If you’re wondering what questions a web developer may ask in an initial client interview, you’ve come to the right place.

My last post gave 45 things to check before launching a website, a lot of it quite technical. I thought I’d make another list for people who are right at the start of the process, so here’s 63 things to consider when starting a new website project.

These are the kind of questions a web designer/developer may ask. Don’t worry if you don’t know all the answers, developers are there to manage the techie stuff for you, but thinking through these things may really help you get things square before approaching a designer.

Purpose & Project Scope

  1. Are you looking for tweaks or a whole new website?
  2. Is this intended to be a brochure site, ecommerce shop or blog?
  3. What problem are you trying to fix with a website?
  4. What bugs you the most about websites?
  5. What is your main message? What’s your/your company’s purpose?
  6. What attracted you to this web design company?
  7. How did you find us?
  8. How many other companies have you talked to?
  9. Do you already have a website? If so, what’s wrong with it?
  10. Did you read any of our blog?
  11. Do you have any proposals from other design firms?
  12. What is your budget?
  13. What is your timeframe?
  14. Does the site launch need to coincide with a product launch or any other important milestone?

Style

  1. Do you have a vectorised logo and colour swatch for your company, or even a full branding style guide?
  2. Are you in touch with the original designer?
  3. Have you considered taking a fresh look at your corporate identity? This a good time to consider a refresh or an entirely new identity.
  4. Do you need this to integrate with your existing identity pieces?
  5. What are several websites that you like the look of? What do you like about them?
  6. How important is customisation to you?

Content

  1. Do you have your content done?
  2. Do you need a business card and letterhead?
  3. Do you currently have a website?
  4. Do you need a content management system?
  5. Do you have photos you need to use?
  6. How many pages do you need?
  7. Do you have a catalog or brochure?
  8. Do you need any other graphic design help?
  9. Do you have an email newsletter?
  10. Do you need any other promotional material?
  11. Will you be providing creative direction?
  12. Do you need an image gallery?
  13. Do you need social media tools built in, like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn etc?
  14. Do you need a contact form?
  15. When is the last time you updated your current site?

Technical

  1. Do you have any unique specifications?
  2. Is there any specific functionality you need?
  3. How does your company handle email?
  4. Do you need any password protected areas or user account management?
  5. Do you have a domain? Did you or someone else register the domain? Do you have control over the domain?
  6. How familiar are you with search engine optimisation and best practices?
  7. Do you need search engine help?
  8. Do you or anyone on your staff have Photoshop or other image editing software?
  9. Will several people be editing the site?
  10. Do you have access to the web server?
  11. Will your IT person be involved?
  12. Is the original website developer still available?
  13. Do you currently have web hosting? What is your current hosting company?
  14. Have you been through the complete web design and development process before?
  15. How often will you need to update the site?
  16. Are you or anyone on your staff familiar with HTML and CSS?
  17. How familiar are you with graphic design best practices for websites?
  18. How familiar are you with web standards and web design best practices?
  19. How would you like to maintain the site?
  20. What software do you have?
  21. Do you need the website to tie into any particular 3rd party applications?
  22. Will you want or need help in making changes? If so, would you need help routinely?

Market

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. Who are your competitors?
  3. What are the addresses of your competitors websites?
  4. How do people find your current website?
  5. How important is search engine ranking to you?
  6. How familiar are you with usability studies?

Do you think we’ve missed anything? Leave a comment below.

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