So you’ve just landed a new web design client. Awesome!

But you could have a problem right off the bat…

Your client might think that because they’re paying you to build their new website, you’ll be doing all the hard work for them.

Well, this isn’t quite true.

There’s a bunch of things that your client will need to do now (or in the near future) to ensure that their shiny new website gets delivered on time.

Let’s take a look at what you should be asking your new client for in order for the project to start smoothly…

Hosting and domain name details

Where is the website going to be hosted, and what are the login details for the hosting account? (Assuming that your client already has hosting in place).

If not, you’ll need to have a separate conversation with them about this.

Content for the website

This is the big one, and where so many website projects get held up. You can design as hard and fast as you like, but without actual text and images to put into your designs, you won’t get very far.

You need to start asking your client some questions, like:

You can use an online-collaboration tool like Gather Content to streamline this process, or keep it super lo-fi and set up a Dropbox folder with Word templates for your client to fill in.

Delivery email addresses for contact form enquiries

This isn’t an essential piece in the puzzle by any means, but I’ve found that any information gathering you can do in advance will cut down on back-and-forth communications once you get going.

So, think about whether the new site have a contact form? If so, where will enquiries be sent to? (And will all the enquiries be going to the same place, or different emails depending on the enquiry type?)

And last, but definitely not least…

A launch strategy for the new website

Your client’s website isn’t ‘finished’ when the go-live button is pushed. They’ll need to keep working on it, so you need to ask them questions like:

It’s quite likely that your client doesn’t know the answers to all this. But that could be a good thing, because it allows you to provide value for them by offering free advice, and perhaps increase the scope of the project by helping with the above.

Posted to Graphic Design in 2015.

Join 2,474 readers receiving my thoughts on life, design and making stuff happen each Sunday