What to do Before Paying Someone to Build Your Website

Over the years, building a website has almost become a necessity. Although traditional sales techniques still apply, it's important that you're accurately promoting your brand online. But, before you pay a developer to construct your site, you need to define your business as well as what you'd like to accomplish online. In return, I've coordinated a series of questions that help you uncover your online expectations before investing capitol.
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1. Does Your Tune Make Sense?

Before expanding online, I would highly recommend that you solidify your brand messaging. Although your tagline or catch phrase might make sense to you, it doesn’t always resonate with your visitors. American culture is very diverse and specific word variations might even come off as offensive. I urge you to research this epidemic and view the repercussions. Not only should your website relay accurate information, but it needs to be seamless across all channels. If your tune matches consumer values, you’ll be surprised at the impact it will have on your brand in the long run.

2. What is the Purpose of Your Website?

What are you trying to accomplish by building a website for your brand? If you’re building a website just to say you have one, then I beg you to reconsider. Are you known as an influencer or is your content valued by a following? Has your brick and mortar location taken off and you need to expand online to capture new sales? Are you a photographer, promoter, or creative genius that wants to showcases your work online? Before investing, determine if the purpose of your site surrounds products, services, inspirations, educational material, or your portfolio. Don’t miss your target.

3. What Does Your Budget Look Like?

Identifying your budget before speaking with a web developer enables you to set expectations. Too often, companies depend on the developers to advise them on brand development. This can be a huge mistake that’s avoidable with a realistic budget. Now that you’ve solidified the purpose of your site, it’s time to realize what you can afford. There are several moving pieces in a website design that require consideration. If you plan on expanding your services to an web app or want to link to an online store, the actual cost of a basic website could be a lot less than you think.

4. What Functionalities do you Need?

If you’re working with a web designer, make sure you review the scope of work and all that it entails. Not all website functions are included in designs or even purchased templates. Functions such as enterprise management, e-commerce systems, or even listing features might end up costing you extra. Take time to review some of your competitor’s websites and write down some of the things you like. Once you know what you want, research some of the options that are available. Solidifying functionalities can save you a lot of time during the developmental process.

5. Who's Curating all of the Content?

Most web developers provide you with a finished website filled with dummy text. More often than not, my clients assume that content writing is included in the developmental process. Although I’ve learned to reiterate this, it’s something you need to determine before paying someone to build your website. SEO and content takes time and many underestimate the attention to detail required. Fact is, most web designers take no part in content curation. Even if you purchase a template, I recommend finding an experienced writer so the money you spent on development doesn’t go to waste.

6. How Much Time do you Have?

If you haven’t experienced the web development process before, then this question needs to be addressed. The extend of a web design includes revisions, content implementation, and testing. Before paying someone to build your website, set realistic deadlines and expectations in order to avoid disappointment. The launch of a new site tends to align with a correlating event or offering, so don’t set yourself up for failure and attempt to rush the build. Even templates require minor tweaks and taking the time to iron out anything that could ruin the user experience is worth it.

Looking for more information on building your brand?

Contact PreFocus to discuss some of the unique ways you can improve your online presence without spending a ton of money.