It would be much easier to just give some text and pictures to your web designer, and say "do the magic. Let me know when it's ready."
This is your enterprise. The most successful websites are the result of collaborative experience. Your web designer will help you to clarify how you want to present yourself online. She will present you with both visual and conceptual ideas for your site. But don't forget, it's your business that's going 'up there'.
This is what my clients find most surprising when we start the planning stages. Yes, the web can seem like magic, but it takes a lot of work to make the magic happen. Without collaboration from the start, the development process could be long and bumpy. This is what makes it smooth, a good understanding from the outset, and solid communication throughout.
Here are the basic elements of the give and take:
Getting to know you - and your business.
We want to get a feel for what this project is about. We want to know you, your business, it's goals, attitudes, and where your website fits into this picture.
Think of your website as the beginning of a conversation. You present an opening aimed at getting your message out to the specific audiece that you have in mind. Their experience and response comes next.
Envisioning the Finished Product – The Plan
I want to know what you like, what speaks to you, so we look at some sites that work, and some that don't. We look at what pages you want on your site, what each will consist of, and where each page fits into the flow of the site.
This is where we discover who needs to do what.
== Will you be supplying all the text, fully written?
== Will we need to work on some of the writing together?
== Or, is it a good idea to bring in a writer for this project?
== What are some favored shapes, icons, etc.
== Photos - Are they ready?
== In what form?
== Do photos need to be taken?
== What images go where?
== What other pages are wanted?
== If there are forms, what is the info you're trying to obtain?
== Do need video? What is the impact? Do you have it, or does it need to be made?
Everything on your site should have a reason to be there. This is the underlying idea throughout the process as we make these decisions.