Most small businesses will need to partner with a website design company when they organize their new website. Finding a qualified and experienced company is the first step, however it is just as important that you establish a productive relationship with your web designer. Effective communication and collaboration is the key to a successful partnership from the outset.
Below are 5 ways to establish a positive working relationship with your web designer and get your website on time and on budget.
1. Know What You Want
Even though you will be hiring a web designer, it is still your website, and it is ultimately up to you to know what you want from it. What kind of aesthetic are you after? What functionality do you want it to have? How much are you willing to spend? These are all questions that you should answer before discussing your requirements in with a web design company.
Having a clear idea of what you want from the beginning will help keep costs relative and keep you focused on what you actually need. Defined goals will give your website designer the best chance of making your expectations a reality.
2. Leave Nothing to Chance
Once discussing your requirements in greater detail with your web designer, you will have a clear outline of your projects scope. Make sure you get a clear and concise outline of these deliverables in writing. Usually this comes as a proposal document or estimate. Be sure to have a pragmatic approach when reviewing this document and not assume things are included when they may not be.
Having a clear outline of what deliverables you’ll be getting for what price is important in keeping budgets on track. If you’re unclear about anything, make sure you clarify this with your web designer at this stage. Having all of this in place with the details of the project can take away many potential headaches later on and keep all everyone on the same page.
3. Outline the Timeline
Whether you are in a hurry to get your website completed, or you have plenty of time to work on the project, you want to have realistic timelines. Make sure to speak to your web designer before work begins to establish a deadline or delivery schedule for a phased approach.
Rather than setting a single date on which you would like to have the project complete, try setting up a series of milestones along the way. Then, you can check it at each of these prearranged dates to make sure that progress is being made and the website is on track to completion.
4. Be Willing to Collaborate
You know your business and customers better than anyone, and your designer has years of experience and expertise with websites. Rather than giving sole responsibility to one party, instigate a collaborative approach by playing your strengths and placing trust is the abilities of others. Likewise, don’t be afraid to assert yourself and never feel pressured into signing off something that you’re not comfortable with.
Make sure you answer questions quickly, stick to your commitments and give honest feedback. This will foster a relationship of trust with your designer and reinforce the standard of accountability that you expect from them. These qualities will reduce any potential for a communication breakdown in the lifecycle of your project.
5. Don’t Throw Too Many Curveballs
There are inevitably some changes that will come up along the way during any project, and it’s easy to get excited about the potential of your website. By sticking to the original scope as much as possible, you will ensure that the designer can stay on track with their work and they will be far more likely to meet your original deadline. Also, when you start to stray from the original plan, you have to be open and flexible about changes to deadline and budget. By sticking to the original plan and having realistic expectations you’re more likely to avoid unexpected costs and delays and get the website you wanted initially.
No two websites are the same and an experienced web designer can help you develop one of your own. By following the basic tips above throughout the web design process, you should be left with a website that is delivered on time and on budget and will serve your business well for years to come.
This article was contributed by Magicdust, Sydney web designers providing open source websites, online marketing and ecommerce solutions.