For some reason many clients think that the only job they have in developing their websites is to hire the person/company that is going to build the site. Unfortunately they haven’t realized that once they hire someone to build the website their work has just begun.
- Establish Your Business Goals: A site is not just there to look pretty, you want a new site built to accomplish something for your business. Whether it’s just to attract local search or we’re building an e-commerce site and we want to increase sales by 10% this year, sites are built for specific business purposes.Clients need to make sure that their web designer knows what business goals need to be accomplished by the site they are building. If they don’t ask tell them. If they don’t build the site with your business goals in mind it won’t accomplish them well at all.
- Establish Your Target: Audience: Tied closely with your business goals is your target audience. You know basic details about the clients you encounter each day. You know the types of clients that you deal with, and the new ones you want to reach.Your web designer needs to know the types of clients that your site is supposed to reach. They need you to pass along the knowledge you’ve gained about your target audience’s likes and dislikes over the years you’ve dealt with them.
- Find Problems: During the development of a site you need to find the problems in the site. No matter how long you’ve worked with a web designer or developer you still know your business the best and need to help educate them to their blind spots. You need to help them find the ways that their design doesn’t fit your vision and help them fix the issue.This doesn’t mean that you just tell them to “move that box to the other side” or “just make it blue.” It means that you describe why you want the changes so that the web designer can work with you to find the solutions. Maybe you want it blue because you want to cater to men? Whatever the reason is you need to tell your web designer what the problem is and why it is a problem so that you can work together to find a solution.
- Deliver Content: As soon as your web designer shows you a copy of the initial design you need to start thinking about the content that will be needed to fill the design. Unless you’ve hired a copy writer or the agency you deal with has people to work on the content of your site, it’s all up to you. Content takes a lot more work than most client’s realize so don’t start working on the content the week a site is supposed to launch or it will either miss the launch date or launch without content. Either option is less than acceptable.
- Establish a Long Term Plan: Probably one of the biggest things that clients can do during a web project is to realize that the site isn’t done once it launches. All of the little things you think of during a project that you just can’t accomplish are perfect for adding to the long-term development of the site.From the first day clients should be keeping a list of the little things they think of so that once the site launches you can continue to improve the site. Leaving a website languishing for a few years, then rebuilding it from the ground up is a poor use of time and money. Don’t let yourself do that.
So clients, when you start that next web project keep the 5 things above in mind. You do have a very important job to do. Without your continued work the project and site will fail.