Planning a website or a new feature for your website? If you’re hiring someone to do the job for you, there are 5 things you should consider before letting that person or agency start work. Here are 5 website planning tips to help you reduce costs and overages.

1. Research and Plan

Tip #1 - Prepare Yourself. Research and plan everything.If the only thing you have is an idea, you’re not ready for someone to start working on your project. You should do some research to find all the specs for your project.

Why? Changing or expanding the project specs inevitably delays project completion. By knowing all of the factors of your project beforehand, you should be able to establish guidelines and checklists for your contracted employee.

For example, let’s say you’re tasked with getting 3 things from the grocery store: bread, milk, and eggs. If someone calls you up to say that you also need to pick up bananas, ham, and pretzels, you will spend more time at the grocery store than you originally planned. And according to my husband, “ham” is too generic…is it deli ham or ham steaks? By being specific and upfront about all the necessary items on your project, you will save time and money.

2. Avoid Choices By Committee

If you work in a large company, it may be tempting to oversee a website’s design by committee. The downfall to committee decisions is that it will take longer for decisions to be made, and you may be spending money for each day that your web designer is having to wait for your decision (depending on the web designer’s billing practices).

By having one person make all of the design choices and approvals, the website process will be much quicker and smoother.

3. Get Your Content Together

Create Your ContentBy creating your own content, you can avoid copywriting fees that may be incurred otherwise. Ensure that your copy has been proofread as well; spelling and grammatical errors diminish your company’s reputation.

Make sure that your documents are easy to understand and instructions are clearly marked. Double-check that the content is correct, and the wording is appropriate for your audience and message.

If you are including photos with your content, make sure to attach them in an e-mail; embedding them in Microsoft Word  or Open Office is okay, but you should also provide the image separately for the best resolution and quality.

4. Plan Ahead

If you can plan your project or website, you should plan the timeline and due date. If you’re going to have a close deadline, your web designer may consider it a rush job and charge you accordingly. Some web designers will charge 1.5 times their hourly rate for rush jobs, so it’s best to get your project specs ready a long time before you want it to be done.

By having checkpoints on your timeline to check the designer’s work (and make sure he or she is on the right track), you’ll be able to assess the work that’s being done and the rate at which it’s being done. Having more time to check and double-check will also ensure that you’re getting a higher quality product.

5. Choose Someone Small

When it comes to choosing between a web design agency and a freelance web designer, a freelance web designer is going to cost less. By choosing the right web designer, you can still get the same results as you would if you went to a web design agency. Granted, not all projects are “right” for a freelance web designer, but if you’re a small business or entrepreneur then a high-end web design agency may be out of your budget.

By following these tips and having a complete plan of action, you can get the website you want without paying for extra time on edits, copywriting, and other fees.

Do you need help with your website?
I build websites and e-commerce stores for businesses on a budget.

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