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10 Things to Tell Your Web Designer Before Starting a Project

You've done the legwork and selected your favorite designer. What information do they need to know?

Smiling woman talking on video call

When starting any website design project, it can sometimes be difficult to communicate your needs and wants to your designer. Here's a list of the top 10 things you should be sure to go over:

1. Your Goals

What goals do you have for your new website? Are you wanting to sell a product, or do you want to give potential customers information about your services? What are you hoping to accomplish with your website?

2. General Structure

Your web designer will help you with this, but it's a good idea to come to the project with a general idea of what pages (sometimes called "tabs") you'd like to include. Here are some common types of pages:

  • Home

  • About

  • Products/Services

  • Gallery/Portfolio

  • Blog

  • Contact

3. Your Brand

Does your company have a branding guide or a color palette that needs to be followed? (It's okay if you don't!) Many small businesses don't have formal guidelines, but this is a great time to talk to your designer about creating a brand. Some designers are happy to help with this; some will refer you to a specialist to establish your company's brand identity.

4. Your Logo

If your company has already has a logo, be sure to send over any artwork files that you have (.jpg, .png, .ai or .eps). If you don't have a logo or would like to refresh your logo, ask if the designer is able to include this with the project. If they can't, see if they can recommend a logo designer, or you can always get a logo designed from a freelancer on one the following platforms:

5. Your Budget

While talking about money can feel uncomfortable, it's vital to make sure that you and your designer are on the same page. You may have fallen in love with the designer's work, but if your budget and their rates are too far off, you may need to go with someone else that's more in your range. Be upfront about your budget, and don't feel pressured to spend more than you've allotted.

6. Your Time Frame

Get specific! All designers work at different paces, and it's important to agree on milestones and delivery dates. When they say "delivery date" does this mean that they will have the first draft of the site ready, or is this when the site will go live? Make sure you and your designer are in agreement, and also be sure that these dates are clearly indicated in your contract.

7. Your Favorite Websites

Always share your favorite websites with your designer! Even if a website isn't in your particular industry, it can help your designer to see what style you're looking for. If there's a particular feature on another site, ask if your designer can use it as inspiration. (But never ask to copy from another site. This is a big no-no!)

8. Your Competitors

While a good web designer will do market research before a project, be sure to tell your designer who your main competitors are. This will help the designer better understand your competition and how you want to position your company in the marketplace.

9. Website Copy

You'll want to talk with your designer about who will be writing the copy for the website. Some designers will handle every aspect of the website which includes creating content (copy). Some designers prefer to work with independent website copywriters and then just handle the design aspect.

10. Images

If you have specific images that you'd like to use on the site, be sure to let your designer know! Many businesses have professional images that they've taken that they want used on their site, but a majority of companies rely heavily on stock photos. There are many stock photo sites--both free and paid--that you and your designer can use. Ask what stock images are included in your contract, and also establish if you or the designer will be sourcing them.


Working with a web designer should be fun and easy! Let me help you navigate the process and create a beautiful new site for your business. Get in touch today!


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