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40 questions you should be asked before you get a website estimate.

As one of Kansas City’s best website development companies for small businesses, we’ve built our share of new websites and revamped existing ones. Unfortunately, we’ve also helped many small business owners unravel cost estimates for websites from other web companies.

If you were building a new home, you wouldn’t expect an estimate from a contractor before answering many questions about size, features, fixtures and even neighborhoods. So, why do so many small business owners blindly accept an estimate from Kansas City’s website companies?

Forty questions may seem like a lot. However, this list is not all-inclusive. It is based on our years of experience building websites for Kansas City small businesses and provides a great starting point for your discussions with local website companies.

 

 

40 Questions When Building a New Website
Business Support
  1. How do you use your website for your business? Is it a brochure, online sales portal or a lead generation tool?
  2. If your website is a lead generating tool, how many leads per month have you received in the past, and how many do you need in the future to pay for your website?
  3. Have you studied how your website visitors navigate and use your current website? Do you have Google analytics, heat maps or any other data?
  4. Do you sell products on your website or would you like to? If so, how many products do you sell (SKUs)?
  5. Do you have product information (photos, descriptions, sizes, SKUs, etc.) prepared in a database suitable for uploading to a website?
  6. Have you established a payment portal or resource for processing online payments?
  7. Have you established return processes, policies, refund statements and shipping resources?
  8. Do you have a budget in mind or would it be more beneficial to establish a return on investment (ROI) budget?
Brand and Design Elements
  1. Do you have a design in mind or an established brand, brand standards or color palette?
  2. Have you identified other websites (within or outside your industry) that you admire or would like to emulate?
  3. Are you familiar with mobile-first design (responsive) and do you know how much of your current website traffic comes from mobile devices?
  4. Do you have photography and video already prepared for website use? Are you opposed to supplementing your photography with stock photography? Do you have trademark releases for any photos or videos you currently use?
  5. Are your current logos and icons designed with web-first best practices? Do you have the source file for your logos and icons?
  6. Do you consider this a rebranding project?
  7. Do you have design resources and are they website-trained designers or graphic designers?
  8. Do you need or want consultation on user-experience (UX) and the latest website design best practices?
Technical Aspects
  1. Where is your current website hosted, and is it on a secure server? Is it a shared server?
  2. Do you have access to your website’s control panel?
  3. If your current website is built on WordPress or a similar CMS, is it regularly updated for technical compliance?
  4. How often do you add new content or make changes to your current website? What is involved in that process?
  5. How often is your current website down or exhibiting problems? What process do you use to identify technical problems?
  6. If an e-commerce website, are you or visitors experiencing any issues with the buying process?
  7. Are there major elements or functions you know of that you wish to be added to your site?
Size & Content
  1. Do you know how many pages are on your current site and how many your new site will include?
  2. Is the content on your current site relatively up to date? Do you expect site copy to be fully re-written or only edited?
  3. Do you currently have a copywriter or someone responsible for writing your content?
  4. Was your current site content written and optimized for search marketing?
Search Marketing
  1. Do you currently invest in organic or paid search marketing to drive website traffic?
  2. If you do have paid or organic search marketing in place, is your data or dashboard available to view?
  3. Do you know the technical strength of your website regarding search marketing?
  4. Have you created specific landing pages to support paid search programs?
  5. Is new content optimized before it’s added to your current website?
  6. Is your search marketing, either paid or organic, performed in-house or by an outside provider?
Social Media
  1. What social media accounts do you currently have? To what extent do they contribute to your marketing?
  2. Do you need new social media accounts established to coincide with your new website?
Reporting
  1. Do you currently receive monthly analytics, heat map reports, UX reports, lead generation reports or uptime data?
  2. Are there any reporting systems you would like integrated with your new website?
Budget & Timeline
  1. Do you have a due date for establishing your new website, an upcoming event or need to meet a specific timeline?
  2. Do you have a need to pace your website project for budget or cashflow purposes? If so, over what period of time?
  3. How soon would you and/or your staff, who will provide critical input for your new site be available to work on this project?
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