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Get Your Web Designer to Kiss Your Feet

Ever wondered why your web designer charges so much? I'll tell you why. I'll also tell you how you can make his life easier and why you should, by filling you in on what goes down when web designers take on a new client.

The unfortunate misconception is that you can get on the phone with your designer and be well on your way to a brand spanking new website in 5 minutes. He's just going to throw together some pretty pictures, some text here and there and "gooi" it on the net, right?

As much as we wish it was that easy, it's not. The web design process is a long and tedious one. Designing a website can quite easily involve 30+ hours of communication with a client via phone or email. The actual time spent on designing may only be half that but a designer still has to recover those costs somewhere.
Kissing your feet!
In today's world, neither you nor I have 30 hours to waste. By slashing the time the designer has to spend gathering information from you, your web designer is going to be far more inclined to offer you a better rate the next time you need work done. On top of that, he's going to enjoy working on your designs more because he can focus on what matters!

Right, here's what goes down each time we take on a new client, coupled with tips on how to speed up the process:

    1. You phone us. Or we phone you after you've filled in our contact form. Either way, we're on the phone!

      How do you speed things up?
      Try not to fall asleep on the phone. Or phone us from your 2-year-old's birthday party. Don't do that.
    2. We try, try and try some more to get information from you. In order to design a website that you, your cousin's aunty's uncle and the 5 million viewers you're going to get all like, we're going to need some guidelines. Here's what we need in a brief from you:

      • The purpose of the website. 
      • The functionality of your website. (All the bells and whistles - preferably less whistles
      • The colours you like and dislike. 
      • A short description of each and every page you require on the website. 
      • The content that needs to be shown on each page. (Unless we are writing it for you.) 
      • Your company logo (NB!) and any other photos/pictures you would like on your website. (Unless you require us to design a logo for you, in which case our graphic design team will be in contact with you) 
      • The website addresses of a few competitor sites that you like, as well as what you like about them. (So we can make yours better, of course.)
      • Any special requirements for your website.
      • Whether you have a domain registered already or whether you need us to register one for you. Tell us what your preferred domain name (website address) is.

      How you can speed things up:

      Compile this information and have it on handbefore you get hold of a web designer.

      Everydesigner will need the same sort of information. This is the part that takes the majority of those 30 hours - the ones that neither of us has to waste. If you do this, you'll have your designer kissing your feet and bragging to his web design buddies about his awesome, no nonsense clients. I'm not kidding.
    3. We design a mock-up. Using the information that you have compiled so nicely for us before giving us a call, our designers put their creative hats on and design a great looking mock-up in Photoshop to give you an idea of what your actual website will look like.

      How you can speed things up: Curb your excitement - try not to call us every 20 minutes asking where your website is. Great design takes time. Believe me, we really want to design something that you love and want to show off. It makes us look good, too. If we mail you asking for further information - the sooner you get it to us, the sooner we can continue.
    4. We develop your website. By now you have seen, changed and approved the mock-up. We now put your website onto the Internet.

      You can speed things up by responding timeously to any queries from your designer. This step can take a week or two to complete and often we will come across something that needs clarification.
    5. You request changes and approve the site. Often you will pick up a few things on your new website that need a bit of tweaking. Not a problem - we'll sort them out for you before you pay the final instalment.

      Speed things up by making a list of changes and sending it through to us all at once, rather than in drips and drabs.

If you use this information to speed up your web design process, I guarantee your designer will prioritize your work and make sure that you get top-drawer designs each and every time you need them. Don't be surprised either if the next time you visit his office he's built a statue of you in memory of your awesomeness.

It could happen.

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Mark is a co-founder of Red Giant Design Studio whose passion lies in business and entrepreneurship - more specifically the branding and marketing thereof. Mark enjoys helping other small business owners grow and market their businesses.

You can follow Mark on Twitter, or find him on LinkedIn and

Mark is also part of the Sitepoint.com elite authoring team: