Recently after winding things up with a client who had never been through a web design process before she breathed a sigh of relief and said “WOW, I had no idea that it would be so much work“.
You’re right in thinking that you won’t need to touch a line of code, but there is definitely a great deal of homework that needs to be done throughout the process.
The most common misconception is that when you hire someone to build you a website, there is essentially nothing you have to do other than approve and answer a few questions. Whilst in a perfect world (and a budget to match) it would be nice, the reality is it is still a lot of work no matter what side of the fence you’re sitting on.
So what do you need to do as the client?
Be super clear about your business goals
If you’re really undecided about your business goals then the web design process will really bring these things up for you. If you are not sure clear, definitely invest some money into a business coach (seriously best thing ever) who can really help you.
Put your decision making hat on
Whilst one of my favourite sayings at the moment is “it’s not a tattoo” being decisive will help move things along. If you can’t make up your mind, or change your mind throughout the process this will cause you a lot of pain (and if the site is already has already been built that pain will be in your back pocket with out of scope expenses).
Get all your stuff together
So a website really consists of a bunch of elements, branding, words, photography, sometimes payment details, email marketing logins, social media accounts. Scurrying around getting all these things together can feel like a full time job in itself.
Firstly your branding, a logo design isn’t going to be included in a web design and is a mammoth task in itself if you haven’t already done it.
Most web designers don’t include copywriting, which is essentially writing the words for your site. It’s one of the biggest road blocks when coming to launch so I always highly encourage clients to go pro if they can.
Photography really can make or break a site, if you’re not using your own high quality photos, trawling through stock photo libraries will take a lot of time.
You need to be available to answer questions and give feedback. Handing over your stuff and disappearing, being too busy to get back with answers to questions will immensely hinder a project’s momentum. It’s important that you have time available to work on this project, and generally I have the expectation that if I am committed to a project then so are you.
So taking the plunge and getting a pro to make your website incredible is just one step in the journey, you do need to be 100% on board for the process, be willing to make those hard decisions and get all the bits and pieces organised.