Questions to ask yourself when developing a new website
by Chris Wong
13 April 2017
Are you looking to develop, or in the process of developing a brand spanking new website for your business?
Even if you’ve done hours of research and countless Google searches for the best website developers in the town – sometimes it is hard to convey exactly what you want your website to 1. look like, and 2. achieve.
Ask yourself these important key questions before you engage with a professional so that you can develop an understanding of what you want to achieve at the end of the project.
- Maintenance & Time
- What is the main goal of the website?
- Are you looking to simply create an online presence for your business (an online brochure of sorts)
- Or are you looking to promote your products/services through an online platform and use the website as an additional marketing tool
- Are you looking to engage your customers through online platforms?
- Are you looking to sell to your customers through your website?
These are only handful of the questions you should be asking yourself when you first engage with a developer. Your needs and objectives of the website may change when you discover additional costs, time and manpower needed to undertake some of the additional tasks created after the completion of your new website.
For example – it is becoming extremely common for businesses to put their business online and then use it as an additional marketing tool through the capture of leads in the form of email addresses and then marketing to them directly through email marketing. In this case, you would then have to further consider the integration of an email capture function, as well as an EDM (electronic direct mail) service such as Mailchimp or Campaign Monitor.
- Do you have an existing logo?
- Do you have a preferred colour palette?
- Do you know what kind of style of site you want? A one-pager, or a multi-page site?
Contemplating design is often difficult – especially if you are not often in the creative space. You can’t simply say ‘whatever you think is good looking’ to the developer and expect them to come back with a design that works exactly to your tastes.
So when referring to design, I will often ask my clients to provide some sites that they find inspirational to gather an understanding of their likes and dislikes when it comes to design.
I’ve discovered Pinterest is a fantastic platform to find some inspirational designs. I’ve collected a group of designs here: Website Design Inspiration on Pinterest
- What is your budget?
- Have you looked around for multiple quotes?
- Are you prepared to outsource for a cheaper price?
- Maintenance, and update costs?
Despite cost being fairly self explanatory, there are still some factors to consider. The most obvious one is your budget, and weighing up the pros and cons of outsourcing the work. The most obvious benefit to staying local is communication and standard of work in the quality of the delivered project. The benefit to outsourcing is the obvious cheaper price – however you run the risk of not ending up with an unsatisfactory product.
Of course there are local companies that still outsource the work – the drawback to this is the longer turnaround time, and possibly the need to send back for multiple revisions until you get it the way you want it (and this usually takes time, depending on the timezone differences, etc).
Maintenance & Time
- Are you aware of the maintenance costs associated with your website?
- Do you plan to keep your website updated (in terms of the core functionality)?
- Do you have plans to keep the content on your website relevant?
- Will you be engaging your audience with blog posts, and other mediums of content (videos, forums, etc)?
The worst thing you could do to your website is pay for one to be developed, made live and then forgotten about for the next 5 years. A website is an investment, and like a well maintained car will keep you going for many years to come.
Maintenance costs such as updating the core function files of your site (if you’re using WordPress) is a simple job, but helps keep it running.
Keep your new website relevant by posting content. As cliche as this will sound, content is queen, but relevant content is king. This will help drive people to your website – and as they say any press is good press, right? This is where the time factor comes in, writing relevant content takes time (like this post is for me) – so be sure to set aside some time each week to keep constant relevant content rolling onto the site.
This is a lot of content to digest – and especially if you’re doing the research now before you develop and create a website you may be overwhelmed. Luckily for you, I’ve created an easy to read (thank god) checklist you can sit down and work through as you move through the steps to create your new website.
If you have any questions about this topic, or any questions at all relating to website design, development and digital marketing. Don’t hesitate at all to throw me a banana at email@example.com, or be reaching out to us on our social media platforms. We welcome all questions!