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The questions your web developer should ask

Investing in a new website is scary. Bundled with your shiny new website comes a few negatives, such as an initial financial outlay, the risk that you miss the mark with your customers, and of course the time commitment of ensuring everything is running smoothly.

We get it. Honestly, we do.

We’ve done the new site launch thing enough times that we know what to expect in most cases, and we know what needs to be done to make sure the whole process is headache-, nightmare- and pain-free.

For the most part, we manage the process so that you don’t have to – but of course, there are a few things we need to allow us to do that. We’ve developed a list of questions that you should expect us to ask early in the process, and trust us, it helps!

Do you have a domain name?

Your domain name is your address on the web. It usually ties in with your business name or branding, and enables people to find your website. It’s also the address that you will put on your offline marketing (business cards, letterheads, advertisements) to help potential customers find you. If you don’t already have a domain name registered, we can help you with this. If you do have a domain name already, we’ll need the access details for the domain hosting account, or contact details of the company that manages it.

Do you have a current website?

This may seem like a bit of a no-brainer for us to ask, but there’s a reason we do. Looking at your current site gives us a starting point from which to work. It may be that your current site only needs a redesign, or some new features added, in which case we can save you money. Or it may be that we can re-use content from your existing site, which eliminates some of the need to create new content. If nothing else, looking through your current site lets us determine a ballpark cost for your new site, based on the features we can see your site has.

Can we have the access details to your current hosting?

Following on from the last point about your existing website, we’ll likely ask for the access details to your current site. Early in the process this lets us determine what hosting technologies you’re currently using, and whether any development decision need to be made to accommodate this. Later on, having access to your current hosting makes pushing your site live much easier, as we can directly grab your existing database, content or images for use in the new site.

Do you manage your own email accounts?

If you’ve got email addresses set up with your domain name, we’ll need to know a little bit more about it. Perhaps you’ve got an IT company managing your emails, in which case you can just put us in contact with them. But if you’re self-hosting your emails with your web-hosting, the process is a little trickier, and it’s best to let us know early.

Are there any other websites that you like the look/features of?

We’re not mind-readers. It would make our lives infinitely easier (and funnier) if we were, but unfortunately we’re not. So we need you tell us what you’re thinking. If you’ve seen a competitor’s site that you like the look of, let us know. If you like the way a certain website works, point it out to us. Chances are we can incorporate something similar to your website, and telling us early in the process means the cost stays down.

What are the goals of your business and its website?

In most cases, this is pretty simple – businesses’ either want to sell products online, get people to make contact, or get potential customers in to their physical shops. Whichever of these it is, tell us – it makes a big difference in not just the design of the site, but also the features that we recommend to build in.

Do you have statistics running on your existing site?

There are two reasons we’ll ask for this. The first reason is that it enables us to see what your visitors are currently doing on your site. It may be that the pages you think aren’t getting any attention, actually are. This helps us shape the design decisions we make during development. Secondly, statistics allow us to get a feel for how much traffic we should expect on your site after launch – which in turn lets us choose the best hosting option for your website.

What’s your budget?

Yep, we know – the elephant in the room. No-one likes talking budget. We do have a valid reason for asking though – it helps us save you money. If your budget is lower, we’ll recommend features that provide you best bang for your buck, enabling you to drive the most functionality and impact out of your spend. We can also help prioritise your site’s features, to avoid massive lump sum payments like many agencies require.

Want to get the conversation started about your new website? Contact us for a no obligation chat about what we can do for your business.

Published By

Coby Delaney

Senior Developer

With vast experience in website development and a background in business management, Coby takes pride in his ability to deliver robust functionality that becomes the foundation of business processes.

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