Five questions to ask to get a website that works for your business

Have you ever experienced website envy? It’s the feeling when you go onto the website of another business – or even a competitor –and you can clearly see that their website is better than yours. It might be better designed, run more smoothly or drive more organic traffic than yours. Whatever your thoughts, it’s a frustrating feeling.

You might have wondered how it is they ended up with such a good website: what were the key questions that they posed when briefing their designers? Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of five questions that you should be asking your website designers when you meet with them. Whether you’re creating your website for the first time; re-designing it; or just making a few adjustments, our list should have you covered.

Question 1: What are the current flaws and advantages in my current website?

Asking a web developer what they think your website needs is a good first question as it will force them to develop a blueprint and strategy for your website from the outset. Good website agencies will offer an in-depth analysis on your current design and will put a fair amount of time into finding out what you need before undertaking a website build, and it’s well worth engaging fully with this.

In asking this question, you will cover all bases. Once the agency has put together their plan for your website, it will be easy for you to communicate the elements that you like and; and to point out parts you think they have missed. This will also have the advantage of ironing out a few creases before work has actually started.

Question 2: What Content Management System (CMS) do you use?

CMS is software which facilitates the creation, publishing, distribution, organisation and management of digital content. Unfortunately, many of our client’s come to us with problems revolving around a poor CMS with their current website. You will want to know which CMS your website developer uses, and whether it will require coding should you wish to upload or re-arrange content on the page.

We have our own CMS, ProteanCMS, which will not require you to have any prior knowledge of coding should you wish to make your own adjustments to your website. We use our own CMS, because it allows us to develop all of our websites in-house, which means that you will always be dealing with us directly should you run into an issue that you can’t resolve yourself, or if you want something changing. We also work with other open source CMSs when this is more appropriate.

You’ll want to ask whether you will be able to update your website without seeking help from your web developer, as this can be a frustrating situation to find yourself in.

Question 3: What sort of e-commerce can you provide us with?  

E-commerce is the future. Even before the coronavirus crisis, an increasing amount of business was being conducted online, and the pandemic has only accelerated this trend. As many people continue to avoid going to the shops, consumers are starting to take e-commerce as an essential for most websites.

It is a good idea to ask your website designer whether their system will be able to support:

  • Subscriptions: Does your business rely on subscriptions? For example, do you sell a product like vitamins that your clients are likely to purchase again and again? Even if not, the option for customers to subscribe is a great way to secure repeat business and perhaps you could offer them a small discount should they choose to commit to your product on a regular basis.
  • Different delivery methods: Not all of your customers will want to get your product delivered in the same way. Make sure your website designer knows that you will want to offer your customers not only standard delivery but also the option to click and collect or to select a delivery date.
  • Efficient cart processes: If your e-commerce works efficiently, your customers will keep coming back to you. For example, a good website will allow your customers to store their details for future purchase, offering a faster process in subsequent transactions.
  • Quotes: If your business sells a product where the price varies greatly dependent upon different variables, then you will want an e-commerce system which can generate such a quote. Our systems have OpenQuote integration, which will let your clients quickly generate a bespoke quote dependent upon the products and services they wish to take up.

Question 4: What messaging do you think my website needs?

Digital marketing is at the heart of a good website, and messaging is key. Without good communication, a good website will be lost in translation and perhaps even deter consumers from your brand.

Within this it is important to consider:

  • SEO: How do your website designers plan on supporting your search engine optimisation.
  • Offering different messaging to different customers: It is likely that your customer base is diverse, especially during the pandemic, which has uprooted all of our lives. Could your website offer bespoke customer journeys, tailoring the experience and messaging from customer to customer?
  • Social media platforms: Should your business be on social media, and if so, which ones? If you are already on social media, will your new website design be incorporated into the messaging and design of these platforms to ensure continuity?

Question 5: What return on investment am I likely to see from my new website?

There is no point investing in a new website if you are not going to see any return on your investment. This question, it will initiate a conversation between you and your designers ensuring that your aims and objectives are clear from the start.

Investing in a new website can drive new business to your enterprise and this is especially important if your business has been affected by the pandemic. Remember, you might be eligible for a free website under the government’s business recovery grant, if your business has been adversely affected.

When investing in a new website, you don’t want to be left with website envy! If you want a website that works for your business, then please get in touch.

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