You’ve decided you need a new website. What influenced your decision, and is it the right one? What specific elements do you need to consider before and during a website redesign?
Over the past couple of months, we’ve refined Far Reach’s website development
process. In doing so, we’ve created a series of checklists to keep our projects running smoothly and ensure we’re putting out top-quality sites to serve our clients’ goals.
Our checklists include information we gather from prospective clients before the start of a project (today’s focus), an overview of the workflow for our project managers and detailed lists for our designers, developers, and quality assurance testers.
In the coming weeks, we’ll outline our entire process for you.
Before we begin any project, we first work with potential clients to understand if they truly need a new website and, if so, what they hope to accomplish via a site revamp. Here are questions we ask to better understand client needs and goals:
- In a nutshell, what is your company all about? What unique value do you provide?
- What does success look like to you in terms of your site? More traffic? Increased sales? Projecting a more professional image?
- Do you need to make frequent updates to your website content? Will you be updating images, video, documents and other content on your site?
- Looking at the analytics for your current site, what sections of your site are being used most frequently? Which sections don’t see a lot of traffic? Does this line up with your goals for site visitors?
- Will you have multiple people managing the content on your site? Do you need different levels of permissions for different users?
- What percentage of your current website traffic comes from mobile devices? Are there specific tasks or information on your site that someone is more likely to access on the go?
- Is your current site reflective of your brand? How would you describe your brand? Are there other websites that have a “look” you believe fits your company better?
- Do you need email newsletter signup? Social media integration? A news feed or blog?
- Does the copy on your current site have a natural, conversational flow? Is it enjoyable to read? Is it in the right voice for your prospective audience?
- Is the navigation on your current site clear and consistent? Or is it easy to get lost? Is there duplicate/extraneous content that could be consolidated or eliminated?
- What are the specific tasks you’d like visitors to complete? What information do you want site visitors to take away?
- Are customers contacting you via phone or in person with questions or tasks that could be answered/completed on your website?
- Are there regular tasks or services you and your staff handle manually that could be integrated with your website to streamline processes and save time? (And money?)
- Do you need e-commerce functionality on your site?
- Who is your target market? What is your geographic focus? Local or much more global?
- Do you have any long-term goals/features/enhancements for your site that you’re not quite ready to implement yet?
- What is the budget for your website project? (This allows us to help you prioritize if everything you want to do isn’t possible at first.)
- What is your timeline?
Using these questions, we can put together detailed proposals and cost estimates so we begin every project on the same page with our clients. Often, after discussing these questions, prospective clients learn their needs and expectations aren’t what they originally thought when they first contacted us.
A website redesign is not necessarily a “build it and they will come” proposition. However, using a thorough assessment of a client’s goals to drive a website project ensures the site can fulfill its role as the hub of a well-integrated marketing and customer service strategy.
In an upcoming post, we’ll give you an overview of our web design and development work flow. Let us know if you have any questions or comments about getting started on a website project.