1. Read up on and educate yourself about Web technology so that you can communicate effectively with us. You may learn enough to maintain your site yourself once it has been developed. It is important to keep your site up-to-date and fully functional, e.g., all links to external sites should be checked periodically.
2. Have an idea what you want your site to 'look and feel' like. Create an outline of the basic pages you want and how the user is to navigate among them. The more of such information you can give us the more accurate will be our bid and will expedite the completion of your site. Let us know about other web sites that catch your eye.
3. By doing your own graphic design and image processing you will save us a lot of time. Deliver your artwork electronically in GIF or JPEG format or as material to be scanned. Before you create the art, educate yourself about the issues (size, color, palette, transparency, etc.) involved in publishing images to the Web. We would be happy to do your graphic design and image processing but if you want to save some money and can do it yourself then that is something you should look into doing.
4. We can read Word Perfect and Microsoft Word files directly but currently have to go outside to extract text from documents created with FrameMaker, PageMaker, and Quark. You can save money by doing the text extraction yourself and just send us ASCII text files.
5. Deliver all text to us electronically (after spell checking it) in Microsoft Word or ASCII text format. If text is being reused from a printed page then take the time to check and make sure all the headings and other information is in the file. This will save our Page Designer time in typing in missing text.
6. Get a web browser so that you can check the progress of your Web site while it's under construction. This way you will be able to communicate modifications or additions in a timely and accurate fashion as we'll both be working of the same page (so to speak). Also, getting a browser enables you to look at competitor's sites and come up with some additional ideas. You can go direct through an Internet Service Provider (ISP) or you can use one of the on-line services such as Prodigy or AOL.
7. Getting an e-mail account will expedite the transfer of information between us. You will be able to submit ASCII text to us almost instantaneously. If your company or organization doesn't already have a direct connection to the Internet then you can get an e-mail account through your ISP. If possible, you should get an e-mail program that supports attachments.
8. Use image maps and navigation bars sparingly. Image maps can look great but are expensive (in graphic design, programming, and downloading time). They can cause performance problems and are wasted on those who browse with image loading turned off.
9. Limiting the complexity of on-line forms will save you money as they require both design and scripting time. It's easier for us to model an existing hardcopy form (submitted to us electronically) than to create one from scratch.
Batch your feedback to us regarding your pages. It's more efficient to
make a bunch of changes all at once than to make changes piecemeal. Make
sure the final decision maker is in the review cycle to minimize repetitive
changes (which takes time and costs money).
Portions of the above were extracted from an article by Bruce Hart and Tamara Heathershaw-Hart.