10 Questions to Expect When Building a Website
If you’ve made the decision to hire a web developer for your upcoming website project, you know there are a lot of factors that go into the success of the project. Whether you’re building a brand-new site from scratch or updating the one you currently have, trusting an outside company to understand and execute your vision requires meeting to discuss the project in great detail. The developer will have a lot of questions, and you should be able to answer each of them in as much detail as possible. We spoke with our web development team to create a list of 10 questions you should be prepared to answer when you meet with your web developer.
1. Do you have an existing website?
This one seems pretty straightforward — you either do or you don’t. But there’s more that goes into it than that. If you do, what’s the URL? Does the current page speak to your company’s branding? What do you like or dislike about it? You should also be prepared to answer questions about the domain. Do you own it or did you purchase a package?
2. What is the overall goal for your website?
If you’re updating your site, what are your ultimate goals? Do you want to incorporate a responsive design? Or are you redesigning to match new branding or marketing materials? Identify the purpose behind why you reached out to the web developer in the first place, and be able to clearly articulate those goals.
3. Who is your target audience?
Every business, no matter how small or large, needs to identify its target audience. If you haven’t already, you should create a buyer persona before contacting the developer. Knowing the persona beforehand will allow them to tweak the design elements and features to fit the needs of that specific audience.
4. What behavior do you wish to see in your visitors?
What are your conversion goals? What action do you want visitors to your website to make? Perhaps those actions include finding more information, completing a purchase, booking an appointment, filling out a form or registering for an event. While there could be many actions you’d like visitors to make, go into your development meeting with one main goal in mind. Once the developer knows the overall action you’d like visitors to take, they can create pages dedicated to other subsequent actions.
5. Who are your competitors?
Developers will often ask about your competitors so they can get an idea of other similar companies in the market. It’s also important to scope out the competition to ensure your site stands out.
6. What other sites do you like? What other sites do you not like?
Going into the meeting already able to answer this question will show you’ve done your homework, and it will also help the development team get a better understanding of the site features you like, as well as help guide them on creating your website. Knowing your likes and dislikes from the beginning will save a lot of back and forth in the future.
7. What colors do you like or don’t like?
Keep in mind that your website should align with the overall branding of your business. The design and color scheme should match all of your marketing materials. If you’re starting fresh, this is a good opportunity to create that branding. Or if you’re refreshing your current website, it’s an opportunity to consider rebranding. Having an idea of a color scheme and fonts that you like will help the designer create a website that’s consistent with that vision and branding.
8. Do you have existing photography?
If you have current photography that you’d like to include with the design of the website, it’s important to make sure they have enough resolution and value to be included. If not, you’ll need to be prepared to discuss other options, such as contracting new imagery or video for the website or working with stock imagery.
9. Do you have existing content or will content need to be written?
If you already have content on your existing site — and it’s good content — that will make the overall project move much faster. However, if the content is out-dated or simply bad, you will need to address rewriting the content or creating new content for pages that don’t yet exist, and this could delay the project. Content should be addressed either before or at the same time as the website development.
10. What’s your timeline?
It’s important to make sure your expectations are realistic related to the time allowed for the project. Are you flexible with that timeline? Each website is unique and presents individual challenges, and the timeline will vary depending on your needs.
If you are in need of a new website or considering a redesign of your current site, download a list of these 10 elements that all successful websites should have.