What You Should Know Before Working With a Web Designer
Wonder what it’s like to work with a web designer?
You can build a great studio website on your own - and maybe you already have.
Or maybe you’re thinking about taking your studio - and website - to the next level, and you’d like to delegate this big task to a pro.
Maybe your time has become more valuable since you first built your website, and you no longer have the space in your schedule to create the website you really want.
So what’s it like to hand this task over a web designer? What should you expect?
Here are the answers to all of your questions.
Q: What’s the process of having a website built?
A: The process looks something like this:
1. You have a conversation with the web designer.
You share what your goals are and what you’d like for your website to accomplish for you. The web designer makes a recommendation based on what you need. This conversation is particularly vital because it also shows whether or not you and the web designer are likely to be a good fit.
2. Once you and the web designer decide to work together, you sign a contract, pay a deposit, and start gathering your content (photos, copy, etc.).
You may also discuss stylistic choices at this point such as colors and general layout.
3. Once the web designer receives your content, they build your website.
Some web designers build gradually as they receive content, while others require all content prior to building. More on this below.
4. Once your web designer has completed a draft of your website, you have the opportunity to look at it and request changes.
This is the revisions phase of your website project. Once your requested changes have been implemented, your website is ready to launch. The remainder of the website cost is usually due before your website goes live.
Q: How much does it cost to work with a web designer?
A: That depends on who you work with and what you need.
You can find a budget web designer who will get a website up and running for you for less than $1000 USD.
You can also find companies who offer major branding and web design packages for more than ten times that amount.
Between these two extremes, there is a growing number of web designers who specialize in working one-on-one with entrepreneurs. They build custom websites to meet the specific goals of the entrepreneur’s small business.
The resulting website is much more likely to be unique to you - and to represent your studio in a vibrant, professional way. Many of these web designers have starting packages around $2000 USD, and this package will likely give most single-teacher studios exactly what they need to meet their studio goals.
If you want your website to accomplish more for you - say, allow studio parents to access resources, enroll new families, and help run a larger studio - you will want to increase your budget accordingly.
Keep in mind that a website like this can act as your virtual assistant. By investing in a well-designed, versatile website, you can find your administrative work reduced significantly.
If reducing your admin time is a goal, this is a great opportunity to do so.
Want to read more about what it costs to build your website? This blog post offers a range of options for all price points.
Q: How long will it take for a web designer to build my website?
A: That depends on how your web designer works.
Some web designers build your website gradually as you submit material. It can take weeks or months to complete your website - depending on how quickly you share your content and when your designer has time to work on your site.
Other web designers block off a period of time for you on their calendars. You submit all of your content before the designer begins building, and your new website is launched on a predetermined date.
We build our studio websites in two weeks. Building in a specific, short time frame allows us to give our full attention to just one teacher at a time, and our client knows exactly when to expect their website to go live.
Q: What do I have to do (besides pay the designer)?
A: You will want to do two things to prepare for your new website to be built:
1. Block off some time to prepare your content. You will need high-quality photos and well-written copy. Your web designer will use exactly what you give them to build your website, so it’s in your best interest to give them excellent content.
2. Schedule time in your calendar for the revisions phase. You’ll need to spend some time with your new website, making notes and submitting requests for changes you’d like to see.
Bonus: We have some goodies to help you with this part, whether you’re working with a web designer or building your own website.
Q: What’s it like to work with a web designer?
A: We asked several teachers who have worked with us to share a bit about their experience:
From Leah Drake in Los Gatos, California:
Working with a great web designer is so much more than building a website.
They help you focus and define your goals and vision for your business, as well as offer relevant advice on how to best communicate your business to the public. They offer lots of support on how to create content for your website, including how to get the best photos and media.
There’s definitely a lot of work to do when creating an awesome site, but [the designer] handles all of the tech with ease and clear communication.
At the end, they also walk you through how to maintain the site when they “hand over the keys”. All in all, they help you create a high-quality, professional website in a fraction of the time it would take on your own...
From Ruthie Smith in San Diego, California:
Working with…[a] web designer meant taking the trial & error out of my own attempts to create an online presence where my music studio's brand & messaging matches the online experience that makes it easy for new students to find us.
Our goal was to take our perceived value to the next level so that we could attract families that view our services as something they need.
Q: Any insider secrets you can share?
A: Here are our best tips for a teacher who’s considering working with a web designer:
1. Web designers exist to make your life less stressful and your goals easier to meet.
Our job is to understand your goals and help you reach them more quickly than you could on your own. The more you share about what you really want from your studio, the more we can tailor your website to support your goals.
2. If you plan to invest time in creating excellent content, you will be delighted with the finished product.
There is a huge difference between a website built with outdated photos and hastily-written copy and one that has great, updated photos and well-written copy. To ensure that your new website is jaw-dropping and effective, you’ll want to provide your web designer with the best content possible.
3. The web designer and client are a team.
Great communication is vital to keeping things running smoothly. Ask questions about anything that isn’t clear and respond in a timely manner to each other. This will help ensure that your web designer is able to provide a fantastic experience - and website - for you and your studio.