It goes without saying that a company’s website plays a vital role in the marketing toolbox. For many organisations, it is the “face” of the business where the visitor can easily find out about the services, understand the personality of the organisation, the mission, values and whether it’s trustworthy.
Any business owner or manager already pulled in a hundred directions is only going to feel overwhelmed at the prospect of building a new website when considering the importance of the project and the investment that goes with it.
Before you sign any contracts or part with any money, ensure you ask your web company the following questions to help save you from a bad experience or a website that simply doesn’t make the grade.
Question 1 – Will my website be mobile-friendly or responsive?
With over half of all searches coming from mobile devices these days, it is essential that your website is accessible by them. Make sure that your web developer is keeping up with the trends so that you don’t lose out on sales.
Question 2 – Will visitors find my site?
It’s all very well having a flash website but what if no-one can find it? Ask your web developer how they will help your website’s search engine rankings and what can you do to increase its visibility also?
Question 3 – Will visitors stay on my site?
For a visitor to hang around and take action on your website, it needs to engage them. Long bodies of text, poor texture, lack of images and many other design mistakes can turn your potential client away within seconds. Cutting edge design and targeted content is a must to stay relevant in this competitive market. Ask your developer what magic they have up their sleeve for your website.
Question 4 – How long will the project take?
It is vital that you are fully aware of the project plan, the deadlines and what is required from you at the various stages (you don’t want to be the one holding it up).
Question 5 – How much will it cost?
Bad website experiences can often arise due to additional costs that were never communicated. Find out exactly what the whole project will cost you including what is and what is not included.
Question 6 – How well do you know my target market and what they want?
Although some web companies may specialize in certain industries or have more experience with some markets than others, it’s fair to say that they are mere mortals and can only make a measured assumption as to what exactly your clients want from your website.
The solution that lies within this quandary is “usability studies” and naturally the input from yourself as a learned business owner. Working with you to find out more about your business, your target market and your competitors, a web developer that wants your website to succeed will carry out studies with real people to find out what works for them, what they want from your site and most importantly what they don’t want. These real-life testers that fit into your market segment will give their unbiased opinions on your competitor’s websites, your existing website and any websites you aspire to.
Ask your web developer if they will be carrying out such studies to determine how your website is designed and ultimately how successful your site will be in attracting and keeping visitors.
Question 7 – What if I don’t like the design?
Consider that modern fresh layout you desired and communicated to your designer 3 months ago. Now consider the final product being disappointedly off the mark as your completed website is revealed…what a disaster! All that design work and programming down the plughole. The only way to avoid such a catastrophe is to be involved in the design process. Make sure your web company offers an agile approach where you approve the design as it comes to fruition.
Question 8 – What ongoing costs are involved?
So, you know how much the website is going to cost to build but what about afterwards? Does the web company offer a website maintenance package that will suit your budget? If so, find out how much it will be to keep your website secure, current and found.
Question 9 – What do I get for my ongoing costs?
There are an astonishing number of businesses paying a lot of money to web companies to “maintain” their websites with little value from their investment. It is highly likely that at some stage you will want to change or add content to your website, is that covered in the maintenance?
If you are paying for SEO services, what exactly are they doing for you on a daily/weekly/monthly basis and how are the results measured? How are your visitors using your website, where is your website traffic coming from and will your website company provide you with reports on this?
Question 10 – What if my website goes down?
If your website goes down, you need to know what needs to happen to get it back up.
Websites do go down for server maintenance, so unless your site is down for a prolonged period, you should not need to worry.
What if your website is hacked or malfunctions, who will answer my call and how quickly will it be fixed?
Who Are We?
Burning Fruit are a boutique web development agency based in Perth, Western Australia.
We specialize in user experience and customer service. More importantly, we can answer all the above questions and more.