5 questions to think about before meeting your web designer
You’ve chosen who you would like to build your website and you’re about to meet for the first time. Now what? What do you need to bring to the table to kick off the project on a good foot? Here are five things you need to think about before meeting with them.
Why do you want a website?
Seems silly to ask, but why do you want a website? Websites promote something you do or sell. However, if you explore this question a little deeper it will give your web designer a clear idea of what you hope to achieve. Answering this question helps your web designer find practical solutions to your needs.
The question helps us know, right from the get-go some of the functionality you might need. For example, if you want to sell your art on your website, then we know you will need some kind of e-commerce solution. Do you want to promote your life coaching business? You will need a calendar feature where people can book a consultation online.
Exploring this question can even help you discover that you may not need a website after all. Someone once approached me wanting a website to sell facemasks. It was three months into the pandemic and they were selling them on Facebook Marketplace. We didn’t know how long facemasks would be necessary. So, in the end, they decided it would be best to keep selling them on Facebook. In this case, investing in a website wasn’t the best solution. They would have had to sell hundreds of facemasks to recoup their investment.
How would you describe your ideal customer or web visitor?
You need to know this. This is why you are in business. Knowing your customer is key to your success. Everything you do on your website needs to keep your ideal customer in mind. Once you know who they are and what matters to them, you can tailor your website copy and images to appeal to them. When you create your content you will always have your ideal client in the back of your mind.
So, what questions do you need to ask to narrow down who your ideal client is? Some questions you might ask are: Where do they find their information? What are their interests? What technology do they use? What do they come to your website for? What problem are they looking to solve by visiting your website?
This is not an exhaustive list, in fact, client surveys can and should get into fine detail. This is because you want to get the clearest picture. In so doing, you will be able to create web pages that solve their pain points.
You do want a website that is useful to your clientele, otherwise why even have one? If they find what they’ve come for, you will be successful.
Do you currently have a website? If so, what are the best and worst things about it?
Knowing what you like and dislike about your website reveals what is important to you. After all, why change the things that are working for you. You want to enhance your successes and re-work the aspects that are failing you.
You may dislike the colour palette or the placement of your newsletter signup form. Or, have a complicated problem such as people not buying your product.
As the owner, you have firsthand experience with your website. You know what has worked and what hasn’t. So it’s important to share your insights with your web designer. Your input helps your designer get a clear picture of what is important to you and your clientele. You need to discover why your visitors can or can’t reach their goals on your website.
Knowing these answers also helps determine the scope of the project. Share as much as you can, even if you think it is trivial. Sometimes the small things uncover bigger problems that need a thoughtful design solution.
Who is going to create the web copy?
Producing written copy for your website is one of the most challenging things that you will do.
There are generally two ways to produce it; by doing it yourself or by hiring a copywriter. Often we experience delays because we are waiting for content. Website owners often feel they are ready to take on the task because they know their business best. But, they often find themselves stuck at a computer screen, unsure of what to write.
This doesn’t always mean you need a copywriter. Often having someone else from your team to work with you will get the ideas going. You need to focus on what your visitors want and tailor your message toward them. Your web designer may even have the skills to work with you on this.
How to write copy is beyond the scope of this article. The most important thing is, to be honest with yourself. Determine whether you can handle it or whether you need help. A professional copywriter for the web will tease out the key messages needed. They’ll have a meeting with you to discuss it and produce the web copy.
What is your budget for the project?
Nobody likes to talk about money but it needs to happen. Knowing what you have to spend will give the designer parameters to work within. You will be able to explore what is possible. It will give you both a good idea of what you will be able to achieve.
You may discover that you can have it all or you may need to raise the budget a little. Some designers will offer payment terms that will lessen the initial financial burden. Regardless, having a rough number going into your meeting is necessary. It will establish good communication and produce realistic goals.
Do you have a question?
It can be difficult to navigate the process of building or redesigning a business or personal website. So, if you have any questions, drop them below. I will answer you directly and/or explore the question in a future blog/vlog post.