Before you get started with a new website design you should come to your meeting with a few website goals in mind. That being said, make sure they are realistic, with the means to execute them. This way you get the most out of your web developer and the website once it is up and running. We put together a few questions that you should be able to answer before walking into your first meeting with a developer.
These questions should help you create some working goals with your new site and make your developer very happy!
What is the goal of your website?
This seems like a broad question, but what are your overall website goals? Are you trying to generate leads? Are you trying to drive e-commerce traffic? Is it a brochure-type website? Knowing the types of goals you want to accomplish with your site is going to help your developer with the actual design and functionality of the site.
Who is your audience?
You have to know who your customer is in order to get them to stay on your website. This will help the developer with functionality, capturing important information, and will set the tone for all of your content writing. Knowing your audience can change your content from sounding more technical to becoming more humorous and casual, or the design could be complex versus standard. The backbone of a good website is well written content--knowing who you're writing it for is half the battle. Functionality and design are an important way of engaging your audience so they become repeat visitors.
What kind of content are you putting on the site?
This seems obvious, but your web developer is going to want to build a site map with that content. Know what your "must haves" are and how you want them organized on your site. Do you have targeted keywords to center your content around? If not, chances are your developer or designer is going to be able to help you with that. Keyword research is important because it's what keeps you discoverable to your audience. This is one reason why people blog. When you can blog on a consistent basis you're generating fresh content that helps you rank on search engines so you're more likely to show up when potential customers are searching for you. (That's a different blog post for a different day, but definitely a conversation you should have with your developer.)
Also be prepared to write content. Often times it's not the web developer that holds up the timeline, it's waiting on the client to get the content ready to go. Make that site map and immediately start writing and gathering content...Please!
What is your timeline and budget?
Setting expectations for timeline and budget are important in the relationship between client and developer. Are you maintaining the site or paying someone to do it? Developers can meet your expectations or help you set more realistic ones as long as we know what you're looking for. Keep in mind that when you are having a website built it will take longer than you think, and that's ok! Do you want it done right the first time? I'm going to guess yes, because when you're spending thousands of dollars, you don't want to spend it twice. Be patient, keep communicating with your developer and know that if you want a great design with awesome functionality, it takes time.
The bottom line is, every developer wants to make sure you're happy with your site and that it's working for you. Knowing exactly what you need out of your site before you walk into your first meeting is going to ensure that happens.
If you liked this article, check out our related blogs:
- 5 Reasons You Need to Invest in a Custom Website
- The Evolution of Mobile Responsive Websites
- 6 Signs You Are in Need of a Website Update