We receive many inquiries from potential clients giving us a 2 line description of what they want in a website and asking for a ballpark quote.
These inquiries often freeze up in the process once we start asking some clarifying questions as so many plans are not thought out past the idea stage. This can cause paralysis as potential clients realize there is more effort involved in putting together a website than they intended, and as such they move on to situations where less questions are asked, but they end up paying much more in the long run that necessary.
Website planning is a necessary evil
Website planning can feel painful as people tend to want to get to the site building part, and planning can seem to be too much. If you fail to make a plan when building your site, you may have expectations in your head that your web designer/developer is unaware of and when they don’t deliver what you might have thought of as obvious, you end up feeling disappointed. Website planning ensures that everyone is on the same page as to what is being priced and that expectations are met and there are no surprise cost changes.
Long Term plans are important
Knowing the long term plan for the site, or the goals can help your web developer make the proper suggestions for design features, and functionality. If you have plans to compete with a specific competitor or industry, you will want to include that information in your initial planning to make sure that SEO requirements, and functionality features are in place from the beginning. In some cases, it might make sense to even have a long term phased in plan. After all, if the site you’re competing with has a million dollar budget, and you don’t have access to that type of capital, things have to be planned to stay within your means so you have a realistic plan of attack.
Website Planning Requirements
Some sample requirements for website planning are:
- If you are revamping an existing site, what type of visitor count do have?
- Will you be editing your site yourself?
- Do you need multiple languages
- Are you competing against a specific competitor, if so, who is it?
- Do you need e-commerce capabilities?
- Do you have a branding guide that you need applied to your site?
- Do you need any 3rd party integrations?
- Do you need any custom routing for your contact form
- Does the mobile version of your site need any special features?
- How do you want to track engagement?
- Any many more…
Websites are all business
Whether your mission is to educate consumers, or to sell them a service or product, websites are about business. As such, your website plan should be like a business plan. Not only planning what look and features you want in the website, but also a plan on what results you want, and how you want to track the progress. The progress you’re looking for could be number of calls, website contacts, or purchases. No matter what the case, you will want to track engagement, and make sure you are getting a return on your website investment.
JSWeb cares about the end result
While we know that we can develop websites all day just putting together basic websites and turning clients lose, we prefer to actually help clients get results. This includes active feedback based on our experience, and ongoing analysis to help improve the results you’re looking for.
Websites are an investment and they should be treated as such. If you’re looking for results from your website build, get in touch!