Building a Website Doesnt Need to be Scary

By Noah Britton on 05 March 2018

I’ve found some clients have hesitations about working with a web designer. They worry about what will be asked of them or that they aren’t technical enough for the task.

My question to them is “How well do you know your company, products, services, staff, and customers.”

Don’t be afraid of web designers.

A little information can go a long way.

If you can describe those five things in detail, a good web designer can take care of the rest. It is helpful to give them at least three examples of websites you like and why you like them so they can get an idea of the design and functionality you are looking for.

Content creation and site design are a team effort.

Next, you and your web designer will determine what content will be included on your website. Web designers will break this down into a list of webpages, also called a sitemap. Each webpage needs to have one or more images and text associated with it. The designer will help you with the basic idea but either you or a hired copywriter need to write the actual content that will appear on the webpage.

Web designers love adjectives.

For the design, web designers will ask for attributes you want your website to have. Most of my clients, for example, ask for attributes such as “professional,” “easy to use,” and “inviting” but others will want it to be “cutting edge” or “scientific.” We can work with these adjectives as a starting point before drilling down into the nitty-gritty details.

Web design can be a lot like interior design.

Like interior design, we’ll start the details selection process with a mood board. Only instead of an actual mood board, we use your company’s logo that should have your brand colors and fonts. Those fonts, colors, and style of the logo become the base for the website design. This is the perfect starting place for building out the look and feel of your website.

Your opinion matters to us.

Once there is a mock-up of your site that includes the look, feel, fonts, and colors, you will be asked to critique the design and request modifications to it. We will then create the website using our artistic abilities and will request feedback from you on how you’d like it changed, if at all.

Don’t forget to customize it.

There can also be custom features on your website based on your goals. There are literally hundreds of these features that can add functionality and beauty to your page. Here are just a few that we’ve worked with:

  • Event registration/purchase
  • Event calendar
  • Newsletter sign up
    • Can include a special offer PDF
    • Mailchimp, Constant Contact, etc
  •  Forms
    • Contact
    • Vendor/Partner application
    • Quote generator
    • Instant estimate
    • Calculator
    • Job application
  • Feeds
    • Facebook
    • Instagram
    • Twitter
  • Accept donations via Paypal
  • Memberships
    • Video training
    • Industry news
    • Software access
  • Document library
    • Can be password protected
    • Can be limited to certain users
  • Catalog of products
    • Links to a contact form with the product details included
  • Full eCommerce including payment
  • Portfolio of your work
    • Can be filtered by category
  • Poll/Survey/Questionnaire
  • Job listing
  • Gift certificates
  • Printable/Downloadable Coupons (for services or products)
  • Online support using a chat box
  • Online scheduling
  • Store locator

Determine your platform.

If you just want a basic website (aka brochure website) that talks about your business, showcases your products/services, and gives clients a way to contact you, WordPress or Squarespace (of podcast fame) are great options for you.

We prefer WordPress as it is great for adding features like the above. In fact, they have over 56,000 plugins that do this!

Final word.

Building a website doesn’t have to be scary. If you have an experienced web designer that you trust who has a strong process, you’ll do just fine.

Just be prepared to give feedback about the website design and optionally write content/provide images. A good web designer will have a network of resources to pull from (content writers, photographers, videographers, etc). They should also provide you with a formal, signed proposal that includes everything that will be included in the project.

Anything less than that is asking for trouble.

Thrive Design is a customer-centric web design company from Seattle. Contact us today to find out how we can elevate your business online! Find us on Clutch, UpCity, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

Are you looking for help with your web design, branding, or marketing?

Noah Britton

Noah Britton is the founder of Thrive with 18 years of experience in the web industry and 10 years with WordPress.