Your Role In Building Your New Website

Building and maintaining a website takes an immense amount of time and effort, but it can be the most powerful tool for you and your business.  And while your designer has key tasks in this process and we’ve spoken about those over the last few weeks (see Part 1 and Part 2), you, as a business owner also have a task in guiding the designer.  The following are some key questions and actions you as a business owner should be prepared to provide.

Your website can be the most powerful tool for you and your business.

1. What do you want your web site to do?  Is it intended to simply generate leads or are you wanting it to actually make the sale too?  If you’re selling directly online, products or e-books, you’ll need some kind of shopping cart system.  If you’re a consultant or an attorney, you’ll want the site to help people get to know you, like you, and trust you.

2. Provide logo files and coloring.  Your designer will ask you some questions about layout, but it’s your job to provide your logo files and input on the coloring details.  As a start, you might take note of a few web site designs you really like and show your designer so they have some ideas.  As the business owner, you’re responsible for ensuring your branding carries through your project.

3. Images.  Just because you can pull off any number of images online and re-use them, doesn’t mean you should.  I can tell of a number of people I know who have received invoices for images that they’ve used without permission or a purchase agreement.  I would recommend purchasing images for your site or if you use images from a creative commons site, that you have given the proper credit to the creator.

4. Content.  As the web site owner, it’s your job to provide the content that is required for the website.  Again, your designer can give you some ideas on site layout but they will not provide the content for you unless that is something that you’ve hired them to do.  (And I’m not sure that any decent web designer also has the skills to write content—that’s not usually the case.)  Your content should be provided to your designer in a complete and grammatically correct fashion.  If you make grammatical errors, your designer is simply copying and pasting what you provided.

5. Communicate.  When your designer asks you for feedback, be available to provide feedback.   Much of the time it takes to create a web site is in the back and forth and waiting for feedback.  The faster you get your new web site online, the faster it can start generating results for you.

These are probably the most important items to start with because they will help your web site project progress at a much faster pace.  And your web site really is a critical piece of your marketing communications.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on any additional areas of focus or questions relating to a web site project that you think are important to cover.

Please post your comments below.

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