Things I'll Need to Know Before I Design Your Website

When you make the decision to hire me to create your website, manage your social media, or ghostwrite your blog posts, there is certain information I must gather from you in order to assure you are getting the best services. This also to help me determine approximately what your choice of services will cost, and offer you the best package to fit your needs at the lowest price. I have created a questionnaire that is important to have you fill out completely so that I may understand your need for services and help me understand what your vision is, so that I may match that vision.

The first question asks you what your target audience is. What age category does your target audience fit into? Where are they located?

Then I ask you about your company. Describe it in one to two sentences. I ask you to list each service and/or all products you offer. How long have you been in business? How many employees do you have?

The next part takes a little research on your part. I want to know who you think your competitors are, and I want you to go look at their websites. I want you to explain to me why people buy from you instead of your competitors.

Then we’ll go into more detail about your goals. What is the primary and secondary purpose of your site? Do you have any other goals in addition to those?

I’ll ask you what actions you would like a user to take when they visit your site. For example, do you want them to call you, fill out a contact form, fill out a quote form, sign up for your mailing list, search for information, purchase a product, or other actions? If there is more than one action you wish them to take, I ask you to list them in order of importance.

If you are interested in an e-commerce site (where you’ll sell items right on your site), I’ll want to know if you plan on accepting payments, such as credit cards or Paypal. I’ll also need to know if you need inventory tracking.

Sometimes a website gives people an option of signing up in order to see specific content on the site, and I’ll need to know if your website will need an option of logging in. I will also ask you what, if any, additional features of capabilities you would like your website to have.

If you already have an existing website, and need me to take over, I’ll need to know what elements of your existing site you like, and what you do not like.

When it comes to content, I’ll ask you how many pages your new website will be. I’ll want to know who will be providing the content. A website will take much less time to build if you are providing all or most of the content versus if I have to come up with the content myself.

I’ll need to know if you have images you plan to use for the website, and if you have legal ownership of those images. If you don’t have photos of your own, there are some options. You can hire a professional to take them, you can take them yourself, or I can take them for you (keep in mind the last two options are less preferred, because you want good quality photos, and taking them yourself will not be as professional looking.) This also applies to any videos you’d like to incorporate into your website.

I’ll ask you if you have any special features, and I have a list of the most popular special features that you can choose from.

I’ll ask a series of questions on social media, such as channels you currently use and ones you would like to start in the future.

There are some technical questions that need to be answered as well. For instance, if you have already purchased a domain name, what is the URL to that? If you have a current site, I’ll need to know who your current webmaster is. I’ll also want to know why you use your current webmaster, and why you are interested in changing.

There are some questions on maintenance, in the event that you will need this.

In the project management section, I’ll need to know who the point person is for the project, and who will provide approvals. Also, who has the final approval on all aspects of this project?

Lastly, I’ll want to know your ideal time frame or launch date.

I know this seems like a lot of information, but if you want it done right, I need to know the answers to these questions. The answers will help me picture your vision, to make sure you are getting exactly what you had hoped to get.

A word of caution. If you do decide to hire another web designer instead of me, if they don’t ask at least this many questions, then you are taking a real risk of having a website created for you that is not what you had envisioned. Websites can be very expensive, and if you want to make sure you get your money’s worth, you’ll need to provide your webmaster with some in-depth information.

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