I chat with web design clients all the time about their website projects. We talk about website goals, budgets, features, competitors, and technology. Looking back at my conversations there are a few questions I wish potential clients would ask themselves before contacting me. By looking at these 5 simple questions, you can save a lot of initial back and forth time with any potential designer you might hire.
#1 – What is my budget for this work?
This is the first question you always need to ask yourself before contact a designer. Every request I receive sounds something like this:
“Hi, I like your work. We are looking to hire a designer for a website. Could you send me your rates?”
While this might appear to be a simple request, designers really need to know what we have to work with. If I simply fire back an email that says, my rates start at $50 an hour, you really have no idea how much the final project will cost.
Now, let’s look at the same request with a budget already set:
“Hi, I like your work. We are looking to hire a designer for a website and we have about $2000 to spend. Is this something you would be interested in?”
To a designer there are few great things about this request. First, I know how much you’re willing to invest in a website. Second, it tells me that you have put thought into what you are looking for.
But I don’t know how much web design costs!
Look, your budget is your budget. Getting an hourly quote from someone or a range of prices has little to do with setting your budget. Do everyone a favor and ask yourself: How much can we spend on this design project?
#2 – What styles of design do I like?
This is important before contacting a designer. Spend some time researching different examples of websites you like. You can view some great church website designs here. Knowing what type of style you are looking for goes a long way in helping your designer figure out if they are a good fit for you.
A few more places to look for design styles:
#3 – Who am I trying to reach?
What is your target audience? Who, specifically, are you trying to reach? This is important to know as a designer. Our design might change if your main audience is 50 year-old church ladies, or if it is a website for your youth department. Here are a few things you should write down:
- What is the age range?
- Are they primarily male or female?
- Is there a specific geographic location?
- Education level?
#4 – What is my mission or goal?
This is your purpose for having a website. Are you writing blog posts about theology or focused on raising money for a mission? Your designer will want to know that you have put time into developing a goal for your site. This helps the designer focus on creating a website that will help meet your goals.
#5 – Who are my competitors?
Competitors might be a dirty word in the church marketing world. But who are the other people in your area doing what your doing? This is important to see what is already being done and what would give your site a competitive advantage. Take some time a jot down these types of things:
- What are they doing well?
- How can they make their site better?
- What does their site lack?
- What are they not doing?