The best way to keep a project on schedule is to collect assets at the beginning. The more organized we are, the easier it will be for us to work together. Our recommendation is to create a shared folder with subfolders that include your copy and content (Dropbox and Google Drive are both great options). It's critical that you deliver your assets before the project begins! Common deliverables are listed below:
Your website can’t exist without a domain name! If you already have a domain (or multiple domains) please provide these details (i.e. login credentials) to our team. If you don’t have a domain, we can help! Sometimes, that particular URL you’ve been after simply isn’t available. If this is the case, please give us some ideas and we’ll help you find a creative solution and facilitate the purchase.
You can, in some situations, purchase both your domain name and hosting from the same provider. In other situations, you may purchase these services individually from two separate providers. As a result, your login credentials for your domain may be the exact same for your hosting. However, if your hosting provider is different from your domain provider, we will need your specific hosting credentials (login information), as well. If you haven’t found a hosting provider, we can help. Simply put, web “hosting” is a service that makes your website available to be viewed by others on the Internet. We’ll leave it at that - it gets complicated fast. Trust us to set you up with the most reliable and secure service that best suits your needs, and we’ll spare your the headache!
You might have already provided us with an email address (perhaps yours) during the proposal process. However, we will need a complete list of any email addresses of individuals from your business who may need to receive form submissions, contact requests, etc. stemming from your site’s user experience. Another common scenario is that a client needs to create new email addresses for their business. If you need to create multiple email addresses for your employees or to organize leads, please provide a list of your accounts titles (ie. email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com ). We will then work to set up these email accounts and connect them to your website, if needed.
To make your website looks its best, we also want your logo to look its best! If you have an existing logo to be used on your website, please provide this deliverable to our team in “vector” format. What is a vector format? The most common vector formats are Postscript (.eps) and Illustrator (.ai) files. Why? A vector format allows a logo to be made bigger or smaller without losing image quality and clarity. A (.jpg) or (.png) file is not a vector format and may not be high enough quality to be used on your website. If your logo does not exist in a vector format of your logo, you may want to consider a logo re-design.
When it comes to building a memorable brand, it's all about consistency. Your website needs to be cohesive with your brand. Please provide any known guidelines you have on file for your logo, fonts, colors (HEX, RBG, CMYK, or Pantone). Also, if there is a particular tone, vibe, or message you have when it comes to your brand, please let us know so we can incorporate your vision into the website build. If this is something you haven’t considered, don’t worry about it! Our designer will make you look good! Depending on the scope of the project, we may provide you with a simple brand guidelines document.
Any photographs provided by the client should have a high resolution. The ideal resolution for photographs is 300dpi (dots per inch). How can you tell? If you open a photograph on your computer and it is large enough to take up the majority of your screen and be clearly seen, chances are the resolution is adequate enough to be used on your website. Why? This standard enables us to better optimize and resize those photographs. We WILL NOT use low resolution or poor quality photographs. It makes your business, and consequently, us, look unprofessional. If you are unable to provide us with high quality photographs, we must either use stock photography or discuss a content event.
Do you have any videos that you want on your website? If so, simply provide us with the URL link to each video on YouTube or Vimeo before the website design process begins. If you have videos available but they are not on either YouTube or Vimeo, these must be provided to use in .mp4 format. At this point, we will need to create a YouTube or Vimeo channel on your behalf, as links from these platforms are critical to the website design process. Exceptions cannot be made. Same as with photographs, we cannot accept poor quality videos. If you would like some awesome videos created for use on your website, we’d be happy to help.
All existing written content you want published on your website (i.e. headlines, paragraphs, calls-to-action, mission statement(s), service descriptions, employee biographies) must be delivered to our agency prior to beginning the website design. If you are providing us with any written content, it must be delivered in its final form with no revisions or additions required. In some circumstances, you may want to leave the writing up to the professionals. (It’s ok, we’ve handled this many times before!) If you want to take your website’s copy to the next level, we will require the most important details needed for each individual page and section in bullet point (or similar) format. We’ll take what you provide and expand it to ensure your website’s copy is both creative and effective. Please contact us for more information on our copywriting services before we begin designing your site! In either scenario, written content must be available in its final form with no revisions or additions necessary before design can begin. It can be a drain of time and resources for both you and us if we are revising or adding copy in the middle of the design phase! It’s understandable to request a simple fix like a misspelled word or a grammatical error. But please understand that it’s not an easy fix to add three new paragraphs, requiring us to change the layout of a page.
If you would like to link your website’s users to any “external” content (i.e. useful information or pages from another website), these links should provided to the team up front.
All downloadable documents must be provided in PDF format (i.e. job applications, event registration forms, additional resources) to the team before the design process begins. If your documents are in poor shape, you need to update the logo, or they need to be redesigned to reflect the new website, we can help!
Most clients have at least one form on their website, usually a form on your “Contact Us” page. More complex sites can have multiple forms, especially when you offer a variety of services. As an example, you may want to make a call-to-action for a specific service, such as “Schedule A Free Estimate.” We’ll need to know which exact form fields you’ll need and what information you’ll want to capture for each and every form (i.e. name, phone number, email address). Website forms can be as simple as an email capture field underneath a heading that says “Sign Up For Our Newsletter,” or “Get 10% Off.” So, keep in mind that not all forms will have a long format. Sometimes simple is best!
Is your business on social media platforms or review sites? If so, you’ll want your social platforms (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and review sites (i.e. Angie’s List, Yelp) integrated into your website. For this to work, we will need the URL for each account that you would like featured. (As an example, our Instagram URL is www.instagram.com/littlerocket) For all social media platforms or review sites exceptFacebook, we’ll need your login credentials. Keep in mind that we are always sensitive to the privacy of your accounts! Facebook is the exception to the rule, as you won’t provide us with a username and password, but instead, we’ll send a request for agency access to your page. In order to do so, we’ll need the exact word-for-word name of your business as it is listed on Facebook. You will still own your Facebook page, but we will have the necessary administrative rights to add your page to your website.
Does your business require live scheduling on your website? If so, we’ll need to know. Calendar software that comes standard with Squarespace is very limited, and in some circumstances, your scheduling needs cannot be met with Squarespace software alone. If you just need a simple calendar, please provide us with your current schedule (i.e. events, appointments, reservations), and we can help provide limited training on how to manually update your calendar on your own moving forward. Talk to us about what you need from a live calendar or booking software before design begins. If Squarespace’s calendar doesn’t fit your needs, we’ll help you find the right third party product!
For most clients, we’ll embed a Google map on your website. Setting up a map on your website requires a legal business name (i.e. LLC, Inc.). We will also need your exact address as listed on Google or filed with the post office, city, zip code, your primary business phone number, and hours of operation for all days of the week. If you don’t have active or updated business listings on Google, Apple Maps, or Bing, please talk to us about getting these set up correctly before the website design process begins.
Blogging is an excellent way to keeps your audience engaged, your website fresh, and the search engines happy. If we are re-designing your website, chances are you already have a blog. If so, please let us know, and we can set this up for your in your site’s navigation. If your website happens to be on wordpress, we’ll need the login credentials. This way we can export your blog in bulk, and then upload your blog to your new website in bulk. This cuts out a lot of work for us. If you don’t currently have a blog, and don’t want to responsible for doing it, talk to us! We have some amazing copywriters. Or, we can offer training on how to publish to your blog if you so wish, including helping you with your first post.
If there is anything you want to add to your website that is not covered above, chances are, it’s a third party plugin. Please be specific about any needs that you may have that are not discussed above, and we’ll help you figure things out. It’s absolutely critical that we are made aware of any additional functionality that your website may need. Nobody likes surprises, especially web designers!