For a lot of small businesses, they simply do not know where to start when it comes to planning the development of their website. Often, many will approach us asking “how much will it cost?”. Unfortunately, the answer to that question is a little difficult – somewhat like asking how much a house costs. The answer is: it depends.
The more information that you can provide web designers that you are looking to hire, the more accurate of a quote they can provide you. Let them know as much as you can regarding your project, even if you feel the information may be trivial. Just because selling products online is commonplace these days, it does not mean it is simple to implement.
To help your business organize itself for your new website project, we’ve put together a collection of 20+ questions. By answering these questions, you will help yourself organize your project’s goals and requirements. And being organized will ultimately help you get an accurate web design quote from the vendors you choose.
Target Market and Competition
- Describe in detail the products and/or services that you are trying to sell or market?
- What is the primary message that you want to communicate to your site visitors?
- In order of importance, list the demographics of the major types of visitors that you expect to visit your website. (include gender, age range, interests, and locality)
- Who are your main competitors? (include website links)
- What does your company do better than your competitors that distinguishes you from them?
Existing Website (if applicable)
- What are the major issues or limitations that exist with your current website?
- Is there any components of your current website that you would like to retain?
- What areas of the current website do you believe that visitors most often look at?
- Are there any areas of the site that are not as visible or prominent as they should be?
- Assuming you would like to keep the majority of the content from your current website, are there any sections that you do NOT wish to include on the new website?
New Website (Content & Functionality)
- What content pages would you would like to see on the new website?
- In terms of website functionality, please list all features that you wish to have accessible to visitors. Please rate each item with a priority number, with 10 being a required feature, and 1 being a “nice to have” feature.
- Aside from static content pages, is there any data that needs to be displayed on the website that needs to be searched dynamically, or updated on a regular basis? (example: class schedules, customer reviews, product lists and pricing, etc.)
- Are you looking to sell and accept payment for any products (or services) online? If so, mention approximately how may products you plan to sell, what type of products you wish to sell, and what forms of payment you want to be able to accept.
- Do you require a content management system to allow you to update the website yourself, or is this a task that you wish to leave to the web developer?
- Do you require the website to be search engine optimized? If so, for what keywords (or phrases) would you like visitors to type into a search engine in order for them to find your website?
- Do you require that the website have visitor statistics saved for analysis?
New Website (Design)
- Do you have any colour preferences and or existing brand requirements that must be included in this website?
- Are there any colour schemes, layouts, or styling that you would not like to see in your new website design?
- Are there any websites that you have found online that are similar in style, quality, or layout that you can provide us? (list each link and a couple of notes about what it is you like about the website)
- Do you require your website to be “responsive” (ie: the design re-formats itself to be most appropriate depending on the size of the device it is being viewed on)?
Download the planner
To help with your website project planning, feel free to download a Microsoft Word version of this website design questionnaire, so that you can use it as a worksheet and get your project started off on the right foot!