people think the website is all about making it exactly how the client wants it to be, when in reality the website needs to be designed to be easy to use for your potential customers. That means laying things out in a user friendly way, using good judgement in sizing and colors, and having a good flow in the site. We urge you to work with us on this instead of against us as again we have years of experience in this and understand how to build a professional, well working website.
While most of our clients are great, we always get those that have trouble with the new website process. These steps will hopefully help them understand that there truly is a “method to our madness”. It’s important to remember that the whole point of a website is to have it work for you — generate leads and sales — and the website isn’t there just to be a paper weight.