What defines that killer website will most certainly depend on the journey taken in its creation. Being very passionate about this principle I have quite a bit to write on the topic . . . goodness me! So anyway I decided to break up the blog post into two parts. For clients and suppliers . . . enjoy!
Part one — Creating that killer website.
Design is essential
Let me get straight to the point — The type of website your company will end up with, depends 100% on the standard of service you choose to create it. I'll expand on that statement . . . design is pretty much about solving problems, so the first thing you need to establish is can the professional your are scoping out help solve yours? I say this because it is evident some website design companies have no real graphic design experience and that shows in their product . . . and, to be blunt, their care factor is likely also nil!
Sounds pretty hardline, but I care enough to assure you good design is an essential component in creating anything with substance. The production of a killer website requires the skills of a passionate designer and a smart developer to solve (in many cases quite) the inherent complex problems. Whether this is a team of wonderful people or a single awesome freelancer — your new website demands a carefully planned process to achieve the required aim (more on this in part two).
You need to be a good fit
There's plenty of choice in designers, but as above, not everyone is awesome! So before you start — do as much research as possible on the agency or freelancer you are thinking of using. As a minimum you must check out their website and portfolio!
A few important questions you probably need to be asking:
What does their operation look like?
Is their site showcasing current projects?
What are their core services?
What’s their track record?
Are there any testimonials?
Do they plan their projects?
How are the skills of company X going to help your business?
Are they present on social media?
Be thorough and don't be afraid to ask these questions and many more.
For any agency/freelancer who's been contacted by a business it's up to you to probe too: Who exactly is asking for the work to be produced? Do you know of a contractor that has/had a relationship with this potential client? What level of customer service should they expect? This is important investigation . . . Please don't work for the sake of a pay day (it will be evident) . . . and that sucks!
If either party can’t get the answers they need — I suggest - just walk away with a smile.
Set clear goals and be a great listener
You've made it to the first meeting . . . Awesome! Start by being realistic about your goals, what you want to achieve and (how you understand-) your understanding of the outcome you desire.
Designers / developers make sure you understand what the clients’ goals are. Listen to them, discuss in depth and explain clearly any obstacles you may foresee (remember you're the expert and hold a position of trust).
Clients’ hopes and dreams can be attained or shattered with this project so be attentive and ask lots of questions (no need to be a Smart Alec and attempt to impress with technical jargon) . . . Press PAUSE when needed and try and put yourself in the clients shoes. Write stuff down (maybe take somebody with you to do this) — or (even better) use your smart phone to record all the meetings.
In part two of this blog I will outline the process of planning and building. What to expect and what should be discovered.
What's your experience in building a website ? Feel free to leave any comments below.
About the author — George Bates
George is a passionate and award winning designer, but his life journey . . . to this point . . . has been varied to say the least! A retired breakdancer, at one time a door-to-door salesman (he sucked!), he even tried his hand at panel beating! Part time DJ . . . film junkie . . . keen hiker . . . his leisure time is equally busy!
Owner / Director Planet Visuals.