Discussing your website with a Designer

First of all, don’t bother unless you have done your homework first. That is, do a little plan for your website. Treat is just like opening a new business. Have some idea of where you want to go with it, and what you expect in the short, medium, and long term.

Also decide on how much you are prepared to spend. And be realistic. If you only want to spend $300 you’re probably trying to go the cheap route, and it will usually show. I have done websites for businesses in this price range, and I can tell you that though I do my best, it’s only reasonable to expect that a smaller amount of time will be spent on the website. It’s business, and we all have responsibilities, so don’t expect anyone to donate their time to make you money.

Basically what we’re talking about here is preparation. Say it again. Preparation. Even large and established companies have missed the mark on what their websites should have been doing.

If you are not prepared for the first meeting with a web designer, then expect flights of fancy and talk of ‘cool Java, and ‘neat JavaScript’. Lack of preparation and understanding of your true needs will leave you unable to counter this talk with anything resembling intelligible thought. If you are prepared however, talk like that will leave you in an excellent position to decide if those things will fit into your website business model. They might, if you are selling to certain consumers, or your product naturally lends itself to the pumped up approach. But if you are targeting a niche market of professionals, it might be a good idea to tone it down a bit.

Keep in mind that I didn’t say boring, but you should know how much nonsense and wasted time your customers are willing to put up with. Some want to get straight to the point, while others like a bit of flash. And that’s a whole other topic for another day. Right now, just think of your website as a business that needs a plan.

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