With a project as complex and important as your businesses website it can be difficult to have an effective idea of what you may need to talk about with your web developer. How can you maximise the value you get from talking to them? Having selected the right developer for your needs, a good web developer will be able to guide the conversation to some degree. But to really make effective progress you need to have a clear idea of what you need, from a business perspective, before you sit down with them. No one knows your business better than you, so it’s key you’ve got a handle on factors such as the ones below.
Who is your website for?
The obvious answer to this is “customers”. However consider an engineering firm for example. They may need one section of the site for end user customer information and another part of the site for technical engineering departments. It is unlikely that both groups will have the same needs. How can you best serve each group? Getting to the bottom of this will mean your developer can start to picture how your site may be organised and some of the features it will need.
What will your website do?
It sounds like an obvious question, so obvious that many people simply assume the answer will fall into place. In fact this question belies many complexities and can, if incorrectly assessed, start your project off on the wrong track. Perhaps the best way to begin looking at this is to find a site (or multiple sites) that encapsulates many of the features you think you will need. In conversations with your developer, showing may be better than telling.
What are your future plans?
It’s often a lot easier for a developer to build in dormant functionality at the start than add it in later. For this to work you need to do some crystal ball gazing and think about aspects of your site that you may need in the future. Perhaps your site will start off free, but you’ll build in pay-wall content later? Maybe you’ll need a shop in a few years’ time? In addition to making sure new features are ready when you need them this approach may well save you time. For example you might spend a long time entering in product information, only to discover in a few years’ time that you have to enter it in again in another format for an online shop database. If the developer had laid the foundations of that shop at the start, you’d only enter the data in once.
While it’s impossible to foresee all possible requirements it’s worth sitting down, before you speak to a developer, to have a deep think about these questions.
I enjoy getting to the bottom of what a client really needs and it’s satisfying when they see their dream websites come to life. Why not get in contact and start a conversation that could lead to your perfect website.