Five Things To Do Before Hiring a Website Designer
I believe in the reasons on WHY to hire a website designer... I wrote a post about it right here. However, I also wanted to write something to help anyone considering hiring a website designer a few things to think about before they do! So I put together this post to help get you started if you are thinking about making this investment for your business with five things you can do BEFORE hiring!
Don’t always rely on the first names that pop up on Google. Be sure to ask your peers in the industry for personal references. Ideally, you’ll want to work with someone that comes highly recommended from someone you know.
Another tip with this is to find a website you really love and find out who the designer is and contact them that way! Due your diligence and look through their portfolio as well to make sure the website you love is a good reflection of the work they produce all around.
Know your website goals and priorities.
Have you thought about this yet? I can’t encourage you enough to know exactly what it is you’re trying to achieve with your new site! What do you want your site to accomplish?
Create a vision board.
Your board could be a virtual one or an actual board sitting in your office. It should include things like colors you want incorporated into your brand, preferred font choices, slogans or phrases, and graphics you intend to use when marketing your business. I typically have my clients pin 6-8 images on Pinterest and share those with me so I can see where they are at visually with their design preferences.
The pinned images can be anything! Objects, scenery, other photography, your photography, a room in a house, etc. When trying to convey a design idea and get an early sign-off, moods, feelings and visions can be difficult to communicate verbally. So designers will often use mood boards: a collection of textures, images and text related to a design theme as a reference point. Mood boards help others to 'get inside our heads' as they show what you're thinking and feeling about a creative idea and your intended vision for a piece of work or in this case, your website.
Get your copy ready.
If you don’t even know where to begin, start with these pages that your customers will expect to see:
You might be surprised to hear this, but you should have the words for each page ready to go before your designer begins work on your website. This makes a HUGE difference for the final result and is something I require from anyone I work with.
These aren’t just ideas; you need the final polished copy for your site. If you have no clue what to say or feel uncomfortable or unable to write it yourself, hire a writer to do it for you.
The goal should be to hand over this final copy to the designer at your first meeting. This way they can design around it. This will save you money since the designer doesn’t have to walk you through copy creation, and it will help speed up the process overall.
Gather your images.
You will need to gather everything from your branding to the work you want showcased throughout your website. Images will tell your story as much as the words on your website.
If you aren’t a photographer, one of the best things you can do is hire a professional to get the quality shots you need! This is where branded lifestyle sessions are so fun for me as a photographer! I love working with creatives to deliver updated headshots and branded imagery they can utilize on their new website.
These five steps will truly help you as you prepare to work with a designer! They will have the information they need to design and you will get what you want which is an amazing website!
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: EMMA ROSE
Emma Rose is a Squarespace website designer and photographer based out of the Pacific Northwest. She helps photographers not only stand out online, but dig deep to find the why in what they do. She strives to work with like-minded entrepreneurs who want to grow an audience, start and thrive their online business and change the freakin' world. She aims to help people create not only meaningful businesses but lives. For more about Emma, click here!
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