When you are about to have a website designed (or redesigned) there are some things you can think about that will provide a lot of value to the web developer you choose to work with. I have assembled a list of the most common questions I ask, and having the ability to answer these questions will significantly increase the chances of you ending up with a website that you’ll love.
- Tell me about your business. Tell me the basics about what your business does, who it serves, and why it exists. What pains are you solving for your customers, or what value are you providing to their lives? Try and be as clear and concise as possible. Some might refer to this as an elevator pitch.
- Who is your target market? Provide as detailed of a profile as you can. Who are they? What are their likes and dislikes? Are they technically savvy? What might their expectations be when visiting your website? If your current customers don’t match your target market, why do you think that is? Tell me who your IDEAL target market is, and how they differ from your current customers.
- Who is your biggest competition? Tell me where you fit in the market, amongst your competition. What do you offer that is better or different than what they offer? Why would someone choose to do business with you, instead of them?
- Where do you want your business to be in 5 years? How will your business be different in 5 years, from what it is right now? I don’t mean that you want more customers and want to make more money, almost everyone wants that. Rather, I’m curious to what the “big picture” of your business is. What is the path you hope your business will take? How will people see/perceive your business? What will your business be known for 5 years from now?
- Why have you decided you need a website/redesign, and what are your goals? What are you trying to accomplish with this website? Are you just looking to modernize your image? Are you trying to engage your customers more? Is your goal to increase sales, or is the website simply a tool where customers can gather information? Are you trying to reach a different market? What is the gap that currently exists in your business, that you feel a new/redesigned website can help with?
- Find the websites of some competitors or websites in a similar industry, and provide me with your feedback on them. Ideally you should review AT LEAST 6 websites of competitors, or those who are in a similar industry. Choose 3 you like the most, and tell me specifically what it is you like so much about them. Tell me what you don’t like about the 3 that are your least favorite.
- Are there any buzzwords that describe the look and feel you are going for? Common examples might include: corporate, professional, fun, bright, dark, edgy, clean, modern, retro, etc.
- Does your company have colours you want utilized in the design? Any colors you really like & want included in the design? Any colours you typically don’t like that I should stay away from?
- Who will provide the content for your website? It is always best when clients can write the content for their own site. You know your business better than I do, and generally you’ll do a better job at writing the actual content for the pages. While I will provide my own thoughts on the content that is provided to me, and might make some suggestions to make the content more friendly for search engines… I’m not a copywriting expert. If you require copywriting services, I have connections that will write content for the website, at an additional cost.
- Do you have a specific budget & timeframe in mind for this website? Please keep in mind you may need to set priorities. What is most important to you? Quality of Design? Speed of development? Overall cost?
Of course, it is not uncommon for more questions to arise during natural discussions, but these are some of the most common questions I find myself asking new potential clients when discussing the needs for a new website they want developed.