How To Know You’re Not Ready To Work On Your Website

Every business needs a website, but not every business is ready to work on one. While the designer and developers have the heavy lift of creating the website, it’s up to the business to address the meat of the project, including defining the website’s purpose, audience, and the content that will fill it.

We frequently meet entrepreneurs who have recently formed a new business around a hot idea and are raring to go with a new website. That’s all well and good if they know what they want that website to do (or are at least open to ideas), know who the website is for (you need to know your audience), and have some idea about the content they need to share. When there are no answers to those questions, the projects inevitably stall out as we wait for content and the client makes decisions about how the website fits into their business operations.

To help alleviate such a scenario, we’ve come up with a checklist of things any entrepreneur in any industry needs to have ready to work on a website project.

  1. Clearly define the purpose of the website.

  2. Understand who your audience is.

  3. Determine how your website might facilitate business processes.

  4. Develop content for your website.

Clearly Define the Purpose of the Website

This one should be simple. Is your website meant to be informational? Is it a customer service hub? Is it a store to buy products or schedule a service? Is it a place to tell stories?

Often the answer to that question lie somewhere in between what you anticipate your customers need from you and what you’re capable of providing at the time. Maybe an online store would make sense later when you have more support. Or maybe an online store makes more sense than leasing a brick-and-mortar space of your own.

The answer to this question informs a lot of the work we, your development team, will take on. There is a difference between building a branded blog and an online store, and we need to know that up front or at least very early in the project.

Understand Who Your Audience Is

Understanding your audience is first and foremost good business. It also helps us create a better user experience. When we understand your customer demographic we can do a better job at creating useful navigation structures on desktop and mobile; organizing content into collections; make decisions about color, white space, typography, and stock photography - and so on.

Determine How Your Website Might Facilitate Business Processes

Your future website can do a lot for your business, from qualifying leads to allowing future customers to schedule consultations with you, to hosting a calendar to showcase your events, just to name a few examples. When you’re preparing for a website project, it’s a great time to think about what other aspects of your business could be improved. With tools like Acuity, you can publish events and have clients register for them seamlessly. Or, with a tool like Calendly, you can have customers schedule phone calls with your sales team. These tools can be integrated into your website AND your business. (See our feature index for more ideas.)

Develop Content For Your Website

A lot of clients stumble here and that’s okay. Creating content is difficult and if it’s not your forte than it’s even more difficult. However, without words, images, video, infographics, etc., to place on your website, we can only create a shell. To help you get started with content, we’ve created this handy post full of tips.

How to Know You're Not Ready to Work on Your Website
Web DesignMichael Wagner