Before I can design your website there are a few things I need from you. After all, no one can design a good website without the right information and resources. That’s why I ask for these four things before I can build your website.
Completed Project Brief
I have developed an in-depth Web Development Brief that gets me all the information I need to design your website. It gathers information about your existing brand guidelines, who your audience is and website functionality. It also gauges your need and desire to work on other related design projects. Do you need a logo with that website? Say “package discount” my friend!
Before this questionnaire I was just gathering information in pieces via email and over the phone. It was time consuming and, to be perfectly honest, freaking irritating. Even though the brief is really in-depth, it isn’t super long. I put it together in Google Forms so it’s simple and clean and doesn’t take more than 30 minutes to complete. Which is no time at all when you consider the time it will save us down the road.
Signed Agreement and Proposal
Every good creative will ask you to sign an agreement before they design your website. Standard terms and conditions that relate to the services they provide are important. This document simply defines some terms and lays out all of the responsibilities and expectations. Mine is in pretty simple English and I’m always open to a conversation about anything you might not understand. After all, not everyone knows what “native files” or “layered artwork” are.
Your proposal will describe exactly what you’re getting when I build your website and how much it will cost. Expect lots of details here. This step also involved setting our timeline and payment schedule. It’s always good when we all know what’s due when and how much it will cost ahead of time.
Once these are signed and all parties are on board, we move forward with the fun stuff!
If you have existing accounts that I will have to integrate when I build your website (PayPal, email marketing, etc.) be prepared to have that login info.
If you have your own hosting (that is, you’re not paying me to use mine) then I’ll need login credentials for your hosting account as well as your domain registrar.
I know that not everyone is super comfortable with this. I’ve run into this enough times that I’ve come up with a solution. We can always meet or schedule a video call where I can walk you through whatever steps I need to complete to get the job done. Just keep in mind, this option might slow down our timeline and could require some familiarity and a certain level of comfort mucking around in DNS settings and cPanel dashboards.
Last step before I can start to design your website! Once you’ve approved your proposal, timeline and payment schedule you can send me that deposit.
I use Freshbooks Cloud Accounting* to create my proposals, invoice clients and collect payments. This platform allows you to pay online and even save your payment info so that you can have your invoices paid automatically with a specific card. Or you can still pay with a good old fashined check if that’s more your speed. Honestly, I’m flexible. Money is green no matter how it shows up. Am I right?
If you have a logo, photography or other graphic elements created by someone else that I’ll be using to build your website, I’ll need all of that in high resolution format. That means no cell phone photos and no tiny logo files. High resolution means professionally created either 300 dpi or vector artwork.
If these were downloaded from a stock website you need to please make sure you have permission to use them in your digital marketing. There are instances where you can’t use certain stock resources commercially. If you’re not sure, then ask.
Any copy that I am not helping you develop will also need to be sent before we get started. I can plan my wire frames without this, but it’s handy to know how many words I’m trying to fit on each page when I build your website.
Let’s Get Started Then!
Now that I have those five things we can go to town and I can design your website! I don’t have to explain to you that everything moves most efficiently when we all work together, know what’s expected of us and get what we need ahead of time.
I can’t tell you how easy it is to lose the motivation to work on a new project when you’ve been waiting on content for two weeks. You can watch that new project excitement just fizzle right out of me.
You can learn more about my others services here.