Most businesses need a website. In 2016, when the average Seattleite actually researches brick and mortar stores from their phone while standing outside the door, that is an undisputed fact. But, bridging the gap between “I need a website” and “I need this website” is a huge step for most small business owners, and that’s logical, especially considering that you’re probably not an expert in web design and development. But what do you need?
You can use these five basic questions to get a better idea of what you want, what you need, and what you can afford. You can ask your Seattle web designer to help.
- What Features Do You Need?– Not everyone will know the answer to this question, and that’s okay. You can have a meeting with a Seattle web designer who can walk you through different features and why you should have them. You can also start looking at competitor websites and deciding what they have, what you need, and why you need it. It’s always a good idea to make three lists of features, one of features that you absolutely need now, one of things that you might need later, and one of things that would be nice to have. This will be very useful when it comes time to budget, because if some things don’t quite fall into your budget, you know that you can cut them out.
- How Much Do You Know (Or Are You Willing To Learn) About Website Technology? – If you’re willing to handle hosting, security, website monitoring, and a bit of code every now and then, then you won’t need long-term website management. You also might work well with simple websites like WordPress or Joomla, which you can set up and install yourself after someone else designs the theme for you. This can save you a lot, if you have the time and skill to make up for it.
- How Do You Want to Manage Your Website? – Do you want full control of everything or do you prefer that someone else comes in and handles it for you so that you don’t have to worry about accidentally deleting everything? Both have their pros and cons, but most business owners want at least some level of control. That means using a CMS (Content Management System). You can use an existing one like WordPress, Joomla, or Drupal, or have a web developer design you one from scratch.
- What Kind of Content Do You Want On Your Site? – If you want a one page website, you’re looking at significantly less issues than you are if you’re hoping to build a restaurant website with interactive menus. Content will affect costs, development time, and the CMS you should use.
- What is Your Realistic 1 Year Budget For Your Site? – It is important to understand that normal website costs extend well beyond development. You should consider costs of hosting, security, monthly maintenance, updates, debugging, adding new features/tools, etc. as part of your costs. Set a yearly budget that you can afford, and plan accordingly.
Working with a web designer means that you will have someone to walk you through your needs, options, and choices, but it’s always a good idea to do some research yourself so that you know what you want and how to get it. If you’re ready to get started with your website, contact Rory Martin at 206.355.0894 for a free consultation and quote.