Starting a new custom web design project and unsure where to start? Are you needing a little guidance on what you should be looking for in a new website design since there is a lot to review? Does the project almost feel a little overwhelming? These are all totally normal feelings for the beginning of a new custom web design project and we are here to help and make it easier on you. Here are 11 important questions to ask yourself and your team before you begin the process.

Custom Web Design: Where to begin?

1) Who is your main target audience and how do they find you?
When creating a new custom website design or even adding updates to the site you have to ask yourself who is your main target audience. If you don’t know who they are you need to ask your marketing team who they are. Knowing your audience will help create better menus on the site, more useful categories, and ads that target the right demographics. If you don’t know, you probably won’t increase traffic or complete goals for your company/website.

2) How frequently do you update your website design?
Are you not updating your website design? Are you adding new products to your eCommerce site? How often are you updating it? The truth is your marketing team should be enhancing/updating your website once a week, whether this is tweaking content, adding in SEO, creating new landing pages, adding blogs, adding products, and more. New content means more traffic, updating, and adding content is great for Google analytics. If it is very little that needs to be done, it’s time to sit down with your team and figure out how you can improve upon it.

3) What do you want to accomplish with your website design? What is your end goal?
Are you trying to increase traffic? Feature new pages? Create more orders? Turn more users into sales? To target the best strategies you need to know what it is. It is hard to create a design and target marketing without an end goal in mind. If you don’t know what it is, I would pause on redesigning your website.

4) Do you have a favorite website? Why?
Have you looked into what you want for your new custom website design? Are there things you like from these websites? Even if you aren't an eCommerce site and you have favorites that are, save those too or vice versa. The more your team knows the easier it’ll be able to create a website you love. Bring your website design ideas to your creative meeting for a jumping-off point even if it is something small or is outside of your industry.

5) What type of content is on your website?

Are you trying to layout more of a portfolio website or is it more informational-based? Maybe it’s mostly products/sale based? Is it eCommerce? The more you know about the content on your website the easier it’ll be.

6) What are the main strengths of your website? Do you need help finding them?
What is your website and company good at? Is it pointing towards your target audience? If you don’t know talk with your web design team or web design agency, they’ll help find what your website is doing well.

7) What are some weaknesses of your website? How can you improve upon them?
This goes along with question 6, but the opposite. Finding out your weaknesses early can help fix them and alleviate the problems to keep your custom web design moving forward and on track.

8) Who is your main competition?
Are you comparing your strategies to them? What are they doing well? What aren’t they doing well? How should you create your competitive strategy? Competition is everything in the web design industry and knowing who your competition is will only make your website and analytics stronger.

9) What assets and materials do you have for your website?

Think about number 5 and apply this. From there, think is this enough information for your new website design? Do we have enough photos, posts, content? Do you need to remove items from the website? What are your key points? Review it with your team and figure out what you need. You may consider hiring a photographer or content-writer to start fresh for your new custom website design.

10) Who will be in charge of your project? How will you divide up the work?

You know the old saying, "sometimes there are too many cooks in the kitchen." This can apply to a custom web design project too by knowing who your team lead will be on the website and organize the tasks accordingly. You don’t want so many opinions from so many people that nothing gets done or contradictory opinions get in the way of the goal. Remember the more groups and individuals making decisions the longer a process takes. Ask yourself do you need all of these opinions and if you do how will you organize all of them to stay on track. Work with your custom web design team and also ask who your main point of contact is there. They should let you know the moment you sign a contract who your point person is.

11) How much are you willing to spend?

Depending on how much you can spend, it will help you find out what’s most important for your custom website design. Even if you have a large budget remember to prioritize the important items for your eCommerce or non-eCommerce website.

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