A brief introduction

Briefing a website designer

I’m a web developer and so I deal day to day with clients and their websites. If I’m lucky – though not every day – I get to talk to potential new clients about their websites, I get varying degrees of instructions from new clients ranging from:

“I need a website – how much will one cost?”


“I need a website designed, developed and managed for me – here are the pictures and my logo, all on disk. Here is the copy, again on disk. These are the kinds of sites I’ve seen which I like, I already have a domain name but I want you to host it and I need it all live and ready to go in three weeks time – how much will that cost?”

Which of the two examples above will I more accurately quote?

There is a lot information needed when setting up a website, it’s not difficult so don’t be scared of giving it. A lot of the info is up to you anyway, such as:

  • The name of your website address
  • How many pages you want and what content is to go one them
  • Whether the site is for information purposes or selling (ecommerce)
  • What pictures you want
  • Features you need
  • etc.

I want to raise a word of caution here, it’s very easy for you to get carried away with all the features you ‘would like’ to have on your website. Unnecessary features that you brief your designer with can easily get you a £Large£ quotation. In the past I have quoted a client exactly as they have requested in their brief – then I have done a second quote with what I think their investment should be and it was quite a difference in price.

Your initial site should be good – but it needn’t be the ultimate site to end all sites just yet. Why spend thousands of pounds on a website before you have proven your business idea anyway? While a web presence is essential these days, it’s not something that should consume your business or your time. So break your requirements down into chunks and approach it logically.

In the next 3 blog posts I’ll be setting out deciding your domain name, whether to register your name yourself and setting a timescale. All these points are vital when it comes to briefing a web developer.

Read part 2 Decide On Your Domain Name

Categories: blog.