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Information and content you should provide to your developer when commissioning a new website

24th April 2017

MacBookWith new developments in technology and the online world, it's likely that you will have considered having your website redesigned in the last couple of years.

Commissioning a website development agency to design and build your new website may seem like a stressful and huge task, but it doesn't need to be. By providing the correct information to the development company at the start, this can save lots of time and potential confusion further down the road.

Here is our list of information and content you should provide to your developer when commissioning a new website.

Content and copy

  • Text: You will undoubtedly have text on your website pages, so this is an unavoidable task. While a developer can create a website with dummy text (known as "lorem ipsum"), the website should not go live with any of this in place.
  • Images: Images are key to a great website. Large, eye-catching images will work wonders, and also play a fundamental part in the design process. Provide as many of your own images as possible from the very beginning - like the Text point above, dummy images can be used during the design and development stage but it won't truly reflect your organisation.
  • Social media: Are you having links to your social media profiles? Provide your full URLs to the new developer to ensure the correct ones are integrated.

Design, branding and layout

  • Responsive: Should your website be responsive? The answer is yes, but this should be something you discuss with your chosen supplier to ensure that they have planned for this.
  • Colours: Provide them with your branding guidelines - this would include the colour palette you wish to use for your website. This is key as it will set the tone of your website and match your brand.
  • Logo(s): Your logo is a hugely important part of your website - it's what people will remember and recognise you by. Provide these in the largest possible format you have.
  • Images: Images play an important part in the design process, and can be fundamental parts of some pages (such as the home page). In addition to supplying images for use on the website (which will be touched on below), you should specify which images you want to be your lead images used in header areas and call to actions.
  • Websites you like: A list of websites that you like can be really useful to a designer, especially if you provide commentary on what you like about them and why. The new designers can then incorporate parts of these websites that you like into your website.

Technical information

  • Hosting: Where is your current website hosted? Depending on your agreement, your hosting may be moving to the new supplier or staying with the existing one - the new supplier will likely need to know who currently hosts the current website and potentially even access to this account.
  • SSL: SSL is an incredibly important feature to include in your websites now, so a conversation should be had with your new supplier about implementing this. You can click here to read a bit more about SSL certificates and why they're so important.
  • Domains: What domain name do you plan to use? Do you need a new one registering? Do you have any extra domains that are used for URL forwarding or emails? Where if your current domain name registered, and do you have access to an online account that you could share with the new developer?
  • Emails: This is an important one - do you currently have business emails set up? If so, where are they hosted? How do you access them? Do you use a cloud service or standard POP3/IMAP accounts? What forwarders do you have set up? You should provide usernames and passwords to your new supplier if you are moving emails to them.
  • Integration: Do you have any integrations with your existing website? This could include booking systems, statistical tracking, e-newsletters and finance/CRM systems. These could stop working when the new website goes live, so the new developers will need to know if you have any backend integrations that are not directly part of the current site.

General information

  •  Timescales: Do you have any pressing time concerns or deadlines? You should inform the developer as early as possible to ensure that these can be met.

We hope you found this list useful when having a new website made - if you'd like any more help with websites then get in touch with our web team who will be happy to help!