Building a great website takes more than just designing the pages and hosting it on a domain. It takes patience and research to understand your niche, competitors and how you can create the website your business and customers deserve. To make things easier for you, I have listed my personal project questionnaire that covers a 50,000ft level of understanding so that you can identify what you have, and don’t have before starting your website design project.
Do you have all of your brand needs?
This includes but is not limited to:
- Vector / RAW Logo Format
- Corporate Color Scheme
- Mission Statement
- Value Proposition
- Corporate Emails
- Website Content
Do you know what hosting and domains are?
Not all website hosting is the same. A basic understanding of where your website will be hosted, and who else is hosted on that same server will be your top priorities, in addition to any extra services like email hosting and security certificates.
Do you have an understanding of the basic website process?
From frameworks to code, it’s important for the business owner to understand what they are putting their time and effort into, and how it will scale in the future. Don’t lock yourself to a “custom” framework that you can’t get help for a year from now, and be sure to keep the reins in on any developer looking to go above and beyond your design needs and structure, so as to not cost you more money and time later on.
Do you plan to edit it yourself, in-house, or outsource?
After the website is completed, who will be in charge of updates? Will you want to post content to your visitors as well? These are important questions to ask, as you don’t want to be left with a website you can’t manage, or a web developer you can’t get a hold of to make the smallest change.
What is your value proposition?
Will your visitor understand the value proposition within the first few seconds of landing? If not, you need to ensure they do. Most visitors will bounce off of a website in under 5 seconds if it doesn’t provide them they answer they are looking for. Make sure to design the layout to not only entice, but also engage and answer, providing value to your visitors for years to come.
What are your competitors offering?
It’s a great idea to take a good look at the competitive landscape, and see how your competitors are leveraging the web to suit their needs. Often times, you can find ways to improve your website and value proposition, without re-inventing the wheel.
How will you know it’s working?
There’s no point in building a website if you can’t see the results, and unless the phone is ringing off the hook, you may not ever know. It’s very important to understand your visitor as much as possible, and that means using something like Google Analytics to track a wide variety of metrics allowing you deep insight into your visitor, your website, and your marketing efforts.