Pixel by Pixel Website Development
Mobile Responsive Content Management Systems

Website development is NOT like creating a PDF flyer.

Whilst a lot of people are not well educated on website building, the speed of things moving along is break neck and you have to run to keep up. Most people in business grossly underestimate the value of a good developer and the advice along the way as it can lead to widely different outcomes for you as a client.

We wanted to give you a solid checklist of things you will need to pull together to make your website beautiful.

Website Development Checklist for Clients

7 Steps to Making a Beautiful Website & Avoiding the Common “Rookie” Mistakes

  • Style Guide

    Have your logo in transparent PNG format (color and mono), along with the actual RGB colors or Hex color values which are #000000. What font do you want for ? What font do you want for text?

  • Images

    The visual of your site is 90%+ based on the quality of your images. Whilst stock images are ok, nothing beats original photos. Sizes should as follows:

    Full width sliders / banners : 1920px W x 1280px H or 1500px W x 1000px H.

    1/3 page feature images : 495px W x 400px H

    TIP: Do not have graphic designer create heaps of images with text all over them. It makes bigger image file sizes (Bad for SEO). Good SEO is when we can code text over the top of plain images or plain color backgrounds. Makes for a faster loading site too!!!

  • Have Detailed Examples

    Example of sites with layout you like is good. But remember it’s all the little things you want to provide examples of too.

    Things like:

    • Button style, the color, does it change on hover, icon in it Y or N?
    • Animated images? Y or N? Pop In, Appear, Slide in Left to Right, Up from Button, none – what do you want?
    • Where do lead forms go to? Email or Mailchimp? CRM? Have you got copy for calls to action? Follow up emails written?
    • Functionality? What does clicking X do? Where do they go to next? What do you want to capture, etc?
    • eCommerce – do images need to change when they person selects new color? Have you got all color images ready?

    The more clear you are, the more examples you can provide, the better – otherwise just give your design oriented developer free reign and don’t be too quick to argue if you have provided zero direction.

  • Sitemap / Menu Design

    Draw a menu out – even if its on paper and you take a photo and text it through.

    A clear sitemap makes it easy to see page structure. Be clear on all “Main menu” tabs across the top – along with dropdowns.

    Remember any links you want from the content / text on pages to link to other internal (your website) or external (other people’s websites).

    TIP: Don’t go more than 3 levels deep. Main Menu > 1st Dropdown > 2nd Dropdown – keep it simple. It’s not a rabbit warren.

    TIP # 2: All external links should open in new window.

  • "Out of Scope"

    Every client wants maximum value for least dollars. But there’s an old saying,

    “Pay peanuts, get monkeys!”

    Most good agencies will give you 2 or 3 design changes as part of the initial layout, look and feel. Then it should be all about dropping content in. If you keep making changes, expect to pay for them. Quite often, there’s a lot more to making changes than what you see and expect with your eyes from the front end.

    Don’t haggle. If you decide mid-project you want extra done, offer to pay for it. Trying to milk a developer is a bad idea. They have incredible expertise that should be valued. If you could do it, you would have done it already. Be respectful and look to build a long term relationship. Good developers are hard to find. Like lots of business, they come and go too. So it’s in your best interest to work WITH them so you both get great results.

  • Nominate a Contact Person (or Two)

    Having someone on staff, or yourself regularly accessible for updates, content coming through and feedback is important to maintain momentum.

    A common issue is clients taking 6 weeks to pull together content, getting it to developers days before completion date and expecting site to be done. Ummm… things don’t work that way.

    Being a good client should be as important as finding a good developer. Work together. Keep the lines of communication open and touch base 1-2 times a week.

  • Write & Edit Your Copy

    Copy for web is not much different than writing any other sort of copy if you follow these 3 simple rules.

    1. Write for humans first, search engines second. At the end of the day you are communicating with people, not machines.
    2. Break your copy up with plenty of headings and subheadings. Webpages typically have more headings than almost any other type of copy you read. Keep sentences short. Be punchy. Use simple words. Let headings break up big blocks of text into readable chunks. You’ll find you need more than your first draft often has.
    3. Edit before sending to your developer. A good practice is to have 2 people to go over the copy on your end. One writes. The other can edit and check. And then the 1st person can check it again. Google Docs is great for this as they can be shared easily between two people, and finally shared with developer in a Google Drive folder aligned with your sitemap.

Get Your Hands on The Complete Website Creation Guide

Be aware that live sites now managed by clients often look different from our original design as they make content / design changes.

We recommend CMS training and ongoing maintenance packages to maintain quality of design and optimal viewing / performance.

Download Free Website Creation Guide
& Enquire Today