How to create a detailed website brief

Do you need to build a new website? This blog will give you the essential steps to ensure you provide a detailed brief to website developers for quoting.

First step – The first step is completing a review of your existing site, examine its strengths weaknesses and gaps.

Second step – Review your competitors websites and work through what you need to add to your new site to remain competitive.

Third step – you need to work through where your business is heading so you can ensure your website is built to evolve as your business grows.

This is the exciting step, now you know what you need and want you need to write a detailed brief. You can always get help at this stage and FourSeeds Marketing can help you write a brief for you!

The following is all the information that should appear in a detailed brief to ensure you get the most accurate pricing from website developers.

1. Information about your business

Its good to give as much information as you can, as this helps paint a very clear picture for the developers and designers.

  • Who are you?
  • What do you do?
  • What makes you unique?
  • Overview of your target market who will be visiting the site. Information includes age, gender, profession, language requirements. Why are they visiting your site – make a purchase, research information or a make a booking?
  • Overview of your competitors
  • Your current sites limitations

2. Your website goals

List some goals that you would like to achieve within 6 to 12 months. This is an important step as it sets goals for both you and the developer to achieve.

Some goals could include – organic google search results, increase in the number of website enquiries or orders and number of clicks to a product page.

3. Website hierarchy

Create a site map. You need to include every page that will appear on your new site and what hierarchy you would prefer. This is important step as it forces you to think of every single page in your site. It gives the web developer a good indication of the size of your site and it also allows you to get quotes on copywriting. Copywriting is useful as they can review your website content and and write in a SEO friendly manner.

4. Page Descriptions

This is where you list down all the major sections in your website such as about us, products and contact and list the main features you would like included.

Some examples include –

  • Product search
  • Product compare matrix
  • Contact form
  • Live chat feature
  • Search box
  • Do you want moving banners
  • Gallery
  • Different forms
  • Subscriptions to mailing lists

Remember when your designing a site with shopping cart you need to include information about how you would like this to function. Things to consider are security, product photo gallery and zoom capability, one page checkout etc.

5. Design and technical information

You can include wire frames with your page descriptions and you need to clearly communicate how you envisage how the design will look and feel. You should include thing such as colours, fonts, pictures, reference other sites that you like. Is it a modern and simple website or an industrial website targeted to a B2B market place. Remember to consider your target market and their needs when creating a design brief.

Remember that mobile sites are very important today, so don’t forget to include your requirements for a mobile site what pages need to be seen.

6. CMS System

A Customer Management System (CMS) can be an open source solution (word press, joomla etc) or a closed custom CMS system. You need to think through all the features you would need to ensure you select the right developer and CMS for your needs. Things to consider are ability to add, remove and move pages, change content and add pictures.

7. SEO

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is a very important tool today, you need to ensure you have the right tools to enable your site to be a SEO friendly site. List some keywords where you would like to obtain organic search results and discuss it with the developer on what skills they and the CMS system has to meet your goals.

8. Budget and timeline

Clearly indicate your timeline and budget.  Ensure they are realistic and achievable. An average website build can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks.

You should send your brief out to 3 to 5 website developers. Its best to get a mixture of developers so you can get a mixture of idea, capabilities and quotes.

If you need assistance building your website brief, contact FourSeeds Marketing today on 0404037479.