Whether you create it yourself or have one professionally designed, here are five key questions to ask yourself before building a website.
Why do I want a website?
There are plenty of reasons to have a website, such as branding or interacting with prospective customers. Or joining the 21st century.
But what are your reasons? What do you hope to accomplish?
What do I want visitors to do when they get to my site?
Too many people (professional and amateurs alike) build a website without the end in mind. If you’re selling widgets online, then you want visitors to buy.
But what if you’re a local small businesses? In that case, you want a phone call or a visit. That means your contact information, address, map and directions should be prominently displayed and easy to access.
Also see 6 Tips for Creating an Effective Website.
Is this project mission-critical or a back-burner issue?
If getting a website up isn’t mission-critical, do yourself or your web designer a favor. Wait until it is.
Just ask any web designer. Getting website content from clients is the most frustrating part of the job. How urgent will you make this without someone bugging you?
Who should I include in the process?
It’s important to get other’s feedback on the design and functionality of the site. But you also want to avoid a “design-by-committee.” So choose wisely.
Should I do this myself or hire an outside firm?
There’s no simple answer to this. Building the site yourself will certainly save you money, but it will cost you time. Consider whether the time you spend on the project could be better used to manage and grow your business. My position is that the only thing more expensive than a professional is an amateur.
Unlike other industries, web design prices vary greatly. You might find having a professionally-designed website is less costly than you think. But a word of caution: don’t let price be your only buying criteria.