So you want a new website? Great! Whether if it’s your 1st time or it’s a redesign, doing some of these things before you contact a web or blog designer can considerably decrease strain on both sides of the project. This will help you narrow down what you should know before you start contacting designers for your project.
1. Direction: What you want out of your website?
You want a new design, but why? Is it because you don’t like the look of it? Don’t like how it functions? Want to go in a whole new direction? Does your brand need an update? These are just a couple of questions you should be ready to answer when you contact designers.
2. Color/Style/Elements/Fonts: How do you want it to look?
When I talk to a potential client, one of the first things I like to ask them is; what websites or blogs they like? This will help you narrow down what you like and don’t like right now, it helps if you keep notes of what you like and dislike on the sites your seeing. What did you like about these sites? The color, the layout, fonts or any elements they used? Do you want a landing/home page? If you a business site are you wanting a blog attached? Do you want a custom character or design element? Do you want a professional looking site or a fun and bright looking site? What did you dislike about these sites you were looking at? What things do you not want on your future site? This will help the entire design process right from the start. Your future designer will need your help to find out who you are and what you are looking as an outcome for this project. So ask yourself, just that question. Who I am? What is my blog/business about? What do I want to convey through my website/blog? You are a big part of the design team! So get prepared to answer all kinds of questions!
Here are some sites that might help
- Design-seeds (color schemes) : http://design-seeds.com/
- Dafont (fonts) : http://www.dafont.com/
- Etsy (clip art and design element) : http://www.etsy.com/
- Veer (vectors/stock photos and illustrations/fonts) : http://www.veer.com/
- iStock (stock photos and illustrations) : http://www.istockphoto.com/
- Pixel Paper Prints (clip art and digital papers) : http://www.etsy.com/shop/pixelpaperprints
- Lovelytocu (custom characters/avatars) : http://www.etsy.com/shop/Lovelytocu
- JW Illustrations (clip art) : http://www.jessicaweible.com/
- My Grafico (clip art) : http://www.mygrafico.com/
3. Budget: What is your budget for this project?
Have an overall idea of the budget you are willing to spend for your website/blog. This is the most important part of what you need to know before contacting a designer for any of your design needs. Having a budget beforehand is important to the entire process. It will save a lot of time on both end of the conversation. What’s included in your budget? Is it just for the web design or does it include to have business cards, flyers and other printable elements that might be needed for your blog or website. So sit down and see what you can afford!
4. Navigation: How do you want your site menus?
How many menu bars do you want? Do you want drop down menus? What do you want on the menus? Example pages for a blogger site who post recipes are About, Contact, Recipes, etc. on a top menu and then would list recipe categories in a second menu (desserts, main dish, breakfast, chicken…). Example pages for a business website are About, Contact, Services, Blog, etc. If you have a larger site, you may find it easier to outline your site and divide it up into sections.
5. Time frame: When do you want this site launched?
What time frame do you have or would like this project to have? Do you want it launched within a week; Or in a few months? This is important; almost as important as setting your budget for the project, so you can find the right designer that has the time to help you. Make sure the designer is able to fit your project needs.
These are some of the things to consider before contacting a web/blog designer. Once you have this information ready, you will then be able to contact designers and start the process of requesting quotes for your site. Whoever you choose to go with will appreciate that done some of your homework and research beforehand.