So you want a website… Here is what you need

As a long time web designer, I have noticed that I get a lot of inquires about website pricing.  People want me to give a firm quote without knowing the full extent of the work.  Many times, I find that MOST people are simply NOT PREPARED to get the website they actually want.  Even if they have the best, most award winning website developer in the world.

Now as a service provider I would love it if all customers were easy to work with, and some are.  Some have to be dragged along kicking and screaming.  Why?  Because A WEBSITE IS A HUGE UNDERTAKING.


So here are the things you as a customer/ or potential customer will need to get a website you will adore.

First… examples of websites you LOVE!!!

This will give me (or another designer 🙁 ) an idea of your vision.  I have found this to be the most helpful when it comes to completing projects in a timely manner.


Second… High Quality Images….

Visually, this is the most important and most difficult part.  Especially in this day and age of photoshop type apps, camera filters, and app filters.  These days many people take all of their pictures through apps with filters turned on automatically.  While these photos may look ok on your phone.  The resolution tends to be really low on computers and tablets where the screen is larger.  So when someone is looking at the page and they are not on the phone, they are not seeing the same quality of image.
The best thing you can do is go to a professional photographer and have them get the images you need.  You should have your vision in mind when going into the photoshoot.  Go on photography sites and look at different poses and scenes you would like to see.  Don’t be afraid to use a white or removable color background.  If you cannot afford a professional photographer, find an amateur or aspiring photographer.  They can be found on craigslist, or maybe even in your own family.  Get creative, use props, go somewhere outdoors…. sunlight takes the best pictures. If you are doing an ecommerece site you will need multiple pictures of each item!!!!

If that is also not an option, there are many stock photo companies.  Most web designers will have access to some if you are truly in need.  This also costs extra. So if you really want to control your costs and your design it is always best to provide your own photos.


Third… Text

In the age of the image where photo only apps like Instagram are king.  Many people want highly visual websites and forget altogether about the text on their website.  I have had customers that didn’t want ANY TEXT on their front page.  While I try to follow the theory that the customer is always right… I always warn against this..

The reason… search engines… Google doesn’t know what that picture is (unless you tell it of course… but even then YOU HAVE TO HAVE TEXT … it may not be visible but it is there)..

Now I know this is where you say??? But you are the web designer isn’t that for you to come up with… AND TO THAT I SAY NO IT IS NOT.  Sorry… But NO ONE knows your business like you… and only you can tell your businesses story.  I can help you along and guide you…. I can go to your competitions website and see what they say and give you leads… But… I WILL CHARGE YOU EXTRA FOR IT.  Why is that extra you ask?  Because it is time consuming.


What would your dream customer type into google to find you?  Think about it and make sure you use those exact words in your text.

Layout… Pages

You should have an idea of how many and which pages you would like on your website, and make sure you have the content (images and text) ready for each page.  You should have a good idea of what pages you need when  you do your research.  Look at your competition and see what information they are providing.


URL/Web Address

Most designers will offer to purchase the url for you… I do as well.  However, I always recommend self purchase.  The reason being that when you have your designer purchase the site for you (VistaPrint is notorious for this) they own your site and you have to buy it back from them.  A designer can host your domain without owning your url. This is where I shout out to godaddy.. LOL


eCommerce Sites

Commerce sites pose a different set of issues, and require a lot more work. In addition to the above stuff you will need the following….


Images AGAIN!!!

As I stated before… Each item you plan to sell will need multiple photos from different perspectives.  A customer wants to see exactly what they are getting before they buy it.  Having few or bad images can be an immediate turn off to customers.  This is the internet first thing people think when they see few or no images is “SCAM”


SSL Certificate

Hackers are everywhere, this is a fact.  An SSL certificate shows your customers that you are who you say you are and that your business is what it says it is.  Many companies also offer website virus scanning services along with the certificate to help your website stay hacker free.  BTW… I also, put virus and hacker protection on all of my websites… SSL Certificate or NOT


Payment System

If you are going to sell, first and foremost you need a way to get your money. Paypal, Bank Account, Square, or any other Credit card processing service will do.

Shipping Information

If you are selling physical goods you will need to figure out how you are going to ship each item and how much you are going to charge.  You need to know if you are charging by the cart, by the item, or some other odd combination. You need to make sure that you aren’t under or over charging for shipping so that you can ensure that your customers receive their items in a timely manner, and you aren’t losing money getting it there.  You also want to make sure that you are giving realistic expectation times.

Return and Refund Policy

Have your return and refund policy clearly spelled out.  How long do they have? Are you offering refunds? Is there a restocking fee?  Look online there are many refund policy templates out there to help guide you.


Lastly,  A Great Web Designer

Look No Further… Call -2BrandU (802) 227-2638!!!





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