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10 questions to consider when starting a new website development project

Have you got a new website project in mind and decided to jump right in? Stop! Here’s a list of questions we like to ask clients before starting any new website development project.

Starting a new website project or re-designing and updating your current website can be a daunting task for many business owners or marketing managers. As a digital marketing agency based in Dublin, we’ve experienced dozens of different website development projects, be it for start-ups, SMEs or established international companies. Our website development process has helped businesses of all sizes turn what looks like a complicated task, into a simple one. Getting the basics right and asking the right questions can save a lot of heartache, delays and frustrations. Below are 10 questions and things to consider when starting a new website design or development project for your business.

1. Why do you need to redesign the website?

This is a straightforward starting point. Define what has caused you to make the leap to creating a new website and why you didn’t do it earlier.

2. What need or business goals do you have for the website that aren’t being met by the current version?

Note: this question is more for businesses that already have a live website

Is your current website failing to keep visitors’ attention? Are your conversion rates too low when analysing Google Analytics? Do you find the website too hard to update by yourself? It’s time to understand why the website is unsatisfactory to truly understand the need for a new one.

3. What goals do you want the website to achieve?

This step is the opposite of the one before – outline the failures that the current website is causing, then we can decide what needs to happen with the new website to consider it useful to your brand strategy and customers.

4. What is the function of having a website?

The new website must have a specific purpose in order to properly serve your brand – be it to inform users about your products or services, push them to make a purchase, signup to receive newsletters, signup and create an account, etc

NB: Your website serves your customers so it’s important we always keep them top of the list when establishing the main function that the new website will serve. It’s not there to serve you

5. What will visitors accomplish on your website?

Here, we generally hash out even more specifically what it is the website does; try to get down to the details of every function and feature if possible and go into how you want users to navigate your website. This part will aid the development of the user journey and wireframe later in the project.

6. What kind of website does your brand need?

Will you be selling services online right now or in the future? This would require building on an eCommerce platform. On the contrary, a website with a member portal is an entirely different beast. Are people subscribing to an online publication, or do you just need a basic website that only gets as technical as a contact form? These differences will entail the different features and platforms that need to be identified from the start.

7. Who is the website for?

One of the most important steps is identifying your ideal audience and anticipated visitors by demographic data, tech-savviness, intent, personal goals and pain points, the stage of their purchase decision making, and more.

If you haven’t yet researched or got clearly identified buyer personas, now would be the best time to start.

8. How will you measure success?

Come up with SMART goals, both long-

and short-term, to determine the success of the new website—think about what’s important to measure; increases in traffic, sales and revenue, leads or enquiries, sign-ups and subscriptions, or increases in your email database, etc.

You should also determine how you want to track these and what software is available to you? Eg: Google Analytics, CRM software like HubSpot, etc.

9. What image, look, or feel do you want your brand’s website to portray?

This question helps guide a website designer/developer to more efficiently create a website that works both for the brand and your customers. Without this, the design possibilities are endless, so define what you do and don’t want the website to portray to ensure that you are happy with the final outcome without having to try out a whole host of designs. The goal should be to find a balance between user experience and design so that the website is neither difficult to navigate nor ugly.

10. When analysing your competitors’ sites, what do you like and not like about their websites?

This is an important step in further clarifying your website’s personality and features. We use these questions as a reference for our web design team to clearly see the vision in a client’s head and bring it to life. Take the websites you love and the websites you hate, then lay out a clear explanation of why for both cases. We generally undertake our own research here too as part of our service and then have an in-person collaborative discussion with the client.

Conclusion

We hope the above questions will help guide you better on your next website development journey. We always stress the importance of client collaboration during our website design process to get the best solution possible for the business needs. Have you a website project in mind but still looking for expert guidance? Why not contact us for a no-obligation 30-minute discovery call.

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