Want to make the most of your time with your Web developer? Save time and money- take these 10 steps before you contact anyone.  It will help you organize your project and make it easier for you and your pro to achieve exactly what you want.

1. Define the purpose of your Website.

What is the goal of your Website? The answer to this question will set the direction of your project.  It’s important to determine this in the beginning because every decision is influenced by the answer.

2. Determine who is your primary market.

This information is important to your Web developer because who we’re marketing to will decide the flavor of your Website. The look and feel can influence your audience on an emotional level.  It’s subtle but extremely important.

3. Develop your logo or brand.

If you haven’t already, hire a pro logo artist to help define your brand. Having a logo in place goes a long way in determining the look and feel of a Website. SDG has logo artists on hand.  So if you haven’t done this already let us know and we’ll take care of  this process for you.

4. Search the Web for Websites that appeal to you.

Sending your developer some examples of Websites you find attractive, will help them determine the overall feel you’re looking to accomplish. Tell them what you like about the sites and what you don’t like.

5. Decide the features and functions you want your site to have.

There are a myriad of features and functions your site can have. Do you want a home page slideshow?  Do you want a content management system that allows you to edit the site yourself?  Do you want e-commerce? What type of menu system would you like? Defining these things beforehand will help your web developer determine the scope of your project in order to bid it properly and stay within your budget.

6. Determine your timeline.

If you’re on a tight schedule and want your site completed quickly, this may cost more.  Generally Websites take about 4-6 weeks to complete, depending upon the size. So budget enough time for your developer to give you a quality product.

7. Plan your navigation.

Decide what pages you want to include.  In outline format you can submit the hierarchy of your Website. For instance, what pages will go under “About Us” or “Services”.  Having a plan in mind will help you organize your content.

8. Research your competition.

See what your competition is up to. Search out sites that fall in to your industry.  This way you’ll know what everyone else is doing right or wrong. See where they rank in the search engines.  Make sure you let your developer know who your direct competition is.

9. Organize your text copy and photographs.

A lot of clients choose to be their own copy writer to save money.  This is fine.  But if you’re really looking for copy that sells and gets you in to the search engines, hire a pro.

Photography also can motivate a customer like nothing else.  Choose to hire a pro photography if you can.  They will make your Website and business stand out and look professional so you can garner quality leads.

10. Decide on a budget.

One of the most important pieces of the puzzle is your budget.  This will determine how serious you are, and the quality of site you’re looking to build.  If you don’t give your Web developer a budget, they will probably bid you a high end site.  If your budget is too low, you won’t give your developer enough hours to build you a quality site. Or worse, you won’t attract an experienced developer.

Remember there’s good, fast and cheap.  And you can only pick two.