Jumping into the web design process prepared will position you for a smooth project. Organizing your materials and ensuring the web design team has everything they need to complete your website is a must for the success of your web design project.
The below walks you through the items you will need to think through, and prepare for, your web design team before they begin creating your website. It’s also a great idea to ask them specifically what they will need from you.
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How many pages will you need? This will determine the design package that will be recommended to you for your website project.
In addition, will you need a simple menu, a dropdown menu or a mega menu, to organize your pages?
A simple menu is perfect for small websites with about six or fewer pages. With a simple menu, all of the page titles will live on one line within the main navigation.
A dropdown menu allows you to group pages under main menu items. For example, you may add history, board of directors, and meet the team pages under a main menu item titled ‘About’.
A mega menu is perfect for large websites that many need multiple tiers within the dropdowns. For example, an eCommerce site may want to allow people to hover over a main menu item titled ‘Products’ and see all of the categories and subcategories for the products.
Communicate with the web designer about how many pages you will need for your website, as well as the menu you would prefer. If you aren’t sure, ask them which menu they think will best fit your needs and goals. They will be able to guide you per their knowledge and web design best practices.
Now that you have your pages outlined, you’ll need to start working on your content. If you don’t plan on hiring a content writer this task may seem overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be difficult.
Remember, you will always be able to update your content. The web design team just needs enough to get started with the design and layout of your pages.
If you have old images but know you will take newer images in the near future, send the older images for the web designer to use as placeholders. This will also give them a great idea of the images you would like to see on your website.
For written content, write a bullet outline of the text you would like on each page, then try to fill it in as much as possible for the start of the project. Again, the web designer just needs enough to get started.
Depending on how many products you have, there is a good chance the web design will need you to organize your products in a spreadsheet. However, before you begin creating the spreadsheet, check with them to see if there is a specific spreadsheet they need you to use per the eCommerce plugin or platform that will be installed.
In addition, start to organize your product images and crop/resize them if needed. For example, if you want square images that are uniform across your site, you will need to edit the images before sending them over to the web design team. You can also ask the web designer if they are able to complete certain organizational tasks, however, the additional tasks will probably have a one-time or hourly fee.
If you’re going to add special functionality, it’s a good idea to purchase the plugin at the start of the project. For example, if you would like to list events with the ability to take registration, that functionality will need to be achieved with a paid plugin.
However, make sure the web design team has reviewed and approved of the plugin before you make the purchase. If you purchase the plugin before the web designer has reviewed the documentation, you may not be able to request a refund if the plugin doesn’t work with your website or fulfills your needs.
To start the web design process on the right foot, make sure you’ve created and organized your content for your web design team. Also, ask what the web designer will need from you for them to build your website as you envision!
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