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Updating your website, are you?

Getting the brief right will save you and your developer a lot of time, and countless emails. This template includes all the details you need to pass on to whoever is making your website.

Send it over to us, too, when you’re getting quotes together. What’s the harm in having another agency to compare against, hey?

Your template is ready.

Start filling it in and get the perfect brief together for your website project.

This is an exciting time, and now you can tell people exactly what you want from your new site, covering everything they need to know to quote accurately.

Download now

Writing a website brief can be a difficult task, especially if you have no idea where to start. Luckily, we have a team of web developers that have been receiving web briefs back for years. Naturally, they know what makes a good one and what makes a bad one.

How do you write a website brief?

The main things to include are as follows:

  • Your current website
    What do you think is wrong with it currently? What are your pain points?
  • The future
    What do you envision for the future? What would a perfect new website be like?
  • Your budget
    How much do you want to spend? (Don’t miss this part out)
  • Your brand
    Are you happy with your current brand or do you need to revisit your branding and positioning?
  • Your competition
    What do your competitors look and feel like? Is there a brand you particularly admire? Why?

Section one: Your Current Website

Start with your pain points. Why do you need a new website? What do you really dislike about your current site? The best solutions come from frustrations.

Questions such as “What type of website do you currently have” should be answered. For this question, the two main answers are either a brochure or an e-commerce site. If you’re selling through the website, it’s the latter.

How many blog articles do you have? What types of call to actions/data capture methods do you have on your site? Answering these questions will save the developer having to flick through your site for too long trying to figure it out. That way, no one misses anything.

What is the current performance? Use GTMetrix to find out how your site is performing. This is useful for you, too, so you can compare before and after.

Section two: The Future

You need to tell the web developers what you envision for the future.
What will your future site have that your current site doesn’t?

How do you want to be contacted through the website? Including this information
in your website brief will inform the calls-to-action the agency will include on your site.

Do you have all your brand identity assets? What is your plan for photography and video? Do you have everything already, or do you need the agency to source the new content? What level of animation do you need on the new site? And are there any technical requirements such as a pension calculator?

All of this will affect the quote, so you need to go into as much detail as possible. Start with getting as much of this into a written brief as you can, and then make sure you explain anything to your developers over a video call, when it needs more clarification.

Section three: Your budget

This needs to be answered. If you don’t provide a budget, the developers can’t tell you whether they can do everything you have outlined, within the budget that you have.

Not letting agencies know your budget means you’ll receive quotes way above and beyond the figure you may have in your head. If you don’t have a specific number in mind, give a range. For example:

  • Under £3,000
  • £3,000 – £5,000
  • £5,000 – £10,000
  • £10,000 – 20,000
  • £20,000 – £30,000
  • £50,000 – £100,000

Section four: Your brand

You’re here because you need a new website. Not a new brand. But, your website is based on your brand. You need brand values, brand guidelines, icons, motion guidelines, and the rest, for a developer to be able to create your new site.

Don’t have those? Or want to change bits about your brand?
In that case, you will need to communicate your desire to change your brand before the developers get going on your new site.

You should be able to tick one of the following boxes:

  1. We are happy with our brand exactly as it is and have everything you will need to create the new website.
  2. We are happy with our brand but may need additional iconography, photography and more to slightly develop the brand before you make the website.
  3. We would like you to give us suggestions on our brand and we would consider a brand workshop if you feel necessary.
  4. We need to revisit the branding before we start on the website and would like to undergo a brand workshop.

Creative agencies usually have two parts to their offering covering both of these areas – brand and digital – so should be able to carry out a brand workshop with you to fully understand where you would like your brand to be in the future.

As a starting point, if you’re reconsidering your brand, start with this:

Section five: Your competition

A common thing we hear is “we want to look and feel completely different to our competitors”. Which is amazing. You should want to stand out in your industry. To this end, you should give the developers the URLs of your competitors’ sites so they can have a look at what they are doing, to make sure you’re not using the same language, imagery, messaging etc.

Section six: Final points

Ok. You’ve got most of it down. To save on lots of email back-and-forths, it’s important to also answer questions like:

  • How many people will need to approve the website project?
  • Do you have a tight or loose deadline in mind? If so, what’s the deadline?
  • When do you require the proposal by?

Want to know what it’s like working with an agency? Check out this blog…

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