If you are a business owner or organisation manager that is about to develop or update your website through website developers (like us!), these tips are for you.
Unlike lots of other services businesses may utilise, website development does require significant input from you through most stages of development. This means it is important that you know what kinds of things you should be doing to keep a project ticking along and on schedule.
If you are working with a web developer, here are our top five things you can do to ensure you have your website delivered to you quickly.
The hardest part about developing a website is finding the time to work on it. Therefore the scope of a website project should be matched to the amount of time that can be allocated to creating content and providing feedback.
If you are able to entrust a employee with the task of managing the website and its content, you may find this is more efficient approach. If you feel that you aren’t going to have much time to develop content for your site, keep the number of pages you initially want low – additional pages and content are easy to add. In other words, make sure you can allocate time to the website project otherwise it will sit on the ‘backburner’ and never get to work to support your business or organisation.
A website should complement your business or organisation by utilising any of your existing branding – this can be logos, colour schemes, typefaces used, letterheads, your business cards or promotional images. This means that you will need to provide your web developer with digital versions of these resources before they can complete a design for you site.
This is the number one reason why some websites take a long time to develop. Don’t worry too much about the exact wording of things, simply type out or write down the information that needs to be on your website. Formatting of this isn’t important either; you can simply email the contents and leave your web developer to place the content and tidy it up. A good web developer will be able to create content for your site as well, but they will still need the basic information (what you do, your history, the products and services you offer, etc).
Normally when a web developer sends a client an email, it is asking for feedback of some sort. This feedback is critical to keeping the project moving. The more detailed the feedback, the more accurately they will build the website to your vision, however, even just a few words of response can be enough to answer a question. A web developer is going to move onto other projects if they don’t get a response.
Without web hosting details, a web developer can’t make any changes to an existing site, or deploy a new site. The sooner your web developer has information about your host and domain name information, the sooner they can work out whether there will be any technical hurdles. Make sure you (securely) keep track of these details so you can easily find them later on. If your current web developer is ‘looking after them for you’, you should ask for you to be send the connection details for reference – they are your details, not theirs.
Often website projects can take much longer than they need to simply because the web developer is unable to continue without input from their client. The sooner your site is up and running, the sooner it can get to work to promote your business.
The thing we often mention to clients is that ‘nothing is set in stone’. Content, site structure and small changes to styling can all be made after a site has been completed and made ‘live’. Focus on the main pages your site must have, get the content for those pages completed and get your site live. A good web developer will continue to help you finish off your site at a later date.