Last week we touched on helpful tips when working with a website developer, this week we will focus on what we think is the most important part of developing a website – communicating with our clients.
Communication is not just making sure that you respond to questions and requests (although, that is important), communication also presenting your ideas, wants or needs in a manner that is easily understandable. Your development firm should also ask questions if they are not clear on your vision so that everyone is on the same page before the design process begins.
The first step in the design process of a website is the look and feel of the site. The design is based on what was discussed in client meetings, sites clients shared that they like or other marketing pieces. Once the “skin” of the website is completed, you should receive a link to the development site for feedback.
Usually we receive favorably feedback and move onto the next phase. Sometimes we think we have followed everything the client communicated, and it is the not the vision the client has. This is where communication becomes even more important, talking with the client to understand further what they would like their website to look like. Sometimes it is as simple as a shade of color, other times it could be the picture on the home page does not speak to you and rarely it is nothing like what was discussed. Whatever it is, let your developer know and they will work with you to get the right look and feel.
Once you approve the design concept, then your developer will move on to duplicating that look and feel on interior pages while populating them with their own unique content and pictures to reflect that page’s message. At any time during this process you will have access to that development link and can check in on progress and make sure your website is moving in the direction you envisioned.
Again, this is a good time to communicate if you see something you would like changed or change directions. Making changes early in the process is much simpler than waiting until your site is ready to go live.
The website is completed, you approve, then what? Most development firms have a series of pre launch tasks that include a thorough review of the website including links, forms, payment options, email integration, etc. Once that is complete your website will go live and your development firm will submit a site map to the search engines making it easier for them to find you.
Final word on the importance of communicating your wants and needs to your developer. Many people think they will be insulting a developer if they suggest they don’t like something on the site, developers want your site to be an accurate reflection of your business and the message you want to send. They have thick skin and would rather be told have your feedback before they have completed the site.
At Pro Web Marketing we involve our clients through every stage and encourage both positive and negative feedback. We may be considered computer nerds, but we are a friendly and approachable group and not easily offended. Call us at 877-577-6932 and talk with one of our developers about your website needs.