Website design considerations
As part of our free web design consultation process, we ask our clients to think about their needs by considering the questions posed below. We need to know as much information as possible about your business and what type of website you need.
Don’t worry if you don’t know the answer to all the questions this is just a thought prompting exercise.
1. What is your business’s name?
Your business name is important when considering domain names. It helps with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) if your business name contains keywords related to your trade/business.
2. How would you describe your business, what services you offer, how and where you operate and who your customers are?
We need to know about your business to build a website for you. Each service you offer will typically have its own page(s) on your website. It is also helpful to know what your unique selling points are and why potential customers should choose you over your competitors.
3. How do you currently advertise and attract new customers? For example: Facebook, media advertising, directory listings.
A new website is a fantastic advertising tool in itself but it will also compliment and be complimented by any other advertising you do. Understanding your current advertising will help us know where we are pitching your website.
4. Do you have a logo and/or established image and branding guidelines e.g. fonts, colour schemes etc.?
A consistent image is important for a business. If you already have a logo and style then these will inform the design of your website. If you do not then they will need to be designed as part of the web design process.
Fluid Flow Studios offer a logo design service to create the perfect consistent image for your business.
5. Please consider who your top five competitors are and their websites.
With knowledge of your competitors and their websites we can identify niches in the market for your website to exploit and ensure that where it does compete head-to-head it has the advantage.
6. Why do you want a new website and how will it benefit your business?
A website can serve any of a number of purposes and fulfil a multitude of functions depending on the nature of your business and what it offers. We need to know what the aim of your website will be in order to build it to achieve its goals.
7. What is your budget for your new website?
Budget can be a sensitive area and we respect that costs should be kept as low as possible while achieving what is required. However, an idea of budget will enable us to steer you towards the most appropriate type of website for your business.
8. When would you like your new website to go live?
This gives us a target to work towards and helps us prioritise our work.
9. Please think about all the search words your customers would use when looking for your business?
Identifying the right key words and phrases is important as these will form the basis of the SEO for your website. We use SEO to get your site to come up near the top of the search results for your chosen keywords to help your customers find your website. Let us know the most important words and phrases (in order).
Fluid Flow Studios offer a keyword research service where we identify the most appropriate words and phrases for the SEO of your website based upon actual search data.
10. If you don’t already have a domain name, what name would you like?
A domain name is important for a number of reasons. It should be short, memorable and both easy to type and say. It should also be relevant to your business name and the services you offer.
Many of our clients already have a domain name registered, but for those who don’t, Fluid Flow Studios offer a domain name research and registration service to help you secure the best domain for your website.
11. What would you like your website to look like? Note examples of websites and images that appeal to you.
If you have any design ideas or general guidelines/pointers you want us to follow or even a completed website layout design you want to use then we would be happy to base the design of your website around them.
12. Please list some websites that you like (or would like your website to look something like).
It is helpful to know what sort of websites you like and what you like about them so that we can ensure that we design your new website that meets your needs.
13. What different web pages do you want to have on your site and what different features do you want to include on these pages? For example: Home, about us, contact us, FAQ pages, online store.
This is possibly the most important question in determining the nature of your website. We need details of each page and the key points of information and functionality that they will cover and as much detail as possible - e.g. if you want an image gallery then state (roughly) how many images, categories etc. and how you want it to function and think about examples.
14. Give some thought about what content you need to include. Including, what messages you want to convey and which images will appeal to your customers?
Normally our clients write all their content for the pages of their website including headings, text, images (and other media) etc. and we would ideally not start work on a website until this had been provided. We would then perform a degree of SEO on the content as we add it to the website.
Fluid Flow Studios offer a complete website copywriting service for clients who are not sure what they want to say or how to say it.
15. If you already have images you want to include, these need to be high quality images and you must have permission to use them.
The more images of your business and the services it provides the better from a web design point of view because it’s more appealing to your customers. If you don’t have any images, that’s OK because Fluid Flow Studios has access to thousands of stock images and also offer a website image photography service to capture the right images for your website.
16. Do you want to include any links/feeds from social networking sites?
Social Networking is an important way of generating interest in your business, connecting with its customers and driving traffic to your website. Having a feed on your website can act as a news stream and link website visitors with a way to get in touch.
17. Do you want us to setup any social networking pages for you?
Fluid Flow Studios offer a complete social media design service for Facebook and Twitter. We get your social networking pages setup and ready to go so that you can concentrate on dealing will all the new customers you will have. We can also set up blogs too.
18. Do you want to include buttons for the popular social networking pages on each page of your site?
Social bookmarks are a powerful tool in marketing your website by allowing one click linking to your site for your visitors.
19. Do you want any specific different versions/styles of your site e.g. a mobile optimised version, high contrast or accessible versions etc.?
We design all our websites to be accessible and to work on all browsers and platforms including mobile phones and tablets. However, some clients prefer to have different ‘skins’ or styles for their website available for different types of visitor such as a mobile version or a controls that allow high contrast or larger text for low sighted visitors etc.
20. How often will your website be updated and do you need to be able to make frequent updates yourself?
Websites are programmed in html and other code and are not normally updatable by their owners unless they have some web design knowledge. However, a website can be designed with a Content Management System (CMS) to allow authorised users a secure way of adding and updating content without web design knowledge and the training that we provide.
Fluid Flow Studios offer complete website maintenance and updating service for all our web design clients. We will make any updates that you require for your website; or we can build in a CMS if you want to be able to do this yourself.
21. What email addresses do you want us to setup with your website and which would you like published on your website and use for any contact forms etc.?
When transferring email accounts that are already in use there can be a delay of up to 48 hours before everything is up and running so we normally like to keep the original service running as well in this time and forward emails to a third party email provider for a few days to ensure no emails are lost.
22. Do you have (or wish to organise) you own website hosting?
Fluid Flow Studios offer affordable website hosting for all our web design clients. Alternatively we can upload your site to another host if you prefer however we can’t guarantee support for your website.