Starting a new digital project can be a daunting but necessary step in developing the online presence of a business, however large or small it is. There are several questions you must consider before you begin development on a website in order to meet your organisational goals.
Will the site be responsive?
It’s important to take the responsiveness of a website into consideration. Will the layout and content adapt based on the size of the screen it’s being presented on? As of 2018, more than 52% of internet traffic comes from mobile devices, so mobile responsiveness has never been more important.
How will social media be integrated?
Social media is a key component of any brand’s identity. It’s also a cost-effective way of improving interaction with customers and ensuring more people become associated with a brand. As such, there should be clear links to your social media pages throughout the website.
Will the website be secure enough for taking payments?
When establishing an e-commerce platform, security is vital. Your customers will be driven away if transactions are poorly protected. Customers will want to know they can trust a website with their bank details and personal information before placing an order, so excellent payment gateways should be a priority.
How will I update the website?
Understanding how you can update your website is crucial because these will be required regularly to patch vulnerabilities and improve UX. Make sure you know this before the project begins so that downtime can be minimised.
What happens if you build a website and I don’t like it?
It’s important to know what steps to take if the website doesn’t meet your criteria. If a lot of changes are required after it has been designed, the process can become more costly and time-consuming if these changes aren’t included in the initial price. To limit this, it’s important to communicate what it is you want as well as your business objectives before any work begins.
Will I own the website afterwards?
This is another vital question to ask before starting the project. When it comes to website design, ownership can be a little confusing. For example, it usually depends on the contract you sign and the type of hosting plan and Content Management System used.
What are our responsibilities in the project?
It’s vital to have a clear understanding of what your own responsibilities are during the project. For example, if your designer sends you proofs or needs you to answer some questions, how soon will they need a response from you? Keeping communications open will ensure the project runs smoothly. Also, it might be beneficial to have one point of contact throughout the design process to prevent wires from becoming crossed.
What warranty period do you offer?
Before starting the project, it’s important to understand there may be some teething problems when your website is first launched. Usually, these will be noticed within the first couple of weeks, but a warranty can cover you for any maintenance work required to correct errors or bugs, so it’s important to know whether you have this and how long for.