So you’ve determined that your website is in need of a redesign. What now? Before you begin interviewing potential companies or candidates to help you with that redesign project, there are some important questions you should answer.
One of the first questions that any professional web designer will ask you is "Why you are redesigning your site?" and "What are your goals?"" for that new site. Before you start having these conversations, you and your company should have a clear understanding of those goals.
A goal for a new website could be to add support for mobile devices. It could be to add new features that the current site is missing, like Ecommerce or the use of a CMS platform so you can better manage that website’s content.
In addition to feature requests, you should also consider the business goals you have for the site. These goals go beyond just new features or other additions and instead focus on tangible results, like an increase in online sales or more customer inquiries via web forms and calls to your company.
Coupled with your desired features, these goals will ultimately help the web professionals you speak with determine a scope of work and a proposal budget for your project.
While you may hire a web design team to create your new site, members of your team will need to be involved in that entire process if you hope for it to succeed. To this end, you should determine up front who will be in charge of this initiative at your company as well as who else will be involved in the decision making process.
Another question that any web professionals you speak with about your project will ask is what your budget is for the project. Saying "we don’t have a budget" or "we are just getting pricing" is not an acceptable answer. You need to determine what you can spend and you need to be up front about that budgetary number.
Website pricing is complex and there are many variables that will change the price of a project. By understanding what your budget is, a web designer can recommend a solution that will fit your needs, including that budget, or they can explain to you that your numbers are unrealistic for what you are hoping to achieve. What they cannot do is blindly guess at what your desired budgetary number is and hope that the solution they present is in-line with what you can afford.
In addition to your goals for the site, you should also have an understanding of what you like in a website. This could include the visual characteristics of the design, like colour, typography, and images, or it could be the way a site works for you and helps you complete a specific task.
Being able to give examples of sites that appeal to you gives the teams you are talking to some context as to where your tastes run and what kind of site you are hoping for.
On the flip side of this equation, you should also have an idea of what you do not like in a website. This information will help the web design team know what solutions or design treatments to stay away from so that they do not present ideas that run counter to your tastes.
In addition to functionality, the timeframe in which you need a website is one of the key elements that will dictate the scope and pricing of a project. Depending on when you need a site done by, a web team that you are considering may not even be available to take on that project if they have other obligations already scheduled. This is why you need to have at least a general timeline of when you need the site done by.
In many cases, companies simply want their new website done "as soon as possible." This makes sense. Once you have committed to that redesign, you want it done and live for the world to see! Unless you have a specific date to hit (because of a product launch, company anniversary, or some other event), you should be flexible in your hopeful timeline.
These are just a few of the questions you should be asking before you start shopping for a new website. There will undoubtedly be many others that arise as you speak to web professionals and also when you kick off that project. By answering the questions posed here before you even begin your search, you get your team on the right page and prepare yourself for those future question and the decisions that will have to be made as you work towards creating a successful new website.