Before you even talk to a web designer about your new website, there are some crucial questions to answer. Thinking about these before talking to a website designer saves time and effort and ensures you (and the web designer) are clear about the requirements.
1. Your budget
How much are you looking to spend on the website? Bear in mind as well as the up-front cost of building the website, there are usually monthly costs too (for hosting, domain name registration and any ongoing maintenance/support you require). By sharing this information up front, the web designer can know whether you are looking for a fully tailored unique site, or whether your budget leans towards an off-the-shelf approach.
2. Is it a new website?
Are you wanting a brand new website, or is it a replacement for an existing one? Or do you just need your current site updating/tweaking?
3. Do you have a website domain name?
Do you already have a website domain name (e.g. www.silverwebsites.co.uk) or do you need one (or more) registering? If you need a new one registering do you have a name in mind for it? Are you looking for a .co.uk or a .com (or a .uk or a .net etc.)?
Are you just wanting the website, or do you also need customised email address(es) too (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org)?
4. What’s the main reason for the website?
What should the main focus of the website be? Generating leads, making your business look more professional, online sales etc.?
I.e. what are you actually looking for your website to achieve?
Does it need any specific features, e.g. a shopping page, a blog, a membership directory etc.?
5. What does your organisation do?
Explaining more about your business/organisation/charity is important for the web designer. If your organisation has any unique requirements (e.g. legal requirements) it’s vital these are highlighted up front.
What is your organisation’s unique point and who are your competitors?
6. What style of website are you looking for?
What sort of style are you looking for (e.g. modern or traditional)? Do you have someone’s else site in mind that can be used as inspiration? Is there an example from the web designer’s portfolio you particularly like?
Think about who your ideal target audience is for the site. How would they want to interact with your site and what would they want out of it?
7. How many pages?
Roughly how many pages/sections do you think it will need? Have you thought what you’d like in each page/section?
Having a rough idea of the number of sections you need and how they should link together is a key part of the design.
8. Are you providing your own images/logo?
Will you be providing your own images for the pages? Do you already have a logo you want to use? Would you need access to a professional photographer and/or a stock photo library or a graphic designer?
Do you have any existing marketing material which can be used to help with the design?
9. Are you providing your own wording/content?
Will you be providing your own wording for the pages or do you need help writing your content and ensuring it is Search Engine friendly?
How often will the content be updated? I.e. will it be a fairly static site or will you want to add your own content regularly (blogs, pictures etc.) or would you want the web designer to update it with content you provide on a regular basis?
10. Are you making use of Social Media?
Do you already have a Social Media presence and if not are you looking for assistance with setting up/managing this?
Will you need your website news feed to automatically post to Social Media?
11. When do you need the website to be launched?
Are you desperate to have the new website launched, or are you happy to work at a slower pace?
12. How will you measure the success of the website?
Will you be recording the number of new enquiries/sales through the website? Are you aiming for a number of visitors to the site? Over what time period are you measuring?
We hope that was useful; if you have any questions about this or anything website related, do get in touch.