For us, the real fun in creating a new website for a client begins with the Initial Client Consultation.
The consultation is the first time that we get to go in depth with our clients and discuss how they want their new website to look and feel. It’s also our chance to hear any ideas they have already and suggest design concepts that will result in a site they will love and that does its job marvelously.
In addition to talking about the design of the site, we introduce our clients to the website design process so they know what to expect and when to expect it, and give tips on how they can make things a bit easier on their end as they gather their content. It’s a lot to cover in one meeting! Based on our experience, there are several things you can do to get the most out of the meeting and have a better end result:
6 Ways to Prepare for Your Design Consultation
1. Bring Your Branding
Most clients already have an existing logo, colors, or even full style guides. A company style guide is extremely helpful, if you have one.
Bring digital copies of your official logo – preferably as a vector file – and any other publications or marketing materials that show the implementation of your brand. For your logo, make sure to bring only official versions and make sure they have the appropriate trademarks, if applicable.
2. Provide Photos
High-quality photography of your building or storefront, products, and staff is a valuable resource to have on hand when we begin your design.
3. Have Examples
If you’ve found a website that you loved, or design of any kind that you thought looked fantastic, be sure to let us know! Whether it’s a full site or just a single design element, examples of things you think are awesome helps us learn what your tastes are.
4. Think “Purpose”
Before your design consultation, give some thought to what you want your site to accomplish for you. Here is an Article that will help with that: How to Prepare for a Website Development Consultation
What is the most important thing you need to communicate? What pieces of content do you most want your visitors to see? At the end of the day, what action do you most want your visitors to take? We love coming up with designs that best meet our clients’ goals.
5. Know Your Timeline
Usually the most difficult step in launching a new website is obtaining the content from the client. Creating content is a lot of hard work! (We can refer copywriting services to make this step a lot easier).
Most clients choose to write their own content, but they fail to block out adequate time or resources to help make it happen. As a result, they end up in “content limbo” – Too often when the site is ready to go from a technical standpoint, it can’t be launched because the client has not yet provided the necessary content.
Block out some days on your calendar during development, and use that time to generate the content for your site. Let us know how long you think this will take, and we’ll set a “go live” date together.
6. Get the Small Things Done Up Front
There are lots of miscellaneous pieces of data that go into a site that aren’t covered when you gather your content. Here’s a quick list of the most common ones we have to track down as we put the site together:
- Links to all of your social media sites profiles
- The “general contact email” you would like your contact forms to submit to. It goes without saying, but be sure this is a real email address that someone is actively monitoring.
- Your full official business name for the copyright.
- The phone number and street address you would like in the contact information.
- If your domain is already registered somewhere else, be sure to have the logins for your registrar if you will be moving the registration to our provider, or so we can change the DNS settings as needed.
- Information about how your email is currently configured. This is especially important if your email is on a dedicated hosting service like an exchange provider or Google.
The design consult is just the first step, but taking care of these 6 things will get you well on your way to having an amazing website as soon as possible. Good Luck!