4 things you need ready before you hire a designer for your Squarespace website

So you want to hire a designer or a developer for your Squarespace website but don’t know what you need before you even reach out? I got you.
Just remember that we cannot read your mind! So when you say ‘build something pretty’, it’s very subjective. Something pretty to you might be the opposite for someone else.

Another thing to remember is that you are not creating a website for yourself but for your ideal customer so please focus on that. What you believe is beautiful and eye-catching might not be the case for your ideal client.

As a Squarespace website designer & developer, I am asked that question on a daily basis: “ What do you need to get started? “
I’m giving you a general overview because this process varies for each designer.

 
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Content

 

Have your content ready for each page of your website.
Don’t put it all in one document, have one document for each page (titled with the name of the page), this way we don’t search through 20 pages of content for that one page we are building.
Every designer will vary in their method of collecting content, I prefer to have a shared Google folder where you can upload everything that has to do with your Squarespace website.
Your content doesn’t have to be perfect and final, you will probably want to edit it later but it’s better to get started first.

Remember that people don’t fully read websites anymore, they skim. Large paragraphs of text look overwhelming to whoever is on your website, and they tend to skip or skim them. So try to keep your writing short and to the point. A full paragraph now and again is fine, but whenever possible, keep things concise to a line or two. 

 
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Images

 

Your first options is to shoot your own pictures, they will be genuine and original.

Your other option is to get your images online, there are gorgeous images in so many places nowadays! Just make sure they are copyright free or that you own the rights to them. I have heard of nightmare stories where people were sued for using someone else’s images without asking for their permission.
Here are the places I go to for images on my client’s websites:

Copyright free photos 

Unsplash.com

FreeImages.com

Pixabay.com

Stock photos for purchase 

Creativemarket.com

Etsy.com

Shutterstock.com

Once you have found the images you want on your website, remember to compress them! Google ranks websites that load fast higher in its search results. Here is one website I use to compress all of my images: Compressor.io, it’s very easy to use, free, and keeps the quality of each image.
One last thing, name your images with names that make sense for your website. Google will be looking at everything including your alt-tags (names of your images). So it’s very important that your images are not named IMG123. If your website is for a yoga studio in Cambridge, MA, then, name your images something like Yoga Studio Cambridge MA or Hot Yoga Classes in Cambridge MA on Tuesdays.

 
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Inspiration

 

You don’t really know what you want your website to look like? It always helps when clients send me 2-3 links of websites they like in terms of design. I also ask them to describe in details what they like about each of them.
Here are some places I go to when I want some inspiration:

Pinterest

Mindsparklemag

Site Inspire

One Page Love

Designspiration

Comment below if you have found other useful websites for inspiration!

I have all of the items above ready, now what?

Now is the fun part! You can upload all of it in a shared Google folder or whatever your designer uses to gather content and images.

Another thing I feel helps is a sketch of each page you want designed if you have a very specific idea of what you want it to look like. You can use a piece of paper and a pencil and it could look like this:

 
 

See? Nothing really complicated, but this way, your designer will know exactly what you want!

 
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Ask questions

 

Don’t be shy, ask questions about everything, this is your website. Do you want to know more about the process of making your Squarespace website live? Do you want to know how your designer or developer will include SEO into your website? These are normal questions to ask, it’s better to ask them in the beginning than once everything has been built, this way, we know what matters to you the most.

 

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