I've been scouring the net for something to help with briefing a designer. As so often, when you do find something it takes you on some meandering path where you have to sort out the wheat and chaff, so here's my quick guide for the client, or person (low to medium size) wanting a site.
1. Have an idea what you want. This often comes from seeing a competitor or other sites.
2. Be realistic about the elements that you need and those that could be secondary, tertiary
3. In other words unbeknownst to you, but there are basic needs that show who you are, what you do, etc and then integrated add ons that allow for conversation. Holistically you could count these all as one, but depending on resources, strip it.
4. You may not be aware but wordpress, and blogs may do the job for you, so google : "wordpress" and your area of expertise and see if there's a related site that catches your attention.
5. A designer needs assets to work with and ideally clear direction. This often comes with a brief. But if you're not from a creative background or don't want to bone up on what a brief is
i) get the designer lost of pictures.. lots of pictures
ii) Do you have video?
iii) Very important write something about yourself, your business, what you want, what you want the audience to know - that the designer can work with
6. Be realistic about time. If it's a freebie or no-pay scheme, be realistic about the time of delivery and that the designer may need to get hold of you
7. If it is a paying gig, that's another matter and involves a more rigorous due-dilligence, toll gates etc. - forget about those for the moment
8. If it's a wordpress blog site, do you have the capacity and time to update the site?
9. When you receive feedback from the designer, ask around your friends for feedback - which you can then communicate back to the designer. But do that at the initial stages, when being flexible is easier
10. Help your designer to help you: Remember it's a favour, or might be, so work out clearly what you want and don't think because s/he's a designer, they ought to know your thoughts