Nothing is more fun for us than a brand new web project, and if your website is over a few years old, chances are, it could use a refresh. Whether you’re just having it updated to look a bit more modern or you’re going in for a full overhaul, there are a few things your web team will need to know before getting started on a new website.
One of the most common issues we run into as web developers is obtaining the information we need from the client to complete a website. On top of content and photos, there are a few different logins, web addresses, and passwords to keep track of. These things often get misplaced, especially if you weren’t the one to set up your site in the first place. Not only is it frustrating for you when you have to track that stuff down, but it can also delay the project significantly while you look for it. We’ll always help you where we can, but the sooner you have everything ready for us, the sooner we can get your site launched.
Here’s a quick little guide to explain what your web team needs to get your new website up as quickly as possible.
1. Domain information
Your domain name is your web address. If you have an existing website, you’ll already have a domain name, but if you’re starting from scratch, you’ll need to register one. It’ll likely cost you around $15/year to register your domain name. If you’re struggling with picking one, your web team can help you out and offer some suggestions.
Once you’ve decided on a domain name, secure it as soon as possible so that no one else takes it. Here are a few of our favourite places to register a domain:
Your web team will need to know the domain name you’ve chosen and the login information that you received when you registered the domain name.
2. Hosting information
A web host is where your website and all its files live, like a rented apartment. If you have an existing website, you will already have hosting setup. If not, you’ll need to purchase website hosting. The web hosting costs can range widely depending on the size of the website you need, but it can be anywhere from $20/year to thousands!
Most web hosts offer hosting and a domain as a package. Some even offer a free domain when you sign up for hosting. One advantage with this is that all your information is kept in one place without having to shuffle around to different sites to make changes. But be aware that the free domain is usually only for about a year and after that you may need to pay the annual fee to renew. It may also not be the cheapest place to renew your domain.
Here are a couple of our favourite hosts:
Remember which site your hosting is through, as the web team will need to know that.
3. cPanel login
You’ll receive a cPanel login when you purchase your hosting. This is where you can manage your website settings, including things like your email addresses, server information, etc. Your web team will need to know the cPanel login information, so tuck that away in a safe place as soon as you get it.
4. FTP login
FTP is how your web team will transfer your files to the host. This tool comes with most hosting packages. There is usually a default user setup to access FTP, but you can create new accounts and even restrict certain accounts to certain folders.
Your web team will need the host name/server, username and password.
If you keep your domain, hosting, cPanel, and FTP info all together so that it’s ready when you need it, you can hand it all over to your web team so they can get started on your project right away.
Content is often one of the longest delays a web project encounters. Once your wireframe is approved and we know what pages we’re building, you’ll get a content document from us outlining all the sections you need to write content for. You’ll generally have about 6-8 weeks to fill this out as we work on design and programming the demo site.
Writing’s not your thing? Let us know in advance and we can have one of our writers on staff jump in and develop awesome web content for you!
If the content is ready when the site is, launching it is quick and painless. Providing final content, as opposed to content that will need changed once the site is up, will keep both your timeline AND your bill down.
6. High res photos for design
For your site to look great, you need great photos. The web team will worry about resizing the images for the web, so send the highest resolution photos you have. If you don’t have photos, the design team can purchase stock images, or we can schedule a photoshoot, but we need to know about that in advance so everything is ready to go at the same time.
When starting a new website, the web team working on it will need:
- The domain name you’ve registered
- The site your website is hosted through
- cPanel login (you’ll get this when you sign up for hosting)
- FTP information (Host/server, username, and password)
- Final web content
- High-res photos
Keep all your logins and web info in a safe place so that the web team can get working on your site as soon as possible.
One last thing:
Websites can become out of date quickly, so make sure you’re always maintaining the site and doing updates when necessary. We’ll provide you some basic web training once your site is done so that you can manage this on your own; however, we can also provide ongoing web maintenance if you need help. Remember that the longer you leave it, the more it will cost to fix down the road.
We hope you found this little guide helpful! Have more questions or thinking about a new site? Get in touch!