100+ questions you must ask when developing a website

100+ questions you must ask when developing a website

When today’s customers are looking for solutions to their problems or for a specific product, they turn to the internet. That makes your website the first thing many of your prospects encounter. Your website is the storefront, the information desk and the 800 number. All of the ways potential customers used to find your business and buy your products were replaced by your website.

When you are designing or re-designing your website, there are two primary goals you need to consider:

  • Making sure prospects can find your website.
  • The customer experience you provide once prospects find the site.

Customer still primarily use search engines to find products, services and vendors.

Dig deeper: How to increase website engagement with content recommendations

Making a website site search engine friendly shouldn’t be done after the site is designed; it should be done while the site is being designed. It’s the developer’s job. They are coding the damn thing, so for the love of HTML (and all other web programming languages), do it right!

The customer comes first

Today’s customers crave experiences. In some cases, the experiences they crave are grand, once-in-a–lifetime events. But many more of the experiences they crave are simple. They want to easily find product pricing, get answers to their questions and understand product specifications and other details.

Increasingly, they want easy interactions via chat or an email address that offers a prompt response. Once customers make up their mind, they want a simple checkout process with different payment options. They also want simple returns for products.

This information should all be available to site visitors in different formats. Many consumers, especially when using a mobile device, are preferring video. They also expect your website to work seamlessly regardless of the device used to access it, PC, phone or tablet.

The ability to easily find information and carry out these tasks are at the core of the customer experience.

Below we created a list of questions (more than 100!) that web developers can use to determine the scope of any new web development project. By thinking through these answers early, scope creep is kept to a minimum and ensures that the client’s final product is exactly what they want.

These questions allow website developers to do the following:

  • Get a good understanding of the business, who their audience is and what the client is looking for;
  • Produce a quote that is as accurate as possible to the client’s needs and produce a website that meets their expectations; and
  • Build a site that customers can find, with a positive experience for the customers, while staying true to the business’s core principles and vision.

100+ questions every web developer should ask before they provide a web design quote

Background information

  1. Describe your target audience.
  2. What is the purpose of the website?
  3. What are your corporate core values and how do you express them to your visitors?
  4. What makes you different from your competitors?
  5. Why should people do business with you rather than your competitors?
  6. Describe the style of the website you want.
  7. Do you have specific company colors that need to be used?
  8. Can you provide the HEX or RGB values for your company colors?
  9. Do you have any other materials that the site needs to match with in some way (brochures, press materials, etc.)?
  10. What do you like most about your current website?
  11. Is there any functionality or options on your current website that you plan to keep (other than the content)?
  12. What are your top three frustrations with your current website?
  13. What do your current competitors’ websites have that you wish to have?
  14. Are there any websites with designs that you like?
  15. What about those websites would you like to be incorporated into your website?
  16. What types of things do you see on other websites that you really like?
  17. What types of things do you see on other websites that you really hate?
  18. Name the three things that are most important in the design of your new website.
  19. Name the three things that are least important in the design of your new website.
  20. Where is your website hosted?
  21. Do you have full access?
  22. Can you provide usernames and passwords?
  23. Who will be involved on your end in the development of the website?
  24. Any other contractors?
  25. Who or how will you be managing website upkeep?
  26. Do you have a budget you are trying to meet?

Dig deeper: Why we care about traditional content management systems, the original no-code tool

Scope and specs

  1. Does your current web host meet all your new website’s needs (space, bandwidth, databases, etc.)?
  2. Do you plan on or need to move to a new host provider?
  3. Do you need help finding the right web host?
  4. Do you already have a domain you plan to use?
  5. If not, do you need help selecting and registering a good domain?
  6. Do you have a logo you plan to use or will one need to be created?
  7. If you have one, can you provide the original artwork files?
  8. Will you need a favicon created?
  9. Do you have a tagline you wish to use or do you need help creating one for your site?
  10. Do you have a completed site architecture for the new website or will this be part of the scope of work?
  11. How many pages will the finished website be (estimated)?
  12. Do you have any page wireframes ready or will those need to be produced as part of the scope of work?
  13. Do you have the content for the website or will content creation be a part of the scope of work?
  14. How many pages of content will need to be developed?
  15. Will there be any cross-promotion of content within the site?
  16. Please provide details on content cross-promotion.
  17. Will we be importing and formatting your content, or do you plan to do this?
  18. Do you or your team need training for making website updates, content publishing guidelines, etc.?
  19. What types of actions do you want your visitors to take on your website?
  20. Do you have any specific photos you plan to use?
  21. Do you have full rights to those files?
  22. Can you provide hi-res files to us?
  23. Will we need to find and/or create any images for the website?
  24. Will video or audio be a part of the new website?
  25. Can you provide us with the proper files or is creation of this content part of the scope of work?
  26. How many videos or audio files will be added and/or created?
  27. Will any customizations need to be made such as optimizing for search, adding content overlays, customized wrappers, etc?
  28. Do you require online chat features?
  29. Do you have any other media or PDF documents that need to be incorporated, or will any need to be created?
  30. Will these need to be optimized for search?
  31. Will your visitors require any special needs (i.e., screen reader ready, larger fonts)?
  32. Do you have specific requirements for different viewports (mobile/tablet/desktop)?
  33. Do you need multi-language support?
  34. Will you need a shopping cart system for ecommerce?
  35. Do you have a system you already use?
  36. Are you in need of an upgrade?
  37. Do you need a content management system?
  38. Do you have a preference for which CMS to use? (i.e., WordPress, Hubspot, WooCommerce, Drupal, Wix, Shopify, BigCommerce, etc.)
  39. If not, do you need help selecting the best CMS for your needs?
  40. Will you need multiple levels of access?
  41. What are the different actor roles involved in your site (external user, staff user, etc.)?
  42. What are some example use cases for each actor role?
  43. Do you need to be able to manage content publishing approval processes?
  44. Does your site need a blog or a forum?
  45. Will users need to log in to your site for any reason?
  46. If so, why?
  47. Do you need any password-protected areas?
  48. What kind of content will be put behind password-protected areas?
  49. How many web forms does your new site need?
  50. What is the purpose of each?
  51. How do you want the submitted info handled? (email, database, etc.)
  52. Do you need any social sharing features built in (tweet, like, share, etc.)?
  53. Will there be any third-party applications that will need to be integrated?
  54. What are they?
  55. Will you need an events calendar feature?
  56. Do you have any subscription services?
  57. Do you use a third party for any part of subscription content delivery and/or payment?
  58. Do you require printer-friendly options?
  59. Do you wish to employ any “content-on-demand” features (i.e., hidden elements that are made visible with certain actions)?
  60. What information must be on the home page?
  61. What information must always be visible?
  62. What features, sections or information do you want emphasized on the site?
  63. How would you like that to be featured?
  64. Will different sections of your site require different designs, layouts or coloring?
  65. Will those be provided or do they need to be created?
  66. Do you need an internal site search feature?
  67. Do you want contact phone numbers prominently displayed?
  68. Do you require a database?
  69. What specific functionality will it need?
  70. If you’re offering advertising on the site, how should that be implemented?
  71. Do you use web analytics software?
  72. Can you provide us with access?
  73. How much traffic do you experience now?
  74. How much traffic are you anticipating?
  75. Do you have any other specifications or need specific functionality that has not been addressed?
  76. What is your time frame for total project completion?
  77. Will you be looking for keyword optimization beyond the design/development scope?
  78. Which payment options should be available to customers?
  79. Do you need to store any customer information, such as payment details, shipping address, etc.?
  80. Will you be A/B testing landing pages, product pages, etc.?

Dig deeper: Accessibility matters: Strategies for building an inclusive brand

Avoid the cost of scope creep and post-development fixes

Web developers will tell you the most difficult web development projects are those that end up with runaway scope creep. That happens when the business team doesn’t really know what they want and they keep adding to the project as it moves forward.

When your developer poses these questions up front, it helps you carefully think through all of the things you need in advance, eliminating scope creep almost entirely. And, because marketing is baked right into the development process, there’s no need to hire a whole new agency to “fix” all the marketing-related blunders perpetrated by the original designer.


Contributing authors are invited to create content for MarTech and are chosen for their expertise and contribution to the martech community. Our contributors work under the oversight of the editorial staff and contributions are checked for quality and relevance to our readers. The opinions they express are their own.

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About the author

Stoney deGeyter


Stoney deGeyter is president of Pole Position Marketing, a leading online marketing strategy company established in 1998 and currently based in Canton, Ohio.

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