We frequently get requests for website development that look like a wish list. Clearly, the scope is not though through. Being an assistive platform, we ask our clients some basic questions. It helps them structure their requirement better. It also helps us to match them with the most suitable website developer.
There are six steps before appointing a website developer. Any website developer worth his salt will need this information to get started. In fact, if you find someone who does not, best to stay away.
It is important to capture the business process. Draw the value chain such that it shows how the business generates revenue.
Think about how a website can help you. Some businesses need a basic website with 4 to 5 sections giving information about the business. Product manufacturers need ecommerce websites to channelize sales through the website. (This article covers the basic websites. Ecommerce websites are not covered here.) This will help decide the technical complexity and consequently the budget.
Think about the target group for your website. A teen fashion brand website will need to be “cool”. On the other hand, a financial website should look prim and proper. Prepare four different character sketches of your intended users. E.g. A recruitment firm specializes in hiring for retail banking. A 40 year old HR head of a nationalized retail bank is their typical user. He is married and has teenage children. He spends 9-10 hours in office everyday. After-office hours are reserved for family, gym and watching cricket.
Content is the backbone of a website. Write down the things you would like to convey through the website. Specialized content writers can write the information provided by you in a way that your target audience can find the website easily. Let’s take the example of the recruitment firm again. They may want to cover about the business, team, list of services, current openings, client list and contact details. As the screens get smaller, crisp and concise is the mantra for good content.
Good to have
Lifestyle businesses have stylized physical product like apparel, food or home decor. For such businesses, product pictures can be very appealing . For businesses dealing in services, testimonials can help establish credibility as well as USP. Mood setting or explainer video on the homepage is a new trend.
It helps to give references of the websites you like in terms of looks, functionality and content. But please do this at the end after you have completed the first five steps above. Or, it becomes difficult to think from the first principle.
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