What Your Web Developer Needs
Your Web Developer is a crucial partner in setting up or revitalising your website, the key word being partner. So often it is taken for granted that your developer will magically produce a website out of thin air, fully polished, with masses of content and a look that is to die for. We do our best, but even web wizards need something with which to weave a spell.
What Your Proposal / Contract Covers
When you first start to work with a developer they will most likely put together a proposal that morphs into a contract when all the details are ironed out and it is signed off by both parties. Generally speaking you will, on close inspection, find that there are things you need to provide so that work can commence. This will cover concept, branding, written content and images. All of these items will require input from you to a greater of lesser degree depending on the scope of the contract.
What is Actually Required
- Company details:- First and foremost all the practical details of your business are needed such as physical address, telephone number, email addresses, company number, VAT registration etc.
- Branding / Colours:- If you have a set palette of colours that forms part of your business identity, your developer needs to know. Equally if you use particular fonts, trademarks, logos etc you need to provide usable versions of these. Do also remember that some fonts are not free and you will require a license to use the on the web.
- Site Structure:- Whilst your web developer will advise you on a good structure and appropriate navigation you need to let them know exactly what you want your website to achieve and how you want that to happen. You should also bear in mind future plans so that a site that can grow with you is created. You should also let your developer know how much you want to be able manage yourself going forward as this will influence how the site is created.
- Social Media:- Details of all your social media channels are key to ensuring that your site gets the exposure you want. The likelihood is that your developer will need access to them in order to integrate everything effectively.
- Images:- Good images are key to the success of any website. If you have your own, these should be provided in the best quality you have available so that your developer can reformat them to the required sizes and formats that are best for your site. Poor images make a poor site. If you want to use stock images you may find the cost of these and the time required to source them are not covered in your contract. Good images are expensive and take time to source. You can, of course, source them yourself but liaise closely with your developer regarding the size purchased and the license conditions.
- Written Content:- Once the basic design of your site has been created you will need content to fill it, the actual words that tell anyone looking at your site about your business. Unless you have a specific arrangement with your developer regarding the provision of content, this is something you will need to provide. You know your business inside out, your developer does not. If your contract covers the provision of content you will need to spend time talking to the writer and provide them with the information they need to paint an appropriate picture of your business.
Websites nearly always take longer to develop than expected, the main reason being that the developer does not have all the information required. Many will provide you with a series of documents to help you prepare the items required. It is far better to ask questions and make sure that you give them exactly what is needed than to guess. Equally important is being timely with the provision of the information and supplying it in a usable format. A few scribbled paragraphs will not create an informative website, neither will it make it easy for your developer to insert.
Cooperation – The Key To Success
The most successful websites are those where the client and the developer work together as a team. Communication is vital, together with an understanding of the needs of both sides. Having a clear idea of what you want to achieve and providing the information required will enable your developer to produce the website you want that will take your business forward.