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What to
before you

get a new

Are you looking into getting a new website?

Here are 9 things to consider before you start the process.

Mistakes I made when I was a customer showed me that there are specific things to consider BEFORE you start the process of having a new website built. 

Take the time to consider and develop a response for each point. It's ok if you don't have all the answers. Because, you'll know what you don't know and when you meet with the people you will hire, they can help you find the answers.

Having a clear understanding of what you want and what you expect will help you to:

  • stay on track toward your goals

  • give direction to those doing the work

  • make the workflow more efficient

  • select the right tools to meet your needs 

  • keep the project on time and on budget


The Nitty Gritty

1. Why do you want a new website?
  • What is the main reason you decided to do this?

  • Is a new website actually necessary? Would it be easier to fix your current website?

  • Are you ready for a website - the key marketing strategy for your business or project - or is it too soon and it would it be best to wait until after other things are achieved?

Identify the specific things that are lacking with your current situation and why you need/want to change that.

2. What is the purpose of the site?
  • What business goals will this website help you achieve?

  • Who will be using the site? Who is your current customer? What new customers do you want to attract?

  • What do you want visitors to do when they are on your website?

    • Contact you?
    • Purchase something?

    • Learn about something?

    • Connect with other people?

    • Register for an event, class, reservation, appointent, etc?

    • Show off your work?

You can have several intended actions. The important thing is to be clear about what they are.

3. What is your budget?
  • What is the maximum amount you can spend?

  • Does your budget include:

    • domain purchase?

    • the right level of hosting to meet your needs?

    • self-design or hiring a designer/developer?

    • transferring data from your current site?

    • on-going maintenance?

    • SEO / online marketing?

    • graphic design?

    • content writing?

    • photography?

  • Are expectations for functionality aligned with your budget? Or might you have caviar dreams on a McD’s budget? If your vision for the website does not align with your budget, are you able to secure more money to get what you want? Or, are you willing to adjust the vision for the site to match what you can afford?

Why are you building a new website?
What is the purpose for the site?
What is your budget?

The Fun Stuff

4. What look & feel do you want?
  • Can you provide examples of websites that have a design style that you like?

  • What about examples of specific functionality you would like to see on your site?

  • Is there an aesthetic you are looking to achieve?

  • Do you have Brand Guidelines to work with?

  • Does this aesthetic match your visual brand?

  • What feelings do you want your site to evoke with visitors?

  • What is your brand voice? Playful or serious, modern or vintage, etc.?

It is help to have a sense of what look you are going for, as well as knowing what functionality you must have, what functionality would be cool to have, and what functionality you could do without.

5. What existing content do you have?
  • Do you have a strategic plan to work within?

  • Do you have written descriptions of services, a  bio, etc? 

  • Do you need ideas on compelling content?

  • Do you have a logo or graphics you need to incorporate?

  • Do you have a library of images that either you own or for which you are licensed to use?

  • Are your photos formatted to the correct size, compressed, and named for SEO?

  • Do you need help finding great photos to use?

  • What are the most important messages you want visitors to see?

  • If you have more than one action you want customers to do (question 2, above), can you prioritize them?


Make a list of the resources you have and what you need. Have the actual resources (digital files) compiled and ready to share when you choose your website designer. ​

What look and feel do yo want?
What existing content do you have?