Content Creation - What To Expect From Your Web Developer

January 7, 2016

Content Creation - What To Expect From Your Web Developer

In this article I'm going to explain what to expect from your web design agency and what they're going to be doing for you.

Key Takeaways on Content Creation for your Website:

  • Tip #1 – Who Will Write Your Website Content?: It's typically the client's responsibility to provide content for their website. While web designers build the site's framework, clients know their products and customers best. Additional services like content uploading and copywriting may incur extra costs.
  • Tip #2 – Does Your Website Have a Warranty Period: Inquire about the warranty period for your website. This period is crucial for testing and making necessary adjustments before the final launch. Understanding when the web designer considers the project complete is essential for managing expectations and payments.
  • Tip #3 – Check What Support Is Provided: Clarify the type of support and training included with your web development package. Support can vary from video tutorials and manuals to personal training sessions on using the CMS platform.
  • Tip #4 - Don't Assume Your Web Designer Is a Specialist at Everything Involved in Computers: Web designers specialise in website creation and may not be experts in other IT areas like email support or social media. If you need assistance beyond web design, consider seeking specialists in those areas.

The article emphasises the importance of clear communication and understanding of responsibilities between clients and web developers to ensure a smooth website development process.

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Tip #1 – Who will Write Your Website Content?

A common misnomer by customers within the website industry is to think that the web design agency or web designer is going to be doing literally everything for you; including writing your website content, uploading your content, finding images for you, and whatever else that might entail.

Really, the website designer’s responsibility is designing and building the framework for your website, and then they will give you the tools to enable you to add your own content. Typically an agency will add some pages of content in order to test the platform out. However, if you've got dozens of products, pages of content, and thousands of images to upload, then the expectation really is on you as the customer to upload your own content.

This isn’t a get out of jail free card for your developer, is it simply because you know your products and your customers better than anyone else does. In many instances, it's better for you to upload your own content. Your web designer may be happy to upload your content, but this is considered additional work which may cost you a more than originally quoted.

Some business owners think that they're masters of the written word, and they can write brilliant prose. However I’ve had several clients who have handed over their content which on reflection doesn't really match their core values, lacks a clear call-to-action and is just plain gibberish. Services such as copyrighting and uploading content and images will cost you extra. It is your responsibility to produce the initial set of content, but between us, we can upload the content for you and ensure it is of a high quality.

I would recommend that if you don't have time to write your own copy, then perhaps you should consider employing a website copyrighter. They will take a brief, you can provide them with the pages that you want to create, and they'll do all the copyrighting for you.

Tip #2 – Does your Website have a Warranty Period

Ask about your chosen agency or freelancer about your website's “warranty period”. Some web designers are not fussy, and they'll just carry on doing updates until the cows come home. At the end of the day, web designers are earning money.

In web design terms they'll probably have two deadlines in mind. The first will be when they consider the website to be finished. This is when they've finished the design, finished building the framework, and they're waiting for your content. They might consider that to be the first deadline.

The second deadline is when your new website launches. That's when you provided all of your copy, content, and images to be uploaded to the site, and when the site finally goes live. The website designer may bill you on the first deadline however you may not consider the website to be finished at that point, but your web designer probably will, and they'll be expecting payment.

The way we manage that process is that when we feel the website is finished, we initiate a month-long warranty period. This encourages our clients to go to the website, test it, upload any content and get back to us with any problems. We work together, and we have a very specific launch date in mind to get the website live. It's just better for the soul for both the customer and for the web designer to know that you've got a go-live date for your website. From experience of working on over 250 projects deadlines typically set by the customer are normally missed because the customer hasn’t supplied some vital information to the website developer within the agreed timeframes.

Tip #3 – Check what Support is Provided

I'd also remind you to check what training and support is included within your package. It might be a combination of video tutorials, a training manual, a PDF training manual, telephone support or personal one-to-one training sessions on how to use your CMS platform.

Double-check with your web developer what kind of support you're going to get once your website goes live or is finished, depending on which deadline you're going to use.

Tip #4 - Don't assume your web designer is a specialist at everything involved in computers

For a long time whilst we were just a web design agency, we were asked a lot of questions about email support and what application is best to do ‘x’ with on their computer, and, "Oh, do you know anything about video," and, "Oh, can you help me work my DSLR," and "My iPhone won't turn on," and all those sorts of things. Your web designer is just that; a web designer. They just work with things web.

If you want to know more about things like social media, email support, video and everything else, and your web designer doesn't do that, then maybe they know somebody they can recommend to you to help with it. Just remember that your web designer is building you a website, they're not there for everything to do with IT.

In Summary

  1. Be prepared to add your own content. Don't forget this is about managing your own expectations.
  2. Make sure that you ask about your website's warranty period. When does your web designer consider the site to be finished and when do you consider it to be finished?
  3. Thirdly, check what support you're going to get from your web designer, whether that's telephone support, one-to-one sessions, videos etc.
  4. Don't assume that your website designer is a specialist at everything involved in computers. They are a web designer for one reason only; because they're good at designing websites.