Today I thought I would jot down a high-level list of the content and info that is needed for pretty much any web development project.
The one place that these projects often seem to get stuck, and grind to a halt, is around content. Specifically, the content that is to appear on this new or revamped site. It’s a common complaint that I hear from both developers and clients. On the one hand the developer can’t understand what takes so long – if it’s your business you must have this info surely, and on the other hand the client can’t understand why the developer doesn’t just “come up” with this stuff on their own.
So in case you are thinking about developing or relaunching your own website here are the 15 items you will need to provide your developer.
- A Domain name: this should preferably be close to your business name. If you haven’t registered one yet we can assist with this. We do suggest no dashes, numbers or funny / cute / difficult spellings when choosing your URL.
- Hosting and email info: if you don’t yet have hosting we can advise here as well. For email we recommend G suite (Google Apps) or Office365. We prefer to work with managed WordPress hosting providers like Flywheel or WPEngine and these companies do not offer email. Besides if you host your email separately it is easier to change web hosts in the future should you need to.
- Your Corporate Identity (CI): this is basically your logo plus fonts and colours that make up your brand. If you are just starting out or refreshing your brand we can put you in touch with a branding coach that can help you get this part 100% perfect.
- Other preferred fonts: if you have purchased premium fonts we would need these, otherwise your preference for heading and body text. Make sure your choice is legible on the screen. Some places to start looking:
- The page content & hierarchy: so basically which pages will be parent or top-level pages (about / contact) and which would be child or sub pages. Think about how you would like the pages to link to each other (the hierarchy), how they should be categorised or tagged and then come up with a title, excerpt (the bit that shows in search results) and actual page content for each.
- Your contact info: who will be the main points of contact via the website, and address and contact information that you would like shared online. Many companies opt for a contact form vs having an email address listed, which is fine, but please please please make sure an actual human will respond to these requests.
- Company photos: do you have decent resolution photos of past projects, your office building, your team members or anything else you want to feature on the website? If not, take some.
- Stock images: where you don’t have images start to look for stock images that would suit the various elements. There are many places to find these free of charge, or to save time they can also be purchased for a couple of dollars.
Some places to start looking:
- Social media: which networks do you have accounts with? Do you want additional accounts setup?
- An internal resource: identify someone in the organisation that will responsible for updating the site and posting blog articles etc. Make sure they are involved in the development process as well.
- Your Google account info: setup an account for Analytics and Webmaster tools (Search Console) – your developer will need this info.
- Your opt-in database: do you have a list of clients that have given you permission to market to them via an email newsletter or similar? If not, start building one in a spreadsheet as soon as possible.
AND in the case of an online store there is more…
- Your product info: you need to create a spreadsheet containing at the very least the product name, SKU, price, dimensions & weight. Note down your tax rates & rules, your shipping costs for various destinations you will ship to, your payment gateway options (PayPal or Payfast) and how the order flows should work (who will process and fulfil these as they come in).
- Product images: good quality, high resolution product photos are essential. If you can’t take these yourself then hire someone to do this for you.
Unfortunately, people often underestimate just how long it can take to get all their ducks in a row so to speak, and to get this stuff together. However, it is something that you as the client must make a priority in your project. Do put aside some time to do this part justice to avoid delays in the development, and to save yourself and your developer some frustration.
As this is by no means a detailed list feel free to contact us for more information. At Vinefruit we guide you through the development process from start to finish and make sure you know exactly what you need to provide us every step of the way – this means the project runs smoothly and is on time as much as possible.
Contact us for more info on how we can work together.