A new Web site doesn't just happen; an Internet agency needs good input on it. We've written before about why your briefing should be as complete as possible. We've also provided some helpful documents. Download them below:
As an Internet agency, we have seen quite a few briefings go by. The form and content vary greatly, which leads us to suspect that there is quite a bit of confusion about the perfect website briefing. That's why we want to get you started on this page. Also read below about the handy downloads we have created, including a free website briefing whitepaper including tips, examples and template [.docx].
In this part of the website briefing, you tell what points of interest there are. These are not rock-hard, measurable requirements, but rather general prerequisites that you take for granted.
Examples include that a website should be search engine friendly, easy to manage with different roles for contributors, the site should be responsive and you want maximum security.
First of all, you want to offer candidate internet agencies the opportunity to get under your skin. That way they understand your wishes and requirements much better, resulting in a partner who actively thinks along with you and offers customized solutions. The final result - the new website - will also better match your proposition, which in turn will lead to better conversions.
In the introductory piece of your brief, then, tell concisely about your organization. What kind of company or institution are you? What is your mission and vision and what are the goals, especially when it comes to your online presence? Who are the competitors and what sets you apart?
The tougher, technical requirements deserve their own chapter in your Web site briefing. Here you tell how many websites you need, whether you want versions in multiple languages, with which external systems you want a link and whether you want to make the site accessible to people with disabilities. You can also tell here what your content migration requirements are: do you want to migrate (some of) your current content to your new website(s), or will you provide new content?
The beauty of a website brief is that the client is king. You are in control and get to set the terms - compare it to a tender for a construction project. And among those terms in your brief are the requirements you set for the Internet agency's presentation or pitch. How long should it be? What content do you expect? What compensation do you offer the Web builder for the time and effort taken?
It is also important for the Internet agency to know what deadlines you have in mind for the various milestones. In connection with other ongoing jobs, the web builders can see if your project is feasible. In this regard, it is nice for both parties if you create some slack, in case a technical challenge or content delivery causes a delay.
Another item that is important for Internet agencies is the available budget. Not always is there a real budget available and sometimes an agency is pushed to the limits of its creativity to implement the desired solutions. In other cases, there is more than enough budget available and it does not need to be addressed in its entirety.
Either way, it is wise to break down this budget into the one-time amount for updating or building the new website; the ongoing development process; and the online marketing (if any) with social media campaigns, for example.