What You’ll Face When Directing a Website Project

Thoughts on web design, Santa Rosa… OK, so you’re going to have someone design a website for you… Quick: what is your role? You expect your web designer to produce this wondrous piece of work, so it’s all on him or her, right?


Your role as the website owner goes well beyond paying for the project. You are the director! As website designers, think of us as the band. We follow your direction and play your tune.

As director, your “tune” includes providing all the information, decisions and materials your web designer will need to plan, organize and design your site.

It requires thinking, preparing content (even if someone else will do the writing), selecting images and providing detailed input and approvals at various intervals. And, if you want the project finished on a timely basis, it also requires you to be timely offering in that input and approvals.

Frankly speaking, I think most business owners under-estimate the task. I provide more guidance and tools than most people who design websites. But even when the client gets considerable help, the typical website project languishes for weeks or months.

Why? For one thing, small business owners are busy wearing many hats. But, for another, website projects are big and wide-ranging. They often challenge the business owner who has not handled such a large marketing project before.

What Your Website Designer Will Need from You

Here’s a partial list of what you can expect when you commission a website project.

  • Think through and communicate the objective(s) for your site, who it targets and what behavior(s) you want from them once on your home page or other key pages.
  • Participate in a site planning meeting that generates an organized website plan, color selections, font choices, etc.
  • Write (or provide detailed input for) site content that explains IN DETAIL who you are, what you do, how, etc. Then submit this in clear, organized document form so it can be edited and uploaded to the website.
  • Produce multiple written reviews/testimonials (most clients will do this).
  • Choose dozens of images, making sure that they match the designer’s criteria for content, layout orientation, color, etc.
  • If search position is important, provide a list of keywords we can use to do initial research. Then help prioritize this list so we can use it to optimize your site.
  • Detailed feedback of what you like and/or don’t like. We can’t design a site without good, specific feedback, and it’s even harder to make revisions without it.

Remember, you are your web designer’s chief resource when developing your website. The more care and diligence you exercise in providing what he or she needs, the better the result will be.

Considering a website project? Check out our resources: Website Project Organizer and Website Content Thought Starter.