There are many reasons for commissioning a new website, but regardless of the reason, the questions you should ask, are quite similar. Giving your website designer clear objectives and your expectations of the website, will do 2 important things:
1. Save you money - the process should be quicker and the solution easier to fulfil
2. Give you a result more likely to succeed
What do you want to achieve with the website?
Have a clear objective and don't expect visitors to your website to work too hard. Clear messages, clear direction to key information make it easy for visitors to act - be that buying, enquiring, or being informed.
Who is your target market?
It's important to attract the right sort of people to the site, the right sort of enquiries. You don't want to waste your, or your teams time, dealing with people who don't want what you're offering.
What do you want visitors to the site do as a result of visiting your website? Make your 'calls to action' clear.
If you want people to buy - make the process simple and informative.
If you want people to contact you - make it easy for them to do so.
If you want to inform people - make it easy for them to find the information.
How will you mange the site ongoing?
Do you want to manage the site yourself?
Will you have someone in your company manage the site?
Will you require the services of the web company ongoing?
It's important to know this from the out-set. This may effect what software is used and how the site is constructed.
Some questions to ask you may not have considered:
- Who will own the site?
- What platform is best for my needs (ecommerce need different solutions to a portfolio site).
- Where will it be hosted and who manage the payments?
- How is my domain (www.yourname.com) and email, linked to my website?
- Can my website be updated or changed easily, should my needs change/grow?
- What are the credentials and experience of your website designer?
When you have decided who to work with on your new website, share as much information, as early in the process, as possible.