The answers I need to design and develop the best websites

Website Design Strategy - Tim Lord

I can’t tell you how many times I get asked the same type of question “I need a website, what’s the cheapest you can do it?” Everyone wants a good deal, and I totally understand that but in order for me to fully ascertain what is needed for your business I need some initial information from you.

So here are my initial questions that you should be able to answer about your web design and web development project:

What’s your budget?

This is sometimes where people get a bit touchy. I don’t ask that question because I’m trying to get the most amount of money out of you – I ask that question because it sets the bar for what YOU can expect to get out of it at the end. Firstly if you haven’t even though about a budget then you are simply wasting my time. Secondly if your budget is very low then it really will limit what I am able to do for you and thus, what you can expect in terms of results. You can always get the essentials done first and then move on to a “Phase 2” at a later date once the initial project is complete, signed off and paid for.

What’s your deadline?

I try and be as realistic as I can when I take on projects because I know that there are many factors at play. If you are expecting me to turn around a completed website in a few days then it is not going to happen (unless you are prepared to pay super premium rates for my time). My time is usually booked up way in advance and particularly when working on large scale projects. If the deadline is not achievable then I won’t waste your time or mine pretending that it can be done – I prefer to deliver quality work rather than cramming many projects together. That being said, if I can adjust my schedule to work on a project then sometimes I will do so.

Do you have content?

Content in my book pretty much means everything that you want to say and show on a website. I am talking everything from a logo, to pictures, videos, the text and wording you want to put on the pages. You should certainly have an idea of how many pages you are going to want and what is going to go on them. If you require logo designs and graphic designs then that is separate from web and the price will be amended accordingly.

Will you need a content management system (CMS)?

If you’re already scratching your head wondering what that is then you clearly need to do a bit more research before asking for a website. A CMS basically allows you to add and edit the content on the site yourself. It also allows you to do more advanced things such as blogging and/or e-commerce etc. I would recommend anyone who is looking to have a new website developed use a content management system.

Do you need hosting?

A good website needs a good hosting provider. If you are starting from scratch with a new website then I highly recommend letting me deal with your hosting and domain requirements as it will make life a lot easier in the long run. My hosting starts from £150 per year

Are you going to be my sole point of contact?

If you are a micro business owner, it is much easier for me to deal with in terms of completing the project than when i work for larger corporate firms. In larger companies where there is a committee and everything has to be approved – deadlines can quickly go out of the window and things can drag or deviate from the initial brief. One single contact for the sign-off stages and a detailed brief will help to ensure a smooth and streamlined project and deadlines being met.

Do you have Skype and Dropbox?

Communication is really important and  I find a good balance between telephone, email, Skype and Dropbox to be a very efficient method of getting things done. 

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