When someone approaches me asking for a quote to design and build them a website, the first step is for us to discuss the project together in detail. Many consultants call this a ‘discovery call’. This makes sure I thoroughly understand what the client needs. Also, while some clients have everything thoroughly planned out from the outset, others benefit from a little help with thinking through their marketing or business strategy and how their website could serve it best.

The sixteen questions below are an example of the kind of questions I discuss with potential clients. If you’re considering commissioning someone like me to design and build you a website, have a read through them and consider your answers and it will help you prepare you for the discovery call.

Aims

  1. What’s the biggest thing you’d like your website to achieve? e.g get new customers, help existing customers buy from you or increase sales of new products?
  2. What is your target audience? I’m thinking: location, age, gender, income, personality, buying motivation and concerns etc. Please be as specific as possible.
  3. Who are your main competitors? What do you like about what they offer and how they present themselves?
  4. What do you want your customers to understand is unique about what you offer?

Branding

  1. Do you have any brand-related content prepared, such as a logo typefaces, typography, colours, spacing, images etc? Would you like help with any of this?

Website content

  1. What website page structure will you need?
  2. Other than the homepage, what pages will need unique page layouts designed?
  3. Will you be providing written and photographic content for the website or would you like help with either?

Website technical

  1. Are there any external services you’d like your website to integrate with?
  2. Do you know of any other technical requirements for the website at this stage (especially if it’s an e-commerce website)? e.g gift vouchers, time-based discounts, Instagram image feed, embedded review website widgets, Google Maps

General

  1. I can host your website and offer a website support package. Would you be interested in this or do you plan to manage these things yourself?
  2. What is your budget for the project? This will help me scope the project to suit.
  3. What’s your preferred time frame for the project? I’ll include a proposed timeline with the project quote.
  4. How did you hear about us?
  5. How would you prefer for us to stay in touch?
  6. Would you like me to set up professional email accounts accompanying your website?

Then finally, I ask the client to send me links to any relevant websites they like the look or functionality of, not to copy but as a guide to understand what they’re looking for.

Then when the client has considered the above I ask them to suggest a day and time for a video call to discuss it all. Of course, before the pandemic I used to even meet clients in person to discuss these things over coffee. Those were the days.

Author: Aidan Ashby

Aidan is a web and branding designer living in Northampton, UK. He’s a cautious optimist and is loathe to discuss himself in the third person. He loves pancakes and has a perpetual desire to just be sat in the woods with his feet up in front of a bonfire.

Connect with Aidan on LinkedIn.

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