Preparing for a Website Consultation? Here Are Four Tips.

Jun 21, 2016

Regardless your business operates locally, regionally, or nationally, your website is your global digital storefront. Even if you’re not selling products or services directly from your website, your homepage is often the first impression a potential customer has of your business. Is it long overdue for you to update your site? Not getting enough leads? Seeing a drop in site visits? It is probably time to consider a website redesign. There aren’t enough hours in the day to teach yourself how to code, so do the next best thing: Consult a web development company. Before you sign your name on the dotted line, here are some things to keep in mind when you have your website consultation.

Tip #1: Know what you’re signing yourself up for

Will the web developers be adding a few pages, making some design tweaks, or building it from the ground up? Don’t hesitate to ask if they’ll be using a template or creating a customizable site from scratch. Knowing this up front will better allow you to plan your budget, timeline, and ability to manage the site later on.

Tip #2: Ask about what they specialize in

The possibilities of the Internet are endless, and so are the platforms websites are built on. During your consultation, be sure to ask what type of Content Management Systems (CMS) they are knowledgeable in and recommend. Some of the most popular CMSs include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla! Are you looking for something more user-friendly but equally as customizable? HubSpot offers a Content Optimization System (COS) that can import your existing site as is but gives you access to new features. These features allow you to customize each visitor’s site experience based on where they are in the marketing funnel.

Why is knowing the type of CMS they specialize in so important?

  • Type of content: Some CMS platforms are better for blogging, while others are great for displaying an elaborate portfolio. Knowing what you want to post will make picking a platform easier if you’re just getting started.
  • Facelift vs. build: If your site is already up and running, there’s a chance you may want to stick to your current system. Switching to a new platform may mean data loss, especially if the developers aren’t familiar with the platform.

 

CMS platforms

via we-4you.com

Tip #3: Be honest with yourself about your technical skills

How much do you plan on editing your site’s content? Will you be in charge of revamping your site’s copy, or will you hire a marketing agency to do it for you? During your consultation, ask about what happens after your brand new site is up and running. Will the web development company manage it, or will the site fall into your lap? Do they offer a maintenance package to do site updates and other optimization? What if the server goes down? Will they be on the horn with the hosting company or will you? Be honest with yourself when it comes to your technical abilities and schedule. Managing a website is a full-time job. Do you have the know-how to make the changes you want, or would it be easier to hire someone to make them for you?

Tip #4: Know your timeline

Do you have a product launch coming up, and you need a freshly painted site stat? Or has this been a long time coming, and you can wait a few months? If you’re not in a rush, a custom design may be in the cards. Did you need your site yesterday? Consider Growth-Driven Design (GDD). Just like the name implies, this type of design grows with you. Instead of waiting for your entire site to get a fresh coat of paint, you can get the essential pieces up and running. Then over the course of time, items on your wishlist get checked off.

Now that you know the right questions to ask, you just need to talk to the right people. Schedule your free consultation to learn how our team can build a site that promotes your business’s strategic objectives.

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