8 Things to Consider Before Starting your Web Project

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8 Things to Consider Before Starting Your Web Project

Image Credit: @jannoon028

As with any project you begin, it’s always a good idea to start with a plan. Your web project is no different. If you don’t care about the success of your new adventure and you’re just doing it for kicks then…you can stop here. But if you want to create a successful website then there are a few key points that you should ask yourself before embarking on the journey. Remember that poor planning will usually cost you more money, time and effort in the long run.

The following questions will help you to develop your goals and streamline your ideas so that when your web project begins, you have a bit of direction and expectations in mind.

Do you have a host and domain name?

As with any project you begin, it’s always a good idea to start with a plan. Your web project is no different. If you don’t care about the success of your new adventure and you’re just doing it for kicks then…you can stop here. But if you want to create a successful website then there are a few key points that you should ask yourself before embarking on the journey. Remember that poor planning will usually cost you more money, time and effort in the long run.

The following questions will help you to develop your goals and streamline your ideas so that when your web project begins, you have a bit of direction and expectations in mind.

Do you have a design in mind?

What impression do you want your website to express to your visitors? Should it feel bold, playful, calm, exciting? Do you prefer a simple design, or something more complex? Would you require colors or specific fonts that you want incorporated into the design? Are there any offline marketing materials that your site should complement?

If you don’t have a clear image of the design that you would like to see, it’s a good idea to provide your designer with a few websites that you do like. A bit of direction creates a starting point that can be built upon to better shape your ideas.

Who are your competitors?

It’s a good idea to take a peek at your competition. Doing this allows you to take note on their strengths and weaknesses and gives you some perspective on how you can create or modify your goals. In addition, it’s always a good practice to identify your competitors so that you can remain relevant.

Your website should meet or exceed the quality and content of that being offered by your competition. Active social media profiles can also boost traffic and generate interest to your site.

Is your website content ready?

In most cases, visitors will come to your website for their own interests and needs. Not because they like you and want to make you happy by visiting your website. When creating your content, it’s important to keep your visitors and your target audience in mind.

First of all, determine which pages you want to see on your site. Most basic websites will start with a home, about, services, gallery, and a contact page. In addition, try to decide on the content that you would like on each page. It’s a good idea to have variety of content on your site with written text, images, and videos, if relevant. Quality content on your site serves double duty. It will engage your visitors and also increase you rankings with search engines.

What is your budget?

After determining the initial goals of your website, begin to decide on a budget for your web project. Figure out which areas of your site are crucial and which are the bells and whistles. After collaborating with your designer you may find that you are either under or over budgeting. However, if it’s the former, predetermining your wants over your needs will make the process easier if you need to dwindle down on your wish list to meet your budget.

Do you need a logo?

If you don’t have a logo but would like one created, there are few things to consider. Do have any branding requirements? This would involve specific colors, fonts, images, or placement that you would like to see integrated into your logo. It may be a good idea to look into a few logo designs that you like and take note of the factors that you find appealing.

Logo creation requires different considerations and applications so in most instances, they are treated as a separate billable service and is generally not included in a web design package.

Do you have a deadline?

Because your deadline can have an effect on your web designer’s availability, this requirement should be made clear from the start. Try to decide on a realistic deadline that you’d like to set for your project. When communicating with a designer be sure to clearly express this deadline to ensure that they have the resources and ability to meet your needs.

Consequently, the other aspect to being able to meet your deadlines is dependent on you. Be sure to provide your designer will any content required in a timely matter. Respond to any questions they may have for you as soon as your are able to. Since your ability to communicate effectively will have an impact on your deadline be sure that you are prepared to be an active part of your web project.

Have you selected a designer?

To have a well designed site, you’ll need to hire a well seasoned designer. The industry is abundant with many freelance and agency options.  How do you pick one out of the bunch?

Take a look at their personal website. Do the colors, text, and images look balanced? Are all of the links on the site work? Does the site load quickly? Is it easy to navigate? Does most of the pages have a consistent look? Is the content provided written with quality and value?

Ask for work samples, client sites, or references. An experienced freelancer should have these readily available. If not, their personal website should be sufficient. Keep in mind that client sites are mainly driven by the client’s creative vision and requirements and may or may not clearly reflect that of the designer.

Communication. Is. Key. You should work with someone who is able to clearly respond to your questions and concerns in a timely manner. Think of your website designer as a partner in your business. The work that they perform could have a strong impact on your success. Do your research and choose wisely; you’ll be glad you did.

Can you afford them? Cost will definitely depend on what you want. Every website is a custom job. It’s a good idea to develop an outline on your own before contacting a web designer, otherwise you may have difficulty in obtaining quotes that allow you to compare apples to apples.

In Conclusion

I hope that this post has given you some food for thought on the beginnings of your web project. Besides these starter ideas there will be many more decisions for you to make along the way. Doing as much research as you are able to will help you in stream-lining your web project needs. However, if you need any advice or have questions, post a comment below or feel free to contact me.

Aloha, I am a Hawaii based freelance web designer and developer located on the beautiful island of Maui. Where the skies are blue, the palm trees sway and spam is a pretty big deal.

My articles are geared towards site design and development, nifty wordpress tips and gadgets and other ramblings of webthings amusement.

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