Things You Can Do BEFORE Hiring a Website Designer
Thinking about building a new website? If you want the process to move along faster, there are three key things you can do before hiring a website designer.
You have an AMAZING small business with lots of potential, but you just can’t figure out how to build an attractive and functional website. Not to worry! You’re a small business owner NOT a website designer.
The good news is that you don’t have to be a website designer or even learn much about building a website to have a kickass online presence. Just like you wouldn’t try to fill your own cavities rather than hiring a dentist, you don’t have to build a website yourself.
No matter how “easy” the latest Bluehost/GoDaddy/Hostgator/Wix/etc commercial says building a website is, the truth is that website design requires creativity, skill, experience, and cash (in the form of professional application licenses, HD stock video/photography, application development, etc.) to make a professional website look professional.
However, you might not have the cash to hire a website designer right now, and that’s okay! Save up the funds and in the meantime, go through this checklist of tasks to do BEFORE hiring that professional (and by “that professional” I mean me, Mark de Grasse owner of MegaMad Websites).
#1: Search for Websites That You Admire
There is no need to reinvent the wheel! Big companies like Apple, Tesla, Nordstroms, etc. have spent hundreds of millions of dollars on expensive website development to make attractive websites. A good website designer will be able to look at these websites and use them for inspiration to build yours!
TASK: Make a list of your top 5-10 websites in terms of attractiveness.
#2: Start Writing Content
You’d be shocked how many business owners have never sat down to write a good description of their business, their products/services, or themselves. Writing content now will save you lots of time when you go to build your website.
TASK: Answer the following list of questions. If you need more, just go to a competitor’s website and see what they wrote (don’t copy directly, just use it for inspiration).
- How and when did your business start?
- What is the overall mission of your business?
- Who founded the business and what was their inspiration to do so?
- What are your products and services and the benefits of each?
- What is your public contact information (telephone, email, address, fax)?
- What are your store/corporate policies in regards to customer service?
- What are your most frequency asked questions and how do you answer them?
#3: Start Taking Pictures & Videos (or Hire Someone to Take Them for You)
While good website designers (like me) include all the HD stock photography you’ll need to build a professional website, the best photos will be of you and your business/products/customers/etc. Literally ANY photography that includes your actual office, staff, products, etc. will be better than NO photography.
This means that your smart phone is good enough to get started. No, they won’t be super professional, but when mixed with some carefully selected HD photography (we use DepositPhotos.com), you can have a website that looks more custom and unique to your business.
Professional, custom photography makes a HUGE difference in your final design, so if possible, hire a photographer to help you out. If you’re in Austin we’re MegaMad Websites is based, we recommend getting a commercial photography session with Kelly Smith Photography.
TASK: Start taking some pictures of your business! The more pictures the better. You could also start searching for a photographer or even get a photo shoot done prior to hiring a website designer. The more material the designer has to work with, the better your project will turn out.