What to send your Web Developer

by Apr 3, 2019Web Production

Web development is different to web design just like building a house is different to designing it.

The role of the web developer is similar to that of the builder, to convert plans and visions into a product. The web developer’s responsibility is to code/build the site as per the approved scope and design, to ensure all the technology is in place to make it visible to search engines (or hidden if required), to display suitably on different devices and that it is secure.

No designer?

If you’d prefer we can build AND design using a Divi theme and WordPress. See some of our examples in our website portfolio.

What to send.

Outlined below, is our guide for how to send your files to your web developer and what you need to have before getting started. 

Essential things to send your web developer OR set up a meeting to get some support. 

1. The Team

We like to know who is responsible for what and what you are expecting our involvement to be from the very start.

  • Development – probably us, but just in case there are other devs involved.
  • Content – see below
  • Design – see below
  • Technology, IT company for example
  • Final sign off

Name, Email, Phone and Timezone are helpful so we can get in contact if needed. 

2. Mission Statement + Brief

Mission statement: a summary of the aims and values of the project

A simple few sentences explaining the purpose of the website and how to measure it’s success. When you provide a mission statement we can better advise you and make decisions during the website build to achieve success.

Examples:

“The purpose of this website is to improve our online sales/bookings and reduce administration time.”

“Our current website doesn’t rank well in search engines – we would like to attract new customers online.”

“We would like give current and potential clients and colleagues examples of our finest work to prove our experience in the industry.”

Brief: a document that guides the entire web process

A document outlining what you need to be done.

Include: 

  • Business information
  • Things that have failed in the past, previous issues
  • Software you need to integrate with
  • What you like about your current site or what you hate about it
  • Timelines – key dates
  • Budget
  • Technical requirements
  • General notes
  • Love notes
  • Design references – see below.

3. Content and Site Map

Content: words, images, videos and other media for each page of your website.

Unless asked specifically, web development does not include making the content. If you need help with this please let us know and we will arrange it!

Text, Words, Copy.

Please supply a separate text document (we must be able to copy & paste) for each page of your website.

Include:

  • Page title
  • SEO Meta Description and Key Phrases, if required
  • Hyperlinks and link text
  • References to images/videos supplied in a separate folder

Alternatively, include text and images in your design finalised design files, see point 4.

If you would like us to be creative – let us know! We can work with a draft of your content and selection of images, or arrange a photographer for you.

DO: Make sure you have checked spelling and punctuation.

DO: Make sure your whole team has approved the content.

DON’T: Send us images or text we can’t use. Why does this happen so often?

For posts, please include:

  • Author
  • Publish Date
  • Categories
  • Tags

Images / Videos

Please make a separate folder of images and video files named clearly.

Videos are often hosted on social media platforms, if this is the case include the links in the page content above.

Images need to be compressed and resized for web with just the right balance between quality and load speed. If you are unsure, please provide larger files so we can compress for you. Otherwise, follow these basic guidelines.

  • RGB only (no CMYK – thats for print)
  • 72 dpi
  • Icons and graphics should be supplied double the size they should appear or in a vector format
  • Compressed for web
  • Max file size: 500KB
  • Large images: 1500px width
  • Small images: 1000px width
  • Full screen images: 1920px width – landscape is best for full screen

Site map: How your pages are organised.

The sitemap is usually quite simple, but as essential part of the planing. Please provide a separate document listing the order and hierarchy of the pages of your website. This could be a sketch or text document but most importantly it should clearly show how many pages and their hierarchy.

4. Designs and/or references

Design: How the content should look

If you have a designer or are a designer please supply only the signed off – final_final_03_2.psd – versions of all the pages, with their approved content either in the designs as live text or in a separate folder so we can copy and paste.

Indesign never. Illustrator we don’t hate, Photoshop always, Sketch and Figma are pretty great too.

72dpi, RGB, layered files.

Please let us know if the design is pixel perfect we will match it.

As a guide you can use these dimensions, although there is no standard!

Large Desktop: 1920px wide

Small Desktop: 1280px wide

Tablet: 768px x 1024px

Mobile: 375px x 667px

 

References: links, images, videos of anything you like the look of.

Send us links, images, video – whatever you want – of other site or designs you like. Be sure to include a note about which parts you like so we are nice and clear.

If we aren’t working from a prepared design we will use these and a any other information to make your content attractive.

You can include these in the brief above.

 

Fonts: the look and feel of your text. 

If you have a particular font you like, we need to make sure it will display for all visitors or a suitable fall back is in place. Take a look at Google Fonts, select a web safe font, or supply us with the font files to be process.

It is your responsibility to have the appropriate licence to display fonts on your site.

5. Hosting and Domain Name

Domain Name: the address of your website.

We generally only need access administer your domain in special cases, so we will ask. It comprises of the link to the admin, your username and password.

To register a domain go to one of these sites:

Crazy Domains you can register .com.au if you have your ABN handy.

Dreamhost has free private registration.

There are plenty of others – you are free to choose which ever company you like 🙂

 

Hosting: storage space for your website files.

We definitely need access to your hosting to upload the files and database of your new website. Best send it over at the beginning of the project so we can confirm what we are making will be compatible. Usually this is a link to the cpanel, a username and a password.

If you do not have website hosting, you’ll need to get that!

Some recommendations, Dreamhost – Shared hosting for low traffic sites or if you are just starting out. Shared hosting is like living in a share house – all the resources are shared so it can become slow, at some point you may need to upgrade.

If you are using WordPress you can get WordPress optimised hosting with Dreamhost or WP Engine.

Dreampress – by Dreamhost for a single site.

If you have multiple sites or need more speed you can upgrade to a VPS

Dreamhost VPS – Multiple sites

WP Engine is a one of the first companies to offer WordPress specific hosting – it is very reliable and easy to use – includes higher security and automated backups that are easy to acceess and restore.

Get 3 months free on annual plans with WP Engine

Lastly, If you already have a website we will need access to the admin – please provide the link to the admin, your username and password.

If you are using another company and plan to run WordPress check the WordPress requirements https://wordpress.org/about/requirements/  first 🙂

 

6. Additional Account Logins

If you have any other website related accounts it’s helpful for us to have access in case we need it.

Some popular ones are:

Lastly, we love having all of the above in one go! Nothing beats organisation to execute a project efficiently saving time, money and frustrations.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission.”