How to write a website project brief
Chances are if you're reading this post then you have the task of creating a website project brief. This post will give you a brief introduction into the core parts of writing a detailed brief, what features and questions to include, plus allow you to download our free website project brief template which you can use as part of your procurement process.
It's all in the detail
No matter if you're investing in a new website or already own one, creating a project brief is where you have to start. Clearly communicate what your business is trying to achieve and the critical areas of the project.
You may struggle to communicate how you want the website to look and function, but the best way to do this is tell the story of your business to your selected web design agency, tell them where you started and where you are projecting your business to be in the next two-to-three years.
A professional web design agency will be able to analyse your business history and projected future to deliver a design that reflects your aspirations.
Plan your sites pages
It's always much easier for the agency to work with a proposed site map, so write down how you envisage your sites' architecture and navigation structure. Even if the end project bears no resemblance to this, it allows the agency to predict the number of pages and time needed to build the structure.
References & competitors
Collate a list of websites that you like and dislike, explain which parts of each site would work with your project. Detail a list of your main competitors, detail your areas of skill and expertise which make you stand out from your competitors. A skilled web design company will take your references and turn them into their own pieces of inspiration, so that your site is unqiue and beats your competitors.
Maintenance & training
Often overlooked in most website project briefs, maintenance and training should definitely be part of the process. You will need to know if their are any maintenance costs or annual charges for the hosting of your website. If you're going to be developing a content strategy as part of your website project, make sure you get training on how to manage, edit and create content with your new website. Almost all websites now come with the ability for a non-technical person to manage all the pages on the website.
Digital marketing strategy
Whilst you may only be thinking about getting your website built and how to create website project briefs, you need to have the foresight to start planning a marketing strategy to get people on your website and increase leads and ultimately sales.
Professional digital agencies and web design companies will ask you to consider this at the start of your project, they may talk about inbound marketing, search engine optimisation and PPC as a tactic for generating traffic.
You should finish your project brief with a short conclusion or list anything else you feel would be beneficial to the project.
Don't forget to include timescales and be realistic.