3 ways to make sure you don’t get shafted in your next website project

When it comes to a website project, one of the number one fears people have is wasting their hard-earned dollars on an enterprise that doesn’t create any value.

It’s totally understandable too. This website stuff is complex and convoluted – and the more specific and unique your requirements are, the bigger the investment and the greater the risk!

So how do you ward against that? Here are your top 3 tips to making sure you get the website you actually want!

1. Write an incredible project brief

Like so many things in life, a website project is as good as you make it – and you really can make or break it with your brief.

Think of it like this – if you tried to tell someone how to get to a park across town, your instructions wouldn’t be ‘head north-ish, but if you get to lake, you’ve gone the wrong way – oh and the playgrounds are fantastic, I can’t tell you what they look like, but they’re so good’.

You’d give details, lots of them – maybe even a map with street names and landmarks sketched on it. You’d talk about the colours and shapes of the playground and whether it has a slide or a swing or both.

When it comes to website briefs, the more detailed you can be the better.

  • How many pages?
  • What does each page need to do?
  • Do you have any reference sites you like?

Of course, we’ll caveat this with the fact that a good designer/developer can read between the lines and bring that creative je ne sais quoi to it – but to give you what you want they need to first KNOW what you want.

2. Commit to providing incredible content – written and visual

Coming through with the content goods is the number one way you can help get your website project over the line and looking exactly how you pictured.

In our experience, this is the most underrated aspect of a website project and the one that is most often overlooked!

A few things to consider:

  • Do you already have custom photographs?
  • If not, will you be getting a photoshoot done?
  • If not, are you happy using stock photographs?
  • If so, are you happy to pay for stock photographs? (hot tip: if you’re willing to drop som $$ on this, you’ll get MUCH better photos)
  • Have you got website content you’re already happy with?
  • If not, are you able to rewrite it yourself?
  • If not, are you willing to pay someone else (a professional copywriter) to rewrite it for you?
3. Find the right fit for you

You’ve got to find a company that meets you where you are.

Are you just starting out with your business venture? Then perhaps all you need is a simple Squarespace or Wix site and someone who can help you adjust a template (however minimally) to get you cranking along. It’s not something we recommend but if you’re short on cash and time, then this is a great option.

Perhaps you’ve got some capital or traction behind you and you want a custom look and feel, something that helps you to stand out from the crowd. If that’s the case then you probably need a small agency that operates with a lean team and an agile framework. In these instances, you’re likely dealing directly with the designers and developers working on your site. It’s personal and speedy and usually super competitively priced.

If you’re an established, larger business, however, you might get more bang for your buck working with a bigger agency that has more checkpoints, more detailed processes and employs the best of the best to get amazing outcomes. There’s usually a price tag that comes with this, but if you’re looking to really create something outstanding and unique, this can be a great way to go.

At the end of the day, a website project is always going to be as good as you’re willing to make it – so if you can get the brief, the content and the fit right, we can guarantee you’re setting yourself on a great path to getting an awesome website.