What Every Business Owner Should Know About Website Design

Friday, January 14th, 2011

So you’ve joined the bandwagon and decided that the only way to make it in today’s business world is to have a professionally designed website that works for you—now what? Are you prepared for the website design meeting, where you will discuss your needs, expectations and desires with your web development company? Do you have answers to the questions that you will likely be asked and are you ready to come up with your own questions related to your business website design? Here’s a look at what you must know before you meet with a web development company to make your business website design go smoothly:

The Website Design Process

Not sure what the entire website design process entails? You’re not alone. Many business owners are not sure what they are getting into when they first meet with a website development company. Here’s a brief look at what you can expect in terms of the website design process:

  • Information gathering to determine requirements, desires and preferences for the website
  • Website planning and initial structure development
  • Development of a website concept
  • Website design (graphic design, programming of the site, coding and flash design)
  • Pre-Launch Testing
  • Final Website Launch

During the information gathering phase you will meet with a website development company to discuss your website goals, requirements, any preferences that you have and also your wishes for the site. This is where the website development company will gain an understanding of what it is you want your business website to do for your business. A concept can then be developed.

Prepare to Answer these Website Development and Design Questions

  • What type of business do you own and what do you want your business website to do for the business?
  • What keywords do you think are relevant to your customers? How would a customer search for your product or service?
  • Why have you decided to create a website and what do you expect from a business website? (think about conversions will these be visitors, readers, people who purchase your product, leads, etc)
  • What is your target audience? (describe them so that the website development company has an understanding of what type of audience you are trying to reach with the website)
  • What color schemes do you prefer? Are there specific colors related to your business or logo?
  • How many pages would you like the website to be? (consider pages that are “must haves” and then “desires” to determine an approximate page length)
  • Do you have a logo? (if so, provide the web development company with a high quality image that they can work with)
  • Who are your primary competitors? (if they have websites, be prepared to discuss those sites with your website development company—consider things you like about competitors’ sites and things that you don’t like too)
  • Are there any other websites that you particularly like (such as their color schemes, design, images, etc)? Consider discussing these with your website design company so that they have a better understanding of your interests and design preferences.
  • Are there any specific requirements that you would consider a “Must Have” in the website design? If so address these with your website design company during the very first consultation.
  • What elements do you consider “Must Haves” for the home page? Consider social networking links, your business logo, pertinent information about your product or service, etc.

If you can answer all of these questions for your website development company you can assure that there will be less bumps and hurdles along the way in terms of the website design. Design is a tricky issue—we all view art and design differently which can make it difficult for a website design company to create the perfect website for you if you are not very detailed in your likes, dislikes and desires.

The questions above address some of the most pertinent issues that will come up during an initial consultation for website design—are you prepared?

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