How to be prepared for your new website

So you made the decision to order a professional website for your company, but did you know that you actually have to collect a lot of info? Well, this is your chance to make a good impression and show up all prepared during the initial meeting.

Before you start with this guide, be sure to feel comfortable, be in the right mood and prepare yourself to spend anywhere between 30 minutes to 2 hours of doing company research and collecting information. If you don’t have text ready for your website, you have to dedicate some more time into writing the content for all pages.

Be prepared

Your website will be your business card. It is often one of the first impressions of your company, so you want that business card to be professional and reflect the visions of your business. One of the first questions you may want to ask yourself is:

  • what is the goal of your website, what do you expect from it?
  • What are your long term business goals?
  • What service do you offer and how do you want to present it?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What makes your business stand out from your competitors?

Write it down. The next step is to write down the pages you want on your website. Think about the home page, corporate info, a blog, a contact form, an application form, image gallery etc.

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Once you’ve determine all pages, go a bit deeper and look at each page individually. What elements does each page need? For instance: a slideshow on the homepage, social media buttons, an option to search the site etc. After this, write down the features you don’t need on your website.

Now the easy part: go visit the websites of your direct competitors and write down the elements you like and dislike. If there’s one or more pages that you really like, mention it. After this, visit some websites of non-business relevant companies and see if there’s a website layout that you really like. Collecting all this info will be really helpful for your web designer and he/she can work towards creating a website that suits your vision. It will also help if you already made up your mind about the colours and fonts for your website.

The necessities

There’s the basic info: your contact details, what is the project time frame, your budget and the login details of your web server. Don’t have a hosting company yet? I am sure your web developer can help you out. If you’re planning to accept payments on your website, you also might want to have a secure socket layer certificate installed on your web server. This will be subject to extra costs though. Your web developer should be able to inform you.

The content

You know your company better than anybody else, so spend some time writing text for your website. If you really dislike writing content yourself, you can hire a copywriter or have a business relative write down the content. Combine the text with images of your business and its services. You don’t have to edit the images, this is something your web developer will do for you. Some startups don’t have good business images yet. In this occasion you, or your web developer, can buy stock images online. To minimize delays in the design process, it is important to have all content ready after the first meeting.

The future

So now you have a better understanding of the content and functionalities of your website, it is time to think about who’s going to update the website in the future. With a CMS based website, you can edit the content yourself or hire somebody to do this for you. You can also let your web developer update your website with new content and negotiate a fixed price for this.

To sum it up

If you prepare yourself before you order a new website, the design process will be shorter. The more work you do yourself, the less money you have to spend on hiring somebody to do the work for you. To sum things up:

– Answer these questions:

  • what is the goal of your website, what do you expect from it?
  • What are your long term business goals?
  • What service do you offer and how do you want to present it?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What makes your business stand out from your competitors?
  • What pages do you want on your website?
  • What features does your website need?
  • What are the features you don’t need?
  • Browse the websites of your competitors and write down the things you like and dislike.
  • Browse random website that appeal to you and do the same.
  • What colours and fonts do you want to use?
  • Collect all the info: contact details, server login details
  • What is your budget?
  • Collect the content for your website
  • Who is going to update your website in the future?

So that’s it! Now you are prepared for your new business adventure and saved lots of time by collecting all material at forehand. Again, it is a bonus if you were able to collect all info. I am sure your web developer will be happy to help you out if you have any questions about the design process.
Questions? Additions? Or maybe you found this article useful? Please use the comment box below to share your opinion or contact me.


Noud is an experienced web developer and founder of Data Roots. His passion is to develop high-quality websites for his customers that will last for many years. Noud's got 20 years experience developing websites for companies of all sizes and loves to help. Contact Noud.

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