John's Digital WastelandWeb Development--

Web Development


These questions help me better understand what my clients are attempting to accomplish with a new website. There are so many different purposes for a website that it is hard to just sit down and start designing something without knowing the vision that the customer has for the site. Without working together, it is very easy to build something that the client doesn't like or will not want to put on the Internet.

Basic Questions
  • Approximately how many pages will be in the entire website?
  • How many different sections will be in the website? (eg: book, music, movies, and electronics)
  • When do you want your new website to go live?
Web Hosting
  • Do you already have web hosting established?
  • Who is your current web hosting provider?
  • Do you have a domain name? If not, do you want one?
  • If you already have established web hosting, how much space do you have for the website?
  • Does your current web hosting provider provide you with access to things like Perl, PHP or MySQL? (If you don't know, please provide me with a way to contact them so that I can ask.)
Current Website
  • What is the web address of your current website?
  • What do you like about your currently website?
  • What do you dislike about your current website?
  • What two things would you most like to change about your website?
  • If you know, what have past visitors said about your current site?
  • Do you have any established branding or logos that you would like to keep intact in the new website?
  • In a few sentences, describe your target audience.
  • How do people find out about your website?
  • What do you want visitors to be able to accomplish at your site?
  • What do you think your visitors will want to see at your site?
  • Are your visitors high-tech, low-tech or a little of both?
Purpose of Site
  • What goals do you want to accomplish with your website?
  • What message do you want to send out to your visitors?
  • Will you be marketing or selling a product or service?
  • Will you be promoting an organization?
  • Will you be providing information for your visitors? Is this information vital, useful, educational, trivia or news?
  • Will this site be personal, professional, scientific, technical or some combination of these?
  • Please describe your organization, products, person, or ideas that will be displayed on the website.
Design and Style
  • What colors and/or patterns would you like to see used on the site?
  • Do you want the designed based off of a person, place, object, event, painting, etc? If so, do you have something in mind?
  • What mood do you wish to convey? (Professional, somber, joyous, patriotic, relaxed, excited, etc?)
  • How dense to you want each page to be? The more dense the pages are, the less clicks the visitor has to use to "hear" what you have to say, but the more heavily loaded each page is.
  • Do you want streaming video or video clips on the site?
  • Do you want Adobe Flash or Shockwave on the site?
  • Approximately how many images or photographs will be on your website?
  • Where will the content of the site (text, images and other elements) come from?
  • If the content comes from a copy written source, do you have permission to use the information and images contained in that source?
  • Do you want blind people to be able to easily navigate and use your site?
  • Do you want people that are limited to "text only" web browsers to be able to you easily use your site?
  • Do you wish to use frames? (Example of Frames) This allows for advanced navigation and other design elements, but can limit some people from viewing the site properly.
  • Will visitors being using wireless devices to view the site? Wireless devices includes hand helds and web-enabled cell phones.
If you have more than four pages, I highly suggest using some form of navigation bar or menu system. Navigation can include any of the following elements:
  • Do you want the navigation to be visible on all pages?
  • Do you a navigation bar on the top, left, or right?
  • Do you want the navigation bar to look different in different sections of your website?
  • Do you want the navigation bar to "interact" with the mouse movements of the visitor?
  • Do you want to make use of "bread crumbs" on your site? Example of bread crumbs
Traffic Monitoring
  • Do you want to have a system of tracking which "path" your visitors take through your site?
  • Do you want to enable a method of counting the number of times a page has been viewed?
Search Engines
  • Are you currently listed on any search engines?
  • Are you happy with search results that include your website?
  • Do you want me to add you to search engines or attempt to improve where you are displayed in search results?
  • Are there any specific search engines or websites that you want to be added to?
Other Websites
  • Are there any websites on the Internet that have caught your eye? What are they?
  • Any sites that have impressed you with their style and functionality? What are they?
  • What are the websites of your main competitors or people that are vying for a similar audience?
Future Considerations
  • How often will you be changing or adding to the content on the website?
  • How often will you want a total redesign of the website?
  • Do you want the site designed so that you can update the content of the website in the future?
Advanced Development
  • Do you need a shopping cart? (If yes, a whole other series of questions will be asked.)
  • Do you want your visitors to be able to send you messages via the website? These messages can be feedback, a guest book, questions or inquiries into your product, service, or organization.
  • Do you want a message board on your website so that visitors can communicate with each other?
  • Do you want a search engine on your website so that visitors can search for content on your site?