18 Jan What Your Developer Needs & Expects
Now you have decided that you would like a website and have seen how it could really benefit your business it is now time to speak with your web developer, so what do they want? What do you need to do?
One thing I’d like to make clear first of all is to get comfortable and build a relationship with your website design company, chances are you will be working with them for many years to come. So to have a good relationship and understanding of what each other expect can be really important to get the best results.
It is important to ensure you know and are able to communicate your business objectives and therefore also your primary and secondary goals for the website.
Even though you will be working collaboratively with your web designer to produce the look, content and feel for your site you want to make sure both have the same perceptions of the end goal.
The design and development of the website will likely differ if you are using your website to sell rather than just to provide information or collect leads. Different requirements need to be met, different implementations and expectations, so before you meet with your web designer you should have a clear understanding of this.
Again you should understand your clients and audience better than anyone else.
You need to be able to let your website developer this, so he can structure this into the design, functionalities and if they are doing any marketing for you then this will also come into effect.
Some questions to ask yourself:
- Who is your ideal client?
- Where are they based?
- How do they use the internet?
- What do they want from your site?
3) Who are your online and offline competitors?
By providing your developer with a list of your competition, they will be able to get a better understanding of your business, goals and also to look at what your competitors are doing.
Then we can see what they are doing well, what we could do to improve on that, how we can be more effective than them.
4) Offline Marketing
Some developers may also take into consideration how you are currently marketing your products to see what is working.
This may provide us with some insight into your target audience and their expectations but also as a comparison to what the website will be able to offer alongside / instead of some of these current marketing strategies.
5) Content / Images
One thing to clarify with your website developer is who will be providing the images and content for the website.
While the designer provides a site’s visual and technical framework, the client is usually responsible for providing the site’s content and images.
Not being able to do this, or being late completing this will cause delays, sometimes drastically.
If you miss your own deadlines with the content, a busy web developer may have moved on to the next project then and you may have to wait another week or two before your website goes live.
If you do not feel comfortable writing the content for the website then speak to the web developer as he may be able to help you with this or know a professional writer who will create the editorial content as soon as you decide what you want on the site.
There is a good chance that your web developer will be able to help you with this and have some tools he can use to find keywords that relate to your business. However, you should have a basic idea of what words and phrases that your respective clients would use to try to find your business.
7) Social Media
One area which will certainly come up during your eating when discussing the development of your website and marketing is what social media you are currently using, which social media you should be using/want to be using.
This will affect the design as you may have social icons displayed on your some of your pages.
It will also have to be discussed who is going to set this up, who will maintain this and what level of integration would it have with the website.
8) Maintenance and Changes
Websites are not a one-time cost. You can’t make your millions on the internet without certain ongoing expenses. Websites have to be kept up to date, especially if they require third party plugins or software to function. Things such as backups, software updates and design updates can become quite regular.
Your designer like ourselves might offer a maintenance service in which they will complete the software updates and backups for a monthly on-going fee. However structural changes will come as an additional fee depending on what work needs to be completed.
Keep in mind that rates do change over time, a certain change or job might cost X amount in 2016, however, it’s unlikely this will be the same if you contact him/her in 2018.
9) Legal Requirements:
Obviously like with anything else there are certain legal requirements when working online and with a website developer that you need to be aware of.
First of all, your contract, your work will likely not start until your contract has been signed, so don’t allow this to be another delay such as with late content. Your contract should state the fee, who owns the coding, the domain and how much the on-going payments are.
Moving onto your online legal requirements, all website now must have a Cookie Control policy, this is an EU regulation and something that your website developer will be very aware of. This is just another reason why outsourcing your website to other parts of the world or your family/friend can be dangerous as they might not be aware of any of the legal implications.
If you will are playing to use your website to directly sell, then you have to be aware that you must set up a merchant account that can be used on the web and/or a PayPal account to accept payments.
Right from the offset building a relationship and being able to communicate your website developer is vitally important and understanding their needs as much as they will understand yours.
From your 1st meeting, you should know what you will have to do to get the website that you want and need for your business, whether that is the content, images, legal requirements or anything.