Questions to Ask When Developing a New Website

Website design and development questionsAs an Account Executive I see many different projects come through the agency’s doors, with website design and development being one of the most common. When beginning a new project, no matter what the scope, it’s important to ensure a smooth start by asking the right questions and gathering the appropriate information. That’s why I’ve put together a series of posts outlining questions to ask your clients when beginning a new project.

This post will focus on 5 important questions to ask your client to ensure a smooth start when beginning the design and development of a new website.

  1. What is the goal of the website? Be sure you understand what your client would like the website to do, as this will be used in developing the layout, site map, and overall user experience.
  2. What features do you want the website to have? Will customers be shopping on the website? Do prospective employees need the ability to fill out and submit employment applications online? Will there be a blog area? All of these things will contribute to the user experience.
  3. Do you have content? You will need to work with your client to determine if there is copy from a pre-existing website or marketing pieces that can be modified, if the client will be writing and supplying it, or if copywriting is required to generate content from scratch. You will also need to discuss with the client whether or not they have images they can supply, if you will be doing custom photography, or if stock photos will need to be purchased.
  4. What websites do you like? Talk to your client about what they see on other sites that appeals to them. Sometimes it is not the whole website, but rather pieces such as the navigation, galleries, or overall feeling. In addition to websites they like, your client may also point out websites they don’t like. Use this insight as an opportunity to get to know your client’s taste and how they feel about certain design elements.
  5. Do you already have a domain and/or hosting set-up? Often times this part of new website development can be overlooked by the client. If they do not already have a current website and these items purchased, work with your client to discuss their options and set-up a new account for them. It is better to get this done sooner, rather than later to ensure the domain they want is available and in place and that their hosting is set-up and ready once the new website is ready to launch.

Scope and size of websites vary greatly and additional information will be needed to ensure your client’s new website is on strategy and satisfies their goals. With this simple list however, you will have the basics covered and should be able to hit the ground running on your next new website development project.

Do you have any other tips to help a new website project get started and completed as best as possible? Share them with us here.