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Know your site: Preparing a website brief

So you want to build a website and you search for some web design companies, but once you speak with them, you’re having trouble answering their questions about the website that you need. There is some basic information that any web design agency needs in order to estimate the cost of your new website. So let’s have a look at the details that you should prepare before meeting with a web design agency. This will also help you better understand why you need this website.

 

Background information

This information gives us a basic understanding of who you are, what you do and what look and feel will fit your new website.

  • Who are you?
  • Are you a new company?
  • What does you or your company do? (i.e. sell products, sell a service, corporation, artist/designer, entertainment industry, etc.)
  • What type of products and/or services do you provide?
  • Who is your target audience? (i.e. children, adults, social class, income levels, location, etc.)

 

What type of website do you need?

There are many types of websites. There are “corporate” websites, portfolio websites, “mini-sites” (we call them “One-Pagers”), online stores (e-commerce), etc. We can create anything you do, just check out our portfolio.

 

What is the aim of your new website?

You should know what you need your website to achieve. This will help better define the goals and requirements both design-wise but also functionally.

  • Why do you need this website? (i.e. to sell products, to present who you are and what you do, to describe the services that you provide, to increase awareness of your brand and/or your product, to showcase your work)
  • Are you rebranding your company identity? Are you launching a new product?
  • What do your users/customers want? What will they want to learn when going to your website? What will they be looking for?
  • Is this site for an international audience? Will it require additional languages?
  • How do you see the website evolving in the future? Will it grow larger? Will it require more functionality in the future?

 

What type of content will your website require?

There are many types of page layouts that you can have. Each layout has it’s own purpose. You should have a basic idea of what you will want to present and how. Of course, we do a good job of helping you decide, but a general understanding will help.

  • Homepage - Do you know what you want your homepage to display? What’s important for you to make the first impression? (i.e. Image carousel, featured product/service, a brief description of who you are, etc.)
  • Text-based pages - These pages usually contain mostly text with images and/or videos (i.e. About us, What we do, Our services, etc.)
  • Grid-based pages - These pages display content in the form of a grid where each item can have a image and a title and will expand to reveal descriptive text when clicked, or link to other pages. (i.e. Our team, Press items, Portfolio, etc.)
  • Portfolio pages - These pages showcase your work, mainly images with descriptive text. They are grid-based as well and include individual pages for each item. These “product pages” also must be defined (what information do you want to display when presenting your product?)
  • Form-based pages - Do you want your visitors to send you more information or to contact you? (i.e. Contact us, Apply for a job, Register for a service, Send certain files, etc.)
  • Blog-based pages - These pages are basically text-based but include the information that blog posts usually have (i.e. date, author, category/tag, etc.) and also have a main page displaying all of the blog posts.
  • Of course, there are many more. We can create any type of page layout and make them beautiful and functional!

 

Is there special functionality that you require?

There are various types of “add-ons” or plugins that you may need. Have an idea of what will help achieve the goals of your website (besides the content of course!).

  • Sign up for a newsletter?
  • Unique animations or interactive pages/presentations?
  • Interactive maps?
  • Search functionality?
  • Call-to-actions?
  • Allocated space for advertising?

 

What ‘look and feel’ are you striving for?

There are many different styles and layouts for your website. Of course, this is our job to present to you, but no one knows your business better than you do. You know who your competitors are and who target audience is. We take this information into serious consideration when designing. Including examples of websites that you like, both from our portfolio but of course from others as well!

 

Budget

It’s important to know a general outline of a budget for your new website. Knowing this, and letting prospective web design agencies know this will result in more accurate quotes. Of course, there is a huge array of prices out there, with various levels of quality in both design and code. Some agencies are more expensive than others while some have “minimum” prices. But this makes it clearer to know the level of quality in design and coding that you require.

Also, will you be requiring ongoing support and maintenance after the site is complete? Will you be investing in online marketing? Will you require content-writing (copywriting), photography, etc.?

 

Technical requirements

This information will help understand the technical aspect of your site.

  • Do you have a domain name?
  • Do you require a hosting service?
  • How will your audience access your site (smartphones, tablets, desktop, all of the above)?
  • Do you need a CMS (Content Management System)? Usually the answer is ‘yes’ because you want control of the content of your site and on your time without the need to pay someone else to do it.

 

Anything else?

Let us know of anything else that you feel you haven’t mentioned. For instance, is there an important deadline that you need the website to be up and running by? Is this site complementing another service or product in a different website? There may be more information unique to you and your company that should point out.

 

Promotion

If you’re building a new website, you want people to find it. How are you going to promote it? Do you already have a system in place? Will you require online marketing? These are some of the types of marketing techniques available:

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization)
  • Social media pages (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Linkedin, etc.)
  • Pay-per-click Advertising (PPC) on platforms like Google, Facebook, etc.
  • Newsletters
  • Email Marketing

 

Ready to go?

You’ll see that after you go through these questions, think about them and summarize them in a “brief”, you’ll see that you know much more about what you need and require than before and will feel more comfortable and confident when approaching web design agencies. All of this will help both you and us tremendously with quoting your website and getting it up and running smoothly and without missing a detail. This way, you will reap the benefits of your new website quickly and efficiently!

Good luck!

Once you have these details worked out and a short brief ready, be sure to contact us for a quote! You can fill out our short questionnaire to get an estimate from us and we’ll get back to you promptly.