Getting your website requirement right can be a big challenge for people technically weak as they miss out on the fine details. Having developed 100+ websites in less than 3 years, I have come across many owners who got a sub-standard website by the website developers. The main reason for this mostly for this is the owners were not able to place their requirements very clearly to the developer.
If you don’t get your website requirement right at the start of time developing it, you end up either getting good for nothing website or paying up for the services you might have missed.
Being technically ignorant in a digital world is almost like going on one limb to a crowded place. You can imagine the amount of difficulty you are going to face due to technical incompetence.
Let’s look at a few points you must consider when placing your website requirement to a developer.
Ask the developer in what language or framework he is going to develop the website. If you are not familiar with the language or framework, read about it online or may be connected with a friend or some senior developer to know more.
The choice of language or framework goes a long way in deciding how your website responds, scalability and its performance. If they decide to use WordPress, ask the developer not to use any plugin like elementor or bakery to develop the website. Instead, ask the developer to build a customized WordPress theme for you.
You can also ask the developer to explain why he has chosen that particular language or framework over others. The developer should be able to give you a good idea of the reasons behind the decision.
The UI design is one thing that always gets between a developer and the client as it is very subjective. For me, many website requirements have gone haywire just because the client was either confused, fickle-minded and mostly both.
Before you get to the finer details of your website requirement, make sure your understanding on the UI design is clear and concrete. Either you share a design or some idea of how you would want the website to be or ask the developer to do so. Whatever it might be, finalize the UI design beforehand.
Do users have to register and login to your website to access some functionality? If yes, authentication system (Register, Login, Forgot Password, and Reset Password) becomes crucial in your website requirement list.
Wordpress has a very lousy good for nothing authentication system even with the use of plugins. You should ideally opt for some other framework and I would suggest the lovely combination of ReactJS and Laravel.
Does a detailed admin panel feature in your website requirement?
You should be able to edit most of things in the admin panel, approve or even delete some stuff and also add blogs. Wordpress provides a robust admin panel one can use while it can be developed easily in other frameworks and languages.
Mobile responsiveness should be there on your website requirement list and get a definite yes from the developer. Mobile responsiveness is a key factor in getting SEO rankings for website.
A detailed blog system should be there in your website requirement finalized with the developer. Whether you use the blog system or not comes secondary to this requirement. Blogs add content to website and helps you target more keywords than possible without the blog system.
Blogs in WordPress are pretty easy to have because of the file structure it has. The blog system should have options to create category, tags and search for blogs through the blog systems.
Users should be able to comment on your blogs which should be approved by you for publishing. You would also need to delete these comments if not suitable for website.
Further, the system should be capable enough to stop the spammers from publishing.
All this is pretty easy and straightforward in WordPress but needs to be developed in other frameworks.
When a user fills a form on the website, they should get a mail from the system copied to you of the details they have provided in the form. Moreover, this data should be stored in database for future purpose.
In WordPress websites, contact form 7 along with Flamingo is used for forms and mails.
As a part of SEO requirement in future ask your developer if he will be able to change title and description of the pages by yourself. You can ask for a demo from the developer at the time of handing over.
In websites developed in WordPress, you can do this very easily through the famous Yoast plugin. For websites developed in other frameworks like Laravel or using a frontend framework like ReactJS, this needs to be developed from scratch.
You must be able to change the images and alt tags by your own even with little or no knowledge of coding. In WordPress, this can be easily done through its media tab which provides options for updating alt text and title very easily.
Place emphasis on the ability to change alt text as they play a crucial role in SEO. Many developers just leave this part as they look from a developer’s perspective whereas they should have the hindsight of a marketing guy.
Although not directly a part of website development, something your website developer may emphasize on. What you should stay rigid is that page speed is a result of how the website gets developed and hence should be a must on your website requirement list.
What all libraries are included and how they are used, impact the page load speed which then impacts user experience and also the SEO ranking.
Your page speed should cross 80+ mark on mobile and hover around if not cross 90+ on desktop.
Get an NDA from the net or write one of your own and make it's signing the first thing in your website requirement. An NDA protects your idea from being discussed or shared openly. An honest developer would have no trouble in signing them and should not be a bone of contention in any form.
Get the payment process right from start. If required divide the whole process in phases depending on how much the work gets done. A small amount of advance will generally be required to kick start the work.
You can break down your website requirement in small steps and ask the developer to give an estimate of time required in developing each module. Based on this, you can divide the payment process in 3-4 batches as the work proceeds.
Keep a small amount, let’s say 10% with you to be cleared once the website is live and tested for another 15 days.
With these simple steps you can get your website requirement solid strong which your developer should develop easily. Once the website gets delivered you should test it very rigorously and share it with friends and family members for their opinion. Do not rely on the developer to test unless he is me. Find out the issues you would like to get it changed and especially go through the above list.
If you have a website requirement, feel free to connect with me. I develop all kinds of beautiful and powerful websites in WordPress, React JS and Laravel.
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