9 things to consider before hiring a web designer
When you have a business idea, you want the whole world to know about it! And one of the best ways to do this is by having a website showcasing your products and services.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are ‘affiliate links.’ This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. The price for you will remain the same.
Before you contact your web designer, there are few things to think about. When you have these basci questions down, it will save you some time and homework during the design process (and maybe some money too!).
Don’t worry about having it all together, perfect or final beforehand. This will sort itself out in the process with your web designer.
The more you have thought about these key things in advance, the more clear answers you are able to produce.
1. What do you want your website to do?
A website is not just a shop window into your business, it has a clear purpose as well.
What is the main purpose for your website? When visitors are coming to your site, and browsing around, what is the number one thing you hope they would do?
Is it to read and comment on your blog posts, sign-up for your freebie and leave their email address, contact you for a service or buy one of your products?
Of course you want all of the above, but I bet one is more important than the other, depending on the type of business you are running.
Why is this important to think about?
Because it’s good to have that emphasized several times on your site in your Call to Actions.
2. Mood board pictures
Every web design project will kick off with determining the visual elements for your website and brand (unless you already have a clear brand, then great, deliver your brand guidelines to your designer and you can skip to step #5).
It depends on you, and your web designer, how you want to execute this step.
If you are on Pinterest, you could start collecting inspirations into a folder, which you can later on share with your web designer.
So what kind of images or pictures should you collect?
Anything really that speak to you, and what strikes to you as a representation of your business.
These images don’t have to end up on your website, they are there to provide an overview of what kind of style you like, and what kind of colours you are attracted to when it comes to your business.
Another way is to collect a few images via free stock photography sites, like Pexels. You can save the link to the images you love, or save them onto a Canva board (or any document you want), to bring out to overall mood and vibe for your site.
And then there is the oldie-but-goodie, a physical mood board!
I am a huge fan of mood boards, and I always have one hanging somewhere in my house (currently above my computer screen in the office).
I tend to update them as my dreams manifest, so yeah, there is power in cutting & pasting something physical, and being able to admire it on a daily basis as you walk by.
3. Colors you like
You may already know what main colors you like, and after completing your mood board pictures you will get a view of your colors as well.
Again, don’t worry if you don’t have this down to the very detail.
I used to be so annoyed with my Graphic Designer husband who speaks about colours in a whole different vocabulary. If I said “red”, he would give me 100 choices of red and ask me to more precise. What, red is red!
Well, I have evolved from those days, and I do understand where he comes from. But I will still never be as nerdy as he is 🙂
What I’m trying to say is, you can browse around different colour combinations on Pinterest for example (check out my Pinterest Boards for some inspiration), and get a feel what you are attracted to.
Eventually your web designer will want to know the hex code to these colors (starting with #), but if you don’t have one, don’t worry! Basics colors will already be helpful.
You find out basics such as whether you like muted tones, or bright colours. Are you more about pastel, light and neutral, or do you like darker colours and contrast?
All these questions will help your designer to make you a mood board you will love without several revision rounds.
4. Fonts for your website
Fonts can be tricky, because a) there are gazillion choices, and b) how do you even know what you like?
Exactly, so go for the big picture, and let your web designer worry about the fine tuning and the details.
For you it’s good to think about the style you like.
Do you like hand written fonts as headers, or do you like a minimal, sleek look? Is your brand playful or more serious, informal or formal for example.
A good way to demonstrate this is to gather some examples of web pages you like. You can go over them with your web designer so that it’s clear what exactly what you like about the pages, and what you can identify with.
Then it’s time to move closer towards the structure and content of your website…
5. Pages you will need
Although everything will be done together with your web designer, it’s good to think about your content and structure beforehand, especially when it comes to your services.
You will have the main pages, such as Home, About, Contact me, Blog, and then of course your services. Your services pages depends on your business, and what kind of level of detail you would need.
Do you offer workshops or retreats, and do you need one overall page to display all of the options, and then one page per individual retreat?
Why is this important information? Because if we go with this example, you may actually be needing 10 additional pages (if you have 10 different retreats), which brings additional work for your web designer.
So think about your services, and what you would like to highlight, how many packages you have, and what services would be grouped together.
6. Copy / text for your pages
Then we come to the main chunk of work for you, the text.
Your web designer will help you structure the text, and will provide cues about what kind of text goes where, and how much text will be needed.
At this point, think about your main message.
What is it that you do, why do you do it, who do you help, what is the main problem your audience faces, and how does your service / product fix it?
You can write a story about yourself, how you came to be where you are now, and what kind of journey you have personally gone through.
Also think more about your services and the details around them.
You will need a description of your services, price information, the benefits your customers will get, duration of the packages etc.
Start with bullet points, and work your way from there. Again, don’t worry about it being a first-draft-version, the main thing is that you get this thinking process started.
7. Your favourite websites, and why
We touched upon this earlier already, but listing a few of your favourite websites helps your web designer see what you are drawn to, and what kind of design you like.
Make sure you are specific about what exactly you like about them (color / font / overall feel / style of photography…)
8. Your peers
If you offer physical services in a specific location, like a yoga teacher or a Life Coach, it is handy to look around in your area what your main peers are doing.
We want to avoid you having similar branding for example, as we want you to stand out. So identifying the websites of your closest peers in your area will help your desiger to see what others with similar offerings are doing.
9. What you will be updating yourself
What are the areas of your website that you will be updating most often? Is it the blog that you need access to, or do you have an event schedule you need to update regularly?
Make sure to ask whether you actually will have access to update your site, if this is important for you!
If you will have your site built with WordPress for example, you will have access to everything, and the backend is easy to handle.
Your web designer should provide you guides and coaching on how exactly everything works, so you know how to do updates on the text and images later on, if and when needed. After all it’s YOUR business, so YOU should be fully in charge.
Before you freak out, nothing needs to be ready and polished before you start working with your web designer!
You will do everything together.
But it’s important that you have given some thought to this before, as it will make your life easier in the design process.
It’s a whole different thing to come up with questions on elements you are stuck with (which means you have started thinking about it), than to start the entire thinking process from scratch when the clock is ticking.
If this list looks like a lot, and you’d like more coaching and brainstorming help with your web design project, just contact me for a free introduction chat!
Need help with your website?
Contact me and let’s work together!
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