Things to Consider Before You Commission a Website
Your website is a huge part of your customer-facing identity. So whether you’re moving into a new market, undergoing a rebrand, or it’s simply time for an update, it’s important that you get it right.
At the start of each web project, we send our clients a full briefing document to help us understand exactly what you want (and expect) from your new website. The answers you give at this stage will form the basis of a discussion to help us really get to know you and your business. It also enables us to make sure we design a site that you love, and that helps you achieve your goals and increase conversions.
So what are the key things to consider before you commission a new website?
Competition and inspiration
Think about who your main competitors are, and what their websites are like. What are they doing successfully, and what do you think they’re doing poorly? Assessing your competition can be equally beneficial in identifying what you want to do, and what you want to avoid.
Also, find some other websites (from competitors or otherwise) that you aspire to be like. Think about what you like about their website and why. Do you love the design style? Do they offer a great user experience? The more specific you are about why you like a certain website, the better we’ll be able to incorporate the selected aspects into the design of your new site.
Your current site
If you already have a website in place, is there anything about it that you think works particularly well? What do you like about it, and why is it successful?
Alternatively, is there anything about your current website that you definitely don’t want to use on the new one? Whether it’s out of date content, a tool that isn’t particularly relevant, or a page that never gets any traffic, think about why it’s unsuccessful - we may be able to help you improve it and update the content, or you may choose to lose it altogether.
Your brand identity is also important to consider when commissioning a new website. If you have a brand already, which aspects (colours, fonts, logo etc.) would need to be kept the same? However, if you’re implementing a new website to modernise or refresh your online presence, would you allow your brand to be tweaked as part of this?
Sharing any brand guidelines you have with our design team will also help us fully understand how to use your brand and ensure that we don’t change anything that you want to maintain.
If you require your website to have additional ‘advanced’ features such as eCommerce, calculators or configurators, interactive maps, events calendars or integrations with third-party services (like your CRM), be sure to include these in your brief.
With additional, or bespoke, functionality, the earlier on in the process you mention these the better, as certain features may influence other aspects of the design and build - for example, if you need eCommerce functionality, this will determine which platform we recommend.
Do you have the visual content (photography, videos, illustrations and infographics etc.) ready for your project? If not, do you know how this content will be created or sourced? You may choose to supply the visual content yourself, or we could work with you on this or help source some or all of it.
These are just a few of the things you may want to think about ahead of engaging your digital agency. Looking for more information or advice on your website refresh? Find out about our web design and development services here, or contact our web development team.