Questions to answer before designing your website:

Whether you are creating a new website from scratch or remodeling an old one, you need to have a clear vision of what you want in a website. This questionnaire will help you clarify your thoughts so that we can create the best website for your business. Complete it as best you can. If a question does not apply, just skip it. The more effort you put into this exercise, the happier you will be with the finished product.
1. What is the purpose of your web site? For example: ·
    * A Brochure Site (a site that contains brief introduction to your company)
* An Informational site (a site that provides information about your topic and about your company)
* An Entertaining Site (a site that draws visitors through entertainment while still providing information about you)
* A Community Site (a site that builds a community)
* An E-commerce Site (a site that sells items directly or through affiliate links)
2. Here are some common reasons for building a site. Rank them in order of importance to you. Do you have a reason that is not listed?
    _____To provide customer service.
_____To sell a product. (E-commerce)
_____To build familiarity.
_____To provide general and/or product information.
_____To build customer loyalty.
_____To make an announcement.
_____Show my business in a favorable light
_____Develop a list of qualified prospects
_____Encourage clients/customers to contact us
_____Make money
_____Name branding
_____Stake my place on the web
3. What are your goals in having a site? List both short term and long-term goals. Define the criteria that will determine if the web site is a success.
4. Write a short description of your business. Clearly and concisely describe what you offer, to whom you offer it and why they should choose you. What does your company do? What are the features of your products and/or services? Is the company local, regional, national or international? What areas do you want to specifically appeal to?
5. Who is your target market? Be specific. This will help you determine which site style will appeal to most of your visitors.
6. What is your marketing battle plan? Circle any of the following terms that apply to your vision of your site. Do you have design elements in mind that portray these terms to you and your visitors?
    informative, lucrative, attractive, serene, honest, mature, family, scholarly, educational, useful, popular, clean, colorful, whimsical, humorous, serious, profitable, unusual, cozy, clear-cut, warm/fuzzy, warm, supportive, innovative, fast- moving
7. What is the most important message you wish to convey to your visitors?
8. If you want an E-commerce site, what type of e-commerce solution do you require?
   1. Flat file page, non-interactive. Visitors must print and fax order or phone order in.
2. Single page secure order form that sends each order as an e-mail.
3. Multi-page secure order form with shopping cart, visitors can pick products while continuing to look at the site, change their order, preview order and submit on-line. Order sent as e-mail or downloaded via FTP from the server.
4. Full e-commerce shopping cart with automated real time credit card processing, integrated with backend database.
9. List all of the methods for payment options (money order, check, internet check, various credit cards, etc.) you will accept.
10. Do your customers have buying seasons? Does the site need to be changed for each season? What will you do to entice shoppers in the off seasons?
11. Do you have a brick and mortar or other off-web location or contact point (like a mail order catalog)? How do you see the web site and off-line business working together? How will you integrate the web site into the business on a daily basis?
12. Who are your competitors? List some of your competitors web site URLs.
13. What do you like about your competitors websites? What do you dislike?
14. What makes you better than your competition? Why should someone use your site or purchase from you instead of them? What unique content do you provide that other sites do not? How can you add value to your products and services? (free bonuses, lifetime warranty, free shipping and handling, free upgrades, etc.)
15. If you do not already have a domain name, be sure to choose one with your most important keyword in the URL. Your domain name should be easily identifiable and easy to explain over the phone and print on a business card.
16. Have you thought of a slogan or catch phrase for your business?
17. Do you have a Logo? This is important for branding purposes. Do you have company colors? Your company logo and colors as well as the website URL and your slogan should be used on every bit of information relating to your company.
18. A well laid out site has no more than 6 to 8 topic links to interior pages on the main page. The following are typical pages and included information. Cross off anything you feel does not fit your vision of your site.
* Home Page – do you want a splash page?
* Products and/or Services. Links on this page might be:
o Product Description/specifications / demos/samples
o Order Form
o Catalogs
o Prices
o Testimonials/ Galleries or reviews
o Shipping Information
* Purchasing/ Shopping Cart/Dealer List
* Product features & benefits. Tips and Tricks
* Parts list, schematics, assembly instructions
* Warranty & Return Policy
* Informational Pages
* Guest Book
* About Us/Contact Us
* Privacy Policy
* Free stuff – screensavers, wallpaper, contests, polls. referral form (Giving your visitor a reason to return.)
* News and Events or other regional information
* Glossary of terms or Interesting Facts
* Articles/newsletter
* Links
* Customer Service
* Book Store
19. How can your visitor contact you? How to you plan to encourage feedback? Do you want to use a survey form to gather information from your customers or visitors? If so what questions would you like to ask and can you offer something in return for filling out the form (a free report, discount, etc.)?
20. Do you have an existing web site? What do you like about it? What do you dislike?
21. List any related web sites that provide services or information useful to your target audience. Reciprocal links with these sites will be beneficial to both your customers and your ranking in the search engine.
22. Do you need domain registration and/or an ISP to host the site? What level of hosting will be required? What is your budget for the completion of the web site and yearly maintenance?  If you do not already have a domain name, be sure to choose one with your most important keyword in the  Your domain name should be easily identifiable and easy to explain over the phone and print on a business card.
23. Do you have any custom graphic needs or will you be able to supply all of the images required?
24. What types of components other than still photos and text do you want to include (e-commerce, affiliate programs, virtual reality images, java applets, backend database integration, survey forms, feedback forms, opt-in newsletter management, referral forms, etc.)? What type of opt-in mail gathering do you want to use?
25. What type of security is required for the web site? Will there be sensitive files that need to be protected? Do you need a password protected area for dealers, members and/or downloads? Do you need any digital delivery systems to individually password protect each customers download?
26. Please list and gather any existing materials and information that will help design your site. Here are some examples. Feel free to add any special needs or components required that are not listed.
 1. Photos (prints, slides, negatives)
2. Text
3. Brochures
4. Business cards
5. Flyers
6. Product shots
7. Product samples
8. Press releases
9. Price and part lists
10. Frequently Asked Questions
11. Shipping and handling charges and constraints
12. Warranty policy
13. Privacy policy
14. Return policy
15. Guarantees
16. Testimonials and/or endorsements
17. Credits
18. Bios
19. History
20. Education/Certifications/Awards
21. Case studies
22. Photos of yourself, staff and location
23. Transcripts of interviews
24. Industry recognition
25. Map and directions from major airports, recommended places to stay nearby (if people visit your location)
27. By now, you should have a clear picture of your website and your customers in mind. Please indicate your top 10 keywords and your top 10 keyword phrases. These keywords and phrases are the words search engine