Getting your files in order
If we’re about to embark on a new project, it’s a good idea to start preparing your content as soon as possible. There’s a lot to think about in any web project, so make sure you have these things in place before we get started.
Sounds dull, huh? Well, spending a few minutes organising this at the beginning of a project can help to prevent hiccups along the way.
First off: Google Drive is a real pain, so I prefer to use Dropbox to share the content files during a project.
You’ll want to create at least two folders: one for images and the other for copy (text). Feel free to create more folders than this (perhaps grouping images together for different pages, etc), but that’s not strictly necessary.
I’m happy to create the Dropbox, but sometimes it makes more sense for you to invite me (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you do this, please make sure you select the option to ‘Share’ the folder with me, rather than simply copying the public link.
Make sure you fill the Dropbox with copies of your files rather than the originals. I’ll won’t edit the files directly on there, but it’s better to be safe than sorry!
Please use all lowercase filenames with hyphens or underscores instead of spaces. Numbers are ok, too. Avoid using special characters (e.g. < ! *) or accents (e.g. é å ç).
If you are replacing a previous version of a file, edit the filename with a suffix (e.g. filename-v1.jpg).
To make your images look their best, please gather together the highest quality images you have.
We can always make images smaller if they’re too big, but trying to make smaller images bigger will result in images looking pixelated. It’s not a good look.
If you’re familiar with image editing software and can resize them all to about 2000px width/height, that would be very helpful.
If there are images that you would like to display on specific pages, you can either specify this in the filename (e.g. about-header.jpg) or create folders for each page if you prefer.
Where possible, please supply a vector version of your logo and any brand icons. Vector files will either have a suffix of .svg or .ai – your graphic designer should be able to provide these.
If you don’t have access to these, please send the largest version of the logo you have as a .png with a transparent background.
As a general rule, any images that have lots of colours/shades (such as a photograph) should be saved as JPGs, everything else should be a PNG or SVG.
I generally advise my clients to use a copywriter if the budget is available. Writing your own copy is time consuming and can delay projects, and a good copywriter will make your content truly engaging. If you would like a recommendation, get in touch.
If your copy has already been prepared, please add this as either a Word, Pages or plain text (.txt) document. Please don’t send these as PowerPoints, PDFs, images or any other weird format.
Either upload separate files for each website page, or add all of the content into a single document with clearly labelled page titles and subheadings.
If your website has any dynamic content, such as a news, blog, events or gigs section. It’s useful to provide three or four real pieces of content for these sections so I have something to design around.
Ecommerce websites will probably need additional conditions of sale and other policies.
If your site captures personally-identifiable user data in any way, such as through cookies, newsletter subscribers or a contact form, you will most likely need to register with the ICO. They have a helpful self-assessment form, if you’re not sure whether you need to register.
As a general rule, it’s best to embed video from a service like YouTube or Vimeo. Using those sites means that your users will always have the best possible viewing experience, irrespective of their internet connection.
Prefer your video not to have YouTube or Vimeo’s branding? Consider upgrading to a paid package.
If you don’t want your website videos to appear on your YouTube/Vimeo profile page, either consider setting up a separate account, or mark the videos as ‘unlisted’. If you set them to private, we won’t be able to embed them.