There are many times I will come across a client who is not quite sure of what to do with their website. They may not know anything about websites and that is okay, that is what we are here for. I have come up with a list of items to ask yourself when you are looking to have a website built.These questions will not only help you understand what you really want from your site, but it will allow the designer and developer to better understand your goals and get you the best site possible.
1. Who is your audience?
It is easy to have a website built for your business, but keep in mind who your audience is. Are you looking to appeal to other businesses? Are you looking to provide insight to individuals in the same market? Or are you trying to gain new customers by allowing your website to give a lasting first impression to your business. It may be a combination of some of the above, but it is important to think about who your main target is and provide content that they would be interested in seeing if they came to your site.
2. What is the goal of your website?
What is the goal of your website? To sell products? To collect customer information? To get users to signup to a mailing list? To schedule appointments? To guide users and provide them with information? It is important to have an understanding of what you want to get from your site before you get going. There are various tools, solutions, and approaches that could be used to better meet your goals. It is much easier to understand what you want out of your site now so that the website can be built to fit your needs without the additional rework.
3. Do you have a domain name?
If you already have a domain name, provide that information so that your designer/developer can learn more about your business and what you currently have. If you do not have a domain name yet, you will want to get a .com domain if possible. Try to keep the domain name shorter, if possible, and remember that you do not want to use alternative spellings unless that is your company name. Ex: If you have a hair salon that has “cuts” in the name, do not get cute and use “kuts” because when you tell someone your website name, they will most likely spell it the correct way and go to a different site.
If you have questions before purchasing a domain, please reach out to us and we can help you find a domain name that is best for your business. We personally use NameCheap.com as our domain name register and most of our web hosting. There are other good ones out there such as BlueHost and HostGator, but NameCheap’s customer and technical support is some of the best that I have seen in any industry that I’ve dealt with!
4. Do you have web hosting?
Continuing on from #3, if you already have a site that is live then that means you already have web hosting. Web hosting companies are the ones who house your website and serve them up to browsers that are looking to access your site. It is important to know who your hosting company is and credentials to access the account. Any web developer will need this information to be able to upload and modify the website once the project gets going. The sooner you get this information, the less delays and headaches there will be in the end. Once again, we like to use NameCheap.com for our web hosting needs. They are very easy to work with and go above and beyond for you!
5. Do you plan on updating content frequently?
If you plan to update content frequently, you may want a site with CMS such as WordPress, Wix or SquareSpace. If not, we can provide a static site that will display information to your customers in a beautifully laid out manner without all of the bells and whistles. We can design and setup your website through WP, Wix or SquareSpace or we can create a custom template for you. We can also build you something custom from the ground up!
Creative216 can also provide content updates as needed using one of our monthly packages. Just let us know if this is something you would be interested in when you inquire.
6. What is the “mood” of your company?
This sounds like a silly question, but it helps guide designers. What image do you want to portray to your visitors? If you are trying to provide an inviting feeling, you will want to use cooler colors like blues, greens and purples. Warmer colors are more creative but could also give off an abrasive or angry feeling, so we like to talk about what your business does.
If your business is something more professional or scholarly, such as a law firm or doctors office, you do not want to use fonts that too playful. You would want something like a serif font that gives off a professional feeling. Imagine that you are looking for a lawyer and you come across their site that is using comic sans…you may wonder if you are on a daycare site or a law firm site.
7. Are you working with a particular budget?
This isn’t to ask what the max that you will pay is, but it is more to get a feel for what website solution would work with your budget. If you are asking for a custom site that has multiple contact forms, a shopping cart, and 25 pages, then that most likely will not work with your $700 budget. Keep some sort of idea of what you are working with in mind and we can work with you to provide the best value.
8. What is the timeframe?
Let us know what timeline you expect. Depending on the website solution, it could take anywhere from a week to 8 weeks. Often times projects get behind because the client does not provide content and images in a timely manner. Keep this in mind when deciding on a timeline if you are working with photographers and other graphic designers to who you are working with to provide you content.
9. Will you be providing images and content?
We would be more than happy to help with content and your logo design but if you plan on using your own images, try to provide them as soon as possible. This includes logos, team photos, product images, etc. We can use placeholders as we develop your site, but the project goes much smoother when content and images are provided upfront or soon after the design has been agreed on.
10. Will you be using social media links?
This seems minor, but if you currently do not have social media accounts for your business then I would recommend getting them as soon as possible. Even if you do not want to start using them right away, it will be good to claim those account names. It will also be helpful to have a gmail account so that google analytics can be leveraged on your site. This will provide the ability to track users who access your site, the type of devices they are on, what pages they view and the actions taken.