I can’t take credit for this – but I thought it was great
“In my last blog post I listed a top 10 things that bugs webmasters. I’m not sure if it’s because it was laughable and true or simply because social bookmarking users likes top 10 lists, but it was undoubtedly the post that got me the most traffic (20000+ hits!). Obviously I’m not the only one having these issues 🙂
But stepping back reading my post again I though that as funny as it might be, it was not very constructive or helpful. So I decided that I would try to make a similar top list, but instead of moaning, I’ll list 10 things that can be done to make a webmaster’s life easier. It’s not just about making someone’s life easier, if the interaction is good it will directly and positively affect the end result.
And now the top 10 things to do if you want your webmaster to be happy;
1. Do your homeworks.
Giving quality content is important if you want a quality website. If you don’t have time to sell yourself, it’s perfectly understandable. Time == money. That’s the time to hire a marketing firm to do it for you. Some company offer text composition, spell check and translation in house, consider asking for it. Composing text and design for the web is not really the same game as for the print, or anything else. It’s a whole other media created and consumed differently in different context. This leads me to point two.
2. Be open minded.
As I said, the web is not the print, as it’s not the television. It’s a media on it’s own and unless you spend more than 20 hours a week surfing the web (porn excluded!), you most likely don’t know much about it. And to add on top of that, we are in the prehistoric age of this constantly evolving media. Like the television did, some technologies and trends will last more longer than others. It’s important to find and choose what fits you right now.
3. Give a honest feedback even if it is negative, we can take it.
It’s important to be open minded but it’s also important to be honest in your feedbacks. If a designer show you a design and you say “yeah, I like it”, he might assume that you really liked it. We’d like to read your mind but there is ethical and technical issues. Just say that you don’t like it, or that you don’t think it represent you like you would like. Don’t be afraid to give examples and directions of what you like.
4. If you think you can’t meet a deadline tell it right away.
We too have many other things to do 🙂 Seriously, nobody will hold it against you. We live in a busy world, don’t be afraid to delegate to someone trustworthy.
5. Bring final reversions of your content (text or pictures) if possible.
Unless they are doing your marketing or spell checking too, they are more likely to want to receive final version of your documents. Ask peer review if needed, it always help. You can even ask them a review of your material, but don’t forget to mention that it’s not final (production ready) material.
6. Communicate by email and list your requests clearly
We don’t dislike talking to our clients on the phone at all, but it’s easier for us to break down requests in a to-do lists when they are summarized in a email. It’s also harder to forget an email than a request made by phone. Now if you’re in doubt of being understood in your email, the telephone or in person is your best option. Don’t be afraid to send screen shots too.
7. Whenever possible, bring your content in digital format.
Since we have to retype them if you bring it on paper, it’s a good idea to give it in digital format first hand. They will probably ask for it if you don’t. The same apply to pictures.
8. Visit your other web sites.
Tell about what you like and dislike, show us examples, it will help to define your tastes. Make a list and write down about your impressions.
9. Be flexible
Understand that the web has its limitations and that your primary goal should be communication. Sure we can integrate music, but is it really supporting your message ? Unless you are in the music industry, probably not. Also, don’t be afraid to try new things and always feel free to ask peer review before adopting a new style or technology.
10. Release often
It’s a phrase we hear often on the web, but most of clients are old schools.. They want to get all their content sorted out and final before putting the site online. Although this might seems a logic appreach, it might be a better idea to start with the most important sections and put it online even if some less ones are still missing. It’s less pressure for everybody and visitors are more likely to come back because they see changes. But most importantly it gives you a feedback cycle.
Well that’s it, good luck and don’t forget to have fun !”