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Creating a brief for your web designer

Time for a new website? Whilst getting started might seem daunting, creating a brief is a great way to tell your web designer what you want.   



by
Software development, strategy & technology
 

If you want a new website, but need to know how much it will cost and what the best direction to take is, a brief is a great way to start. By telling your web designer about your company, your goals and budget with a project brief, you will have a sturdy starting point to guide you and your web design team through the whole process.  

 

Tell us about your business

To get to know all about you, determine your messaging and think about your design, your web designer will need to know all about your company. Include the products you sell, services you provide, the size of your company and how long have you been established. All of this information will give your web designer a general feel of who you are and a direction for moving forwards.

 

Out with the old, in with the new website

If you have an existing website, firstly let your web design company know the URL, so they can visualise what has and hasn’t been working for you. Consider what is good about the website, and the things that you would like to change. For example, an outdated design, or colour scheme that doesn’t quite fit in with your company anymore. If you have access to any analytics, take a look at the levels of traffic it is currently receiving and consider how many genuine leads have come from the site. This will all be useful in helping your web designer identify your conversions and how they can be improved.

 

Then, outline the aims of your new website. Are you looking to increase traffic, generate more sales, or offer e-commerce? Also think about whether the new website is part of a rebrand, new product launch, or simply a fresh coat of paint for your brand to keep up with the times. Think about your competitors and make them clear to your web designer by listing a few of their web addresses – this could be helpful in outlining where your unique selling point comes into play.

 

What is your web design budget?

Outlining your budget is helpful for a designer to give a more accurate quote on which elements of your website you might want to prioritise. Come up with a figure for how much you’d ideally like to spend on the design and development of the website – your web designer can always come back with more details if you’re unsure of a precise figure. The main areas you want to give a rough feel for are your digital marketing budget for the next six months, as well as any budget you might want aside for ongoing support and maintenance.

 

The all-important content of your new website

Now that the technical parts are outlined, it’s time to start thinking about how you want to populate your new site. Whilst the urge to duplicate your existing content to save time might be tempting, you’ve identified that your current site is letting you down in some way, so it’s best to start afresh. If you have the resources to create and supply the text to go on the website, let your designer know that you will be able to provide this – but they can likely provide a copywriter if necessary.

 

If you want your web design company to provide the content, ensure that you have provided them with your brand guidelines so they know the tone of your business messaging. Provide any corporate images, photography and videos, as well as your company logo.

 

Who will be responsible for the on-going maintenance of the website?

If you have the skills, resources and time to maintain your new website in-house, then you can rest easy knowing if there’s a problem with the site, your team will be able to amend it. However, keep in mind that if your web-savvy member of staff leaves the company, you might be left in a tricky situation. Consider if you’d prefer to make an arrangement with the website design company for them to handle website maintenance, as many web design companies provide this in their packages in case issues arise. For example, Eonic’s opensource website framework, ProteanCMS, provides a support forum and user guides, as well as responsive IT support in our packages to ensure our clients can contact us in a pinch!

 

Digital marketing to boost your website

The digital marketing of a website isn’t always factored into a website brief but is actually pivotal to getting your target audience to see the website in the first place. The promotion of your website by digital means increases visibility in search engines, boosts traffic and engagement, and is very important if you want the momentum of your site’s success to continue. Consider whether you require management of your digital marketing too, with things such as ad campaigns, social media management and email newsletters.

 

Coming up with ideas for the design of a new website can be daunting, but pulling together a web design brief can be helpful to both you and your web designer. By outlining your company values, goals and budget with a project brief, you will have a strong foundation to build an engaging website upon.