Websites – nailing the brief

By Angela Bensemann, Director Halo Communications

The world of websites has changed dramatically over the past 20 years.  When I first started in communications I had some clients that didn’t even see the point of having a website.

And those that did invest in a website viewed it as a one-off exercise and cost.

Now the conversations are more likely to be around how often to refresh the website and how to get the best deal.

The cost and options for websites have changed dramatically.

Back in the day it was all a bit of a mystery with html being akin to some obscure mathematical equation – neither of which I had a clue about. You were in the hands of the experts, what they said went, and any time you wanted to update anything you had to fork out again and again for their expertise.

Fast forward 20+ years and the world of websites has become a whole lot easier, more accessible and cheaper.

People understand that they are likely to have to update or rebuild their website every few years and that there are plenty of customised platforms to work off offering much cheaper options for that web build.  There are still lots of companies around operating at the top end of complicated custom builds if that’s what you need, but there are also a lot more options available for less complicated websites.

Most have the added bonus of being easily editable through intuitive content management systems.

Regardless of who you get to build your site you need a good brief to make sure you get what you want. This is imperative whether you are going out to market to get several quotes or have already chosen your provider.

A good brief should cover off:

  • The background on your company or organisation
  • An outline of your different audiences and who the website is primarily aimed at
  • The pages you would like to have included (don’t forget to include subpages as well) and how you will provide the content and images
  • Future proofing – ensure there is flexibility, so additional pages and functionality can be added later if required
  • Interconnectedness with your social media accounts
  • Content management system so you can do your own updates (training on this should be included in the quote)
  • The branding requirements for the page
  • Budget guidelines
  • Timeframes for when you need the proposal in and when you need the website to be live by
  • Also ensure the following are covered:
    • Hosting
    • Domain name
    • Mobile responsiveness
    • Google analytics
    • Search engine optimisation
    • Written documentation regarding logins etc

With a good brief and plenty of website companies to choose from, the build of your new website should be a really positive experience.