4 Ways To Prepare For Your New Website

...Or "How To Get Your S#!t Together!"

4 Ways To Prepare For Your New Website

It’s important to be prepared for your web developer/designer so your website can be launched in a timely manner. Not only is it the right thing to do, it could also save you lots of money! Here are some tips to help you organize your affairs so your developer doesn’t have to constantly be hounding you with emails.

1.) Have Your Content Ready

Logo:

If you have a logo, make sure you have it in multiple file formats and in high resolution. This should be available for your developer before he gets started. If your graphic designer provided a “graphic standards” document, give that to your developer as well. It’s crazy helpful.

Images:

Have your images organized in folders and named appropriately so your web developer can figure out what they are and what they are for. Make sure the images are high resolution. Your developer will decide what size the image needs to be for optimal performance and responsiveness. There is nothing worse than giving your developer a crappy, tiny image. Just don’t do it.

Copy:

This is all of the text that goes on your site, like descriptions of services you offer. Don’t expect your developer to be your editor. Provide all relevant copy in .txt files that are organized by category. Put them in a folder all their own and name them appropriately.

2.) Organize Your Content

As mentioned earlier, organizing your content into appropriate folders is key to helping your developer get their job done fast. Organize your files into appropriate folders that make sense to the project. The following example of good folder/file structure is for a mock site that has a homepage, about page, contact page and product page.

Website Images

Home Images

*If you are using a one-page homepage, break the page sections down into their own separate folders inside this one.

About Images

Contact Images

Product Images

*If your products can be broken down into categories, put them into category folders inside of the this folder.

Website Copy

Home Copy

*If you are using a one-page homepage, break the page sections down into their own separate folders inside this one.

About Copy

Contact Copy

Product Copy

*If your products can be broken down into categories, put them into category folders inside of the this folder.
etc, etc, etc and so on and so forth…

3.) Get Friendly with PayPal

Disclaimer: This is an opinion. Your developer may have different options that he/she chooses.
I choose PayPal. If this offends you… I don’t care.

Myself and many other developers like using PayPal. We use it to bill our clients and to pay for services all over the web. If you have a crazy, hair-brained conspiracy theory about PayPal or you don’t like it… tough shit. I’m using it. In general, I’m not accepting a personal check from you. If you don’t like banks and you live in Denver, great! You can give me an envelope full of cash and I’m going to give you a receipt. But if you have to pay online in some way (for instance you are out of town), you will then need to have at least a credit/debit card that you can pay with.

 

As for developing an eCommerce site, you will need to embrace the use of PayPal or some sort of merchant account. Let me be clear though, most bank merchant accounts are crazy expensive for small business and require that you have SSL installed on your server. There are a handful of companies that don’t require SSL (PayPal is one of them), but the vast majority of old-school (and I do mean old-school… because they are old, and you need to be schooled) merchant account options will require an SSL certificate be installed on your host server.

4.) Be Timely

After doing this job for several years, one of the most frustrating things for me to deal with is a client who doesn’t get their content to me on time. It’s important to remember that when we go into a contract to build a website together, we have just formed a team. Our team will not do so well if one member doesn’t have their shit together. Being that I work mostly with artists, let me explain it this way:

 

“You know that one guy in the band who never learns the material, is always late to rehearsal and has some kind of excuse why he can’t/won’t do a show? When getting your content to your developer is put on the backburner, you become THAT guy. Don’t be that guy.”

 

When your developer asks you for something, don’t just produce it for him, MAKE IT A PRIORITY. You are on the clock. Even if you are not on the clock, you soon will be when your developer comes back to you with a bill for wasted time. If your developer is me (or like me), I have a waiting list of clients that want to begin their projects. When you are habitually late producing material I will do one of two things:

 

  • Put your project on the backburner and begin work on another client, effectively making your site take even longer because it now has to compete with a larger workload OR
  • Invoice you for hours lost, which, at an hourly rate can get expensive.

 

It is your responsibility to produce your content so take it seriously and be on time. Nobody likes the half-assed guy. Nobody.

Dwight Thompson
dittoddt@gmail.com

Dwight Thompson is a web developer, social media manager, SEO and professional musician. His company, Artist's Web InSite, focuses on meeting the needs of Artists and their organizations in creating a strong, engaging presence on the web.

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