So you’ve hired a web designer to build you a new site or redesign an old one. Good for you!
You’ve decided not to go with an agency, the kind who take care of every last detail and charge the big bucks to do so.
Instead, you are dealing with a soloprenuer who works out of his or her home to keep costs down. That’s fine too.
But after the agreement is signed and your deposit paid, you think you can just sit back and wait for your designer to announce the big reveal, right?
Wrong! What do you think, this web designer is a mind reader?
Are you paying your web designer for copywriting, photo research, or video production? If not, you have some work to do yourself and the quicker you get it done and passed on to your designer, the quicker you’ll have a new website.
You need to consider yourself a partner in the site’s creation.
As a web designer, I find that one of the biggest holdups in production occurs when I’m waiting for the client to deliver assets for the project. By assets, I mean all the stuff that goes into the site: text, images, links – you name it.
When I have all I need to work with, it’s amazing how quickly the production goes.
Here are the assets I require from all my clients at the beginning of a job.
Assets Your Web Designer Needs From You
Imagery is as important as words on a web site as it excites the visitor and makes them search for more. It’s best to upload them to a service like Dropbox to handle the weight of larger files and make them easily available.
- Logo – hi-res (300 pixels per inch) png or gif files, preferably with white and transparent backgrounds, at least 600 pixels wide. Include your client’s logos if appropriate.
- Images – png or jpeg files, 72 pixels per inch, and at least 1500 pixels wide. Better to make them too large so the designer can size them down. These images should be named with keyworded, descriptive titles to help boost their SEO value.
- Videos – links of videos loaded to Youtube or Vimeo
Provide the following text in a Word or Google doc to give the designer the basis of what your site should say. The text doesn’t have to be perfect as your designer will edit along the way and/or make other suggestions. Just give them something solid to start with.
- Keywords – a list of words you think are relevant to your industry. Subject to improvement.
- Description – a few keyworded sentences about your business
- Page Titles – keyword enhanced but succinct enough to fit on a menu. These are in addition to the staples: Home, About, Contact, FAQs, Products, Blog (or News), etc
- Tagline – the short phrase that describes your business
- Page Text – for your Home, About, Contact, FAQs, and Products pages, plus individual products and any other pages. 200-300 words each
- Headers – keyworded tags to break up long pages of text
- Call to Action – text for a “CTA” to ask visitors to buy a product, subscribe to a list, enter a contest, etc. Again, keyword rich.
- Contact Information – Your team’s full names and emails, the company address and phone, etc
- Testimonials – including names, dates and links to testifier’s web site
- Feature Information – The elements that usually appear in threes on the home or landing pages, which call out the highpoints of your business’s products or services
- Product Information – For WooCommerce we need full titles, keyworded short description, long description, product type: simple, virtual (service) or downloadable, price, sale price (optional), downloadable files, download limit and expiry, SKU, stock, shipping weight and dimensions, product up sells and cross sells, reviews
- Social Media – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google +, YouTube, etc
- RSS Feed – if available. If not, one can be created easily.
- Emails – for general messages, orders, contact forms, etc.
- Domain Registrar – to repoint your domain to a new host
- Hosting Company – to move your files around on the server
- FTP – especially if no Cpanel is available on your server
Third Party Account Logins
- Mailchimp or AWeber – to connect to your site via a signup form
- Paypal or Stripe – to connect to an ecommerce plugin
- Picatic or Eventbrite – to connect to an event management service
- YouTube – to optimize your video channel
- PDFs – if you are distributing ebooks or documents, upload PDFs to Dropbox so your designer can upload them to WordPress.
- Audio – WordPress can handle audio files – better than video, anyway – so if you are a musician, upload your Mp3 files to Dropbox as well.
This is a basic list of assets your web designer needs to build your website, but there might be more.
If you are also a web designer, what did I miss? Please share it in the comments below.