What Questions Should I be Asking You?

Here are some questions I’d like you to answer before we get started with the important task of building your site. If you are ready to do this, please feel free to use this form. You may also print this page for reference.

Not all questions will apply to your situation, but the more information you are able to supply up front, the smoother the development process will go.

1. Marketing

  1. Describe your target audience.
  2. What is the purpose of the website?
  3. What are your corporate core values and how do you express them to your visitors?
  4. What makes you different from your competitors?
  5. Why should people do business with you rather than your competitors?
  6. Will you be offering advertising on the site?
  7. How should that be implemented?

2. Current Website

  1. What do you like most about your current website?
  2. What are your top 3 frustrations with your current website?
  3. Are there any functions or options on your current website that you plan to keep (other than the content)?
  4. Where is your website hosted?
  5. Do you have full access?
  6. Can you provide usernames and passwords?
  7. Does your current web host meet all your new website’s needs (space, bandwidth, databases, etc.)?
  8. Do you plan on or need to move to a new host provider?
  9. Do you need help finding the right web host?
  10. Do you already have a URL you plan to use?
  11. If not, do you need help selecting and registering a good URL?
  12. Who will be involved on your end in the development of the website?
  13. Any other contractors?
  14. Who or how will you be managing website upkeep?
  15. Do you have a budget you are trying to meet?

3. Design Preferences

  1. Describe the style of the website you want.
  2. Name the 3 things that are most important in the design of your new website.
  3. Name the 3 things that are least important in the design of your new website.
  4. What types of things do you see on other websites that you really like?
  5. What types of things do you see on other websites that you really hate?

4. Design Requirements

  1. Do you have a completed site architecture for the new website or will this be part of the scope of work?
  2. Will different sections of your site require different designs, layouts or coloring?
  3. What information must be on the home page?
  4. What information must always be visible?
  5. What features, sections or information do you want emphasized on the site?
  6. How would you like those to be featured?
  7. Will those be provided or do they need to be created?
  8. Do you need an internal site search feature?

5. Branding

  1. Do you have a tagline you wish to use or do you need help creating one for your site?
  2. Do you have a logo you plan to use or will one need to be created?
  3. If you have one, can you provide the original (hi-res) artwork files?
  4. Do you have specific company colors that need to be used?
  5. Can you provide the Pantone numbers for your company colors?
  6. Do you have any other materials that the site needs to match with in some way (brochures, press materials, etc.)?
  7. Will you need a favicon created?

6. Content (Pages/Text)

  1. How many pages will the finished website be (estimated)?
  2. Do you have any page wireframes ready or will those need to be produced as part of the scope of work?
  3. Do you have the content for the website or will content creation be a part of the scope of work?
  4. How many pages of content will need to be developed?
  5. Will there be any cross promotion of content within the site?
  6. Please provide details on content cross promotion.
  7. Will we be importing and formatting your content, or do you plan to do this?
  8. Do you or your team need training for making website updates, content publishing guidelines, etc.?
  9. What types of actions do you want your visitors to take on your website?
  10. Do you want contact phone numbers prominently displayed?
  11. Do you want any other buttons (address/map/calls-to-action) prominently displayed?

7. Content (Images/Media)

  1. Do you have any specific photos you plan to use?
  2. Do you have full rights to those files?
  3. Can you provide hi-res files to us?
  4. Will we need to find and/or create any images for the website?
  5. Will video or audio be a part of the new website?
  6. Can you provide us the proper files or is creation of this content part of the scope of work?
  7. How many videos or audio files will be added and/or created?
  8. Will any customizations need to be made such as optimizing for search, adding content overlays, customized wrappers, etc?
  9. Do you require online chat features?
  10. Do you have any other media or PDF documents that need to be incorporated, or will any need to be created?
  11. Will these need to be optimized for search?

8. Mobile/E-commerce/Blogging

  1. Will your visitors require any special needs (i.e., screen reader ready, larger fonts)?
  2. Do you require your site to be mobile friendly (responsive design)?
  3. Do you have any specific mobile requirements?
  4. Do you need multi-language support?
  5. Will you need a shopping cart system for e-commerce?
  6. Do you have a system you already use?
  7. Are you in need of an upgrade?
  8. Do you have any subscription services?
  9. Do you use a third party for any part of subscription content delivery and/or payment?
  10. Does your site need a blog or a forum?
  11. Do you need to be able to manage content publishing approval processes?
  12. Will users need to log in to your site for any reason?
  13. If so, why?
  14. Will you need multiple levels of access (different roles)?
  15. Do you need any password protected areas?
  16. What kind of content will be put behind password protected areas?

9. Social Media/SEO

  1. Do you need any social sharing features built in (tweet, like, +1, share, etc.)?
  2. Do you have a Google Analytics account?
  3. Can you provide us access?
  4. Will you be looking for keyword optimization beyond the design/development scope?

10. Miscellaneous

  1. How many web forms does your new site need?
  2. What is the purpose of each?
  3. How do you want the submitted info handled (email, database, etc.)?
  4. Will there be any third-party applications that will need to be integrated?
  5. What are they?
  6. Will you need an events calendar feature?
  7. Do you require printer friendly options?
  8. Do you wish to employ any “content-on-demand” features (i.e., hidden elements that are made visible with certain actions)?
  9. Do you have any other specifications or need specific functionality that has not been addressed?
  10. What is your time frame for total project completion?