15 questions you should ask clients before starting a web design project

Before starting a web design project, your team and clients must have the same vision of the final product. A comprehensive web design questionnaire will help you better understand your client’s needs and wants and allow you to create a website that perfectly suits their business. Gathering as much information as possible during the consultation call will help you avoid any potential headaches down the road and improve customer satisfaction. Another powerful way you can utilize the client questionnaire is to learn more about their current website, which will help you make necessary changes and improvements. And asking the right web design questions during client calls can also help you set realistic deadlines and make a more accurate web design proposal. During years of building websites for various types of businesses, our web design agency in Chicago crafted a detailed client website design questionnaire that we now use as the foundation for success. Keep reading to learn more about web design questions for clients you should ask during consultation calls before every web design project and why they are important.

questions you should ask clients before starting a web design project
Questions you should ask clients

Describe Your Business

Before you get into more technical details, asking your clients to describe their business in their own words is a good idea. That will allow you to learn as much as possible about their company culture and better understand what they are looking for in a website design project. After all, a website is a reflection of the company it represents, so it is crucial to use web design questionnaires to find out more about:

important business elements
  • Company size
  • Location
  • Years of experience in the industry
  • Their goals and vision
  • Their marketing strategies
  • Competitors

Letting your clients talk about their business is a great way to start a consultation call, as it will allow you to better understand the direction your web design should be heading.

What Makes Your Company Unique?

Since most clients want you to create a website that will help them stand out within their industry, it is essential to use your web design client questionnaire to find out what makes their company unique. Their unique selling proposition could be anything – from free deliveries to fantastic customer support. Letting them tell you more about what separates them from the competition will allow you to base your website design around it and secure high-conversion rates.

Also, make sure to ask clients if they have brand guidelines your team can follow or if they need help creating them. When running a web design company, you need to invest your best efforts to understand clients’ businesses in detail because it is the starting step in building award-winning web designs.

What Are Your Favorite Competitor’s Websites?

No web design client questionnaire is complete without questions about their competition’s websites. Business owners often hire a web design company because they have noticed that their competitor’s websites look much better than their own. Asking clients to tell you about their favorite websites within the industry will give you a much better insight into what they expect from your web design company. 

Of course, you should not copy their competitor’s websites, but find the web design elements that work well and adapt them to your client’s brand identity system. Web design questions for clients should also dive deep into what they dislike about other websites. By learning more about what a client dislikes, you will minimize the chances of misunderstandings.

Do You Want to Build a New Website or Redesign an Existing One?

As soon as the consultation call begins, you need to find out whether the client needs an entirely new website or wants to improve the existing one since the answer to this question will determine the complete approach to the web design project.

Once business owners notice that their website is underperforming, hiring a web design company comes into play. As a web designer, using a website design questionnaire to learn more about the client’s current website is crucial because it helps you understand what areas you need to focus on in order to improve weak aspects while not messing up the good ones. Before starting a redesign project, you should at least ask these web design questions for clients:

  • Why do you think that it is time to redesign your website?
  • What features do you think your website is currently lacking?
  • Do you want us to change your sitemap?
  • Do you like the current mobile version of the website?

Of course, feel free to add other questions to your web design client questionnaire that you believe will make client calls more productive.

Which functions or features does your website need to have?

Planning website features and functions ahead will allow you to save time and money for your clients. As adding features after the website is launched can be time-consuming and more expensive, your web design company needs to ensure that its clients understand that. That’s why you need to ask web design questions for clients to find out:

Do they expect you to implement chat features or even chatbots?

This is one of the web design questions for clients that allows you to learn more about how they plan to handle customer support so you can adjust their website design accordingly.

Do they need an internal search feature?

If their website is content-rich, by implementing the internal search option, your clients can help visitors find desired pages more quickly.

Will they require users to log in before gaining access to the website’s content?

If the answer is positive, you’ll need to learn more about which elements they expect their login page to have.

Will they sell products online?

If the answer is positive, you’ll need to take additional security measures to ensure the safety of their private information and a website’s PCI DSS compliance.

Do they want any unique features their competitors don’t have?

By learning this early on, your team will be able to plan custom feature development on time and avoid missing the deadline.

The goal is to create a list of all the desired features before your team starts building a website, so feel free to expand this list depending on the client’s industry. Once you understand how they expect a website to function, it will be much easier to deliver satisfying results.

Also, you may need to build custom plugins for your clients due to the lack of quality plugins available within a platform. However, to ensure transparency and avoid misunderstandings, you need to explain how implementing all these features will influence the price of their new website.

Who Is Your Target Audience?

All high-converting websites are built with end-users in mind. Your client’s business most likely already has an ideal buyer persona created, and as a web design company – your task is to learn as much as possible about it. When creating a web design questionnaire, feel free to insist on details that could prove vital once you start working on a website design project. Look for relevant information, such as:

presentation during meeting

Demographics:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Location
  • Income
  • Preferred device for accessing the internet

Psychographics:

  • Lifestyle
  • Interests
  • Values
  • Hobbies
  • Online behavior
  • Buying habits

Your goal should also be to find out what website design clients expect visitors to do once they arrive on the website. Do clients want them to complete a purchase? If so – what is the average order size they expect? They might also want visitors to register for an event, fill out a form, feel a specific emotion, and so on. When creating a website checklist, you need to have answers to these questions for every individual page.

The more information you gather by asking web design questions for clients, the easier it will be for you to determine what content is most likely to interest their target audience. That will allow your web design company to craft a website that visitors will enjoy from the login page to the final click on the checkout button.

What Is Your Budget?

Since website costs can vary a lot depending on the complexity of a project, one of the most important web design questions for clients is one about their budget. Learning more about how much money they are ready to invest in a new website will help you create a web design proposal that is within their budget but still meets their needs. During consultation call, it is crucial to be transparent and explain the factors that influence the price of a website design, such as:

  • Number of pages
  • Level of design
  • Underlying platform
  • Website features
  • Maintenance costs
  • Content Management System

Telling clients what to expect for the resources they are ready to invest will prevent any misunderstandings and help you improve customer satisfaction. Also, ask them if there is any room for flexibility when it comes to their budget if your team decides that additional website features could prove beneficial for the client’s business.

What’s the project timeline?

Setting deadlines for website design projects can help you ensure that you are on the same page with the client regarding the expected launch date. That can prevent misunderstandings or delays in the project, which can ultimately lead to a poorer finished product since working under pressure can harm your team’s creativity. Furthermore, reasons for failing to meet the deadline can be difficult to explain to the client, which might even result in them quitting the project. Not meeting the agreed project timeline will most likely harm your web design company’s reputation, and that’s just one of the reasons why managing expectations from the very first consultation call is crucial. 

Asking website design questions that tackle the topic of the expected website launch date will allow you to organize your team better. Keep in mind that in case you are not sure how long it will realistically take to complete a web design project, it is better to under-promise than fail to meet the agreed deadline. 

Do you want to use website builders?

After you get to talk about their budget and desired launch date, utilize your web design client questionnaire to ask if they want you to use website builders to reduce costs and speed up the web design project. You can introduce them to this website-building method by mentioning the most popular drag-n-drop platforms, which include:

  • Elementor
  • Wix
  • Webflow
  • Divi
  • Squarespace

However, try to explain why websites built with Elementor and other page builders might not be a good long-term solution for creating business websites. 

Do you know what platform you want to use for your site?

Before starting a web design project, use your web design questionnaire to determine whether your clients already have a website creation platform they want you to use when building websites for them. That will allow you to plan the web design project and find the best way to utilize a platform of a client’s choice.

It would help if you also told them more about the platform your web design company prefers using. Here at Alpha Efficiency, we love using the Sage WordPress theme as it gives us total control over design and allows us to implement custom code to create fully functional websites for our clients. 

Who will provide content for the website?

Besides quality visuals and great functionality, engaging content that is specifically written with the business’s target audience in mind is another crucial ingredient of every successful website design. When building websites, you need to keep clients’ overall content strategies in mind. Use your website design questionnaire to find out:

  • Does the client want a blog on the website?
  • How many words will their landing pages contain on average?
  • Who will write website content?
  • What content management system do they prefer?

If clients tell us that they don’t have their own team for content writing and copywriting, we offer them our copywriting services in Chicago. Use consultation calls to explain the importance of quality content to your clients and help them understand how it can improve the online visibility of their business.

Are You Interested in Content Marketing Services?

The question of whether clients need content marketing services or not should also be listed in your website design questionnaire. When hiring your web design company, clients might not even be aware that you are providing services related to creating and distributing blog posts, engaging videos, and similar – or that you can run successful PPC campaigns for their business and help them generate more leads. By simply asking this question, you will let clients know that they don’t have to search for other agencies to craft and execute a content marketing strategy for them.

Whether their answer is positive or negative, you should ask if they would like you to implement analytics tools for tracking the content performance within their website.

Do you need hosting?

For various reasons, choosing the right hosting provider is essential for every business website. A good hosting option can help them ensure fast page speeds, sufficient storage space, and additional security features. Use your web design client questionnaire to determine whether the client needs help finding the right hosting solution. During consultation calls, introduce them to the pros and cons of the different hosting options:

modern server room
Shared hosting

Shared hosting is the most budget-friendly option since your clients will be sharing server resources with other websites. However, this type of hosting can cause performance issues if the amount of traffic gets high.

VPS hosting

With a virtual private server hosting option, a client’s website will share a server with fewer other websites. It is a more reliable option than shared hosting and opens more opportunities for customization.

Cloud hosting

The cloud hosting option allows your clients to store their website elements on multiple servers. Besides providing more website uptime and faster page speeds, this option is also more budget-friendly than VPS hosting.

Dedicated hosting

If your clients choose this type of hosting, they will have a dedicated server they won’t need to share with other websites. Unfortunately, this luxury comes at a price, as dedicated hosting is the most expensive option. However, businesses with an enormous amount of monthly website traffic need it, and, in most cases, they don’t have any trouble affording it.

Our web design company generally recommends Google Cloud hosting to its clients since it has proved to be a very reliable and cost-effective option. However, if your client insists on a specific hosting option, you should make their wish come true.

Do you want us to handle maintenance?

Once you launch the client’s website, it will still require regular maintenance and updates. However, not every business owner is aware of this, so by asking specific website design questions, you need to find out whether the client expects you to handle the maintenance. If they are not sure, explain what website maintenance includes and how letting your web design company handle it can benefit their business:

important website maintenance factors
  • Website backups – Explain to clients that storing a copy of their website in a safe place is a good idea in case anything goes wrong. For example, their website might get infected with malware, or hackers might gain access to it and change the content. Regular website backups will allow them to make the website function perfectly much faster.
  • Regular updates – During client calls, explain how having a team of professionals regularly check for new platform and plugin updates can benefit their business. Make sure they understand how hackers can exploit old versions of plugins to attack their websites successfully.
  • Page speed testing – Use your website design questionnaire to let clients know how slow page speeds can cause a poor user experience for their visitors and therefore harm their business. By letting a web design company test and monitor website loading times, clients can focus on other tasks that require completion.
  • Analytics – Let your clients know that your web design company can help them better understand the performance of their website. They should be aware that website analytics can help them identify weak areas of the website that require additional work. Once you analyze the traffic on a client’s website and find underperforming pages, you can make necessary adjustments to maximize business growth. Also, some of the links on a client’s website might become broken, and with someone to conduct a detailed inspection – it will be easier to replace those links before they already do damage.

If your business web design company is not providing maintenance services, let your clients know that hiring another WordPress maintenance company is still better than handling it on their own.

Do you need SEO services?

When running a business web design company, you can expect that some of your clients will have their own SEO team, while others might want you to provide search engine optimization services for them. However, always assume that your clients haven’t explored your web design company website long enough to find out that you are offering SEO services. So use your website design questionnaire to let them know that you can optimize their website to rank higher in Google and other search engines.

When clients tell us they need search engine optimization services, we like to ensure that our SEO agency in Chicago is involved in the website creation process from the very beginning.

Get in touch

We hope these web design questions for clients will serve your business web design company well during long consultation calls and help you get positive feedback upon every project completion. Use our web design questionnaire as a guideline and feel free to expand it with questions you believe could paint an even clearer picture of the client’s needs and wants. Every business is unique, so you’ll need to ask slightly different questions before you start working on a photography website, as opposed to being hired to build a medical web design.

And if you are a business owner looking for a digital marketing agency to help you build a solid online presence – look no further than Alpha Efficiency. Get in touch today, and our team of dedicated experts will start creating a unique marketing strategy based on your goals. And in addition, you will see how we use our web design questionnaire in practice.

Brian Djordjevic
About The Author

Brian Dordevic

Brian is Marketing Strategic Planner with a passion for all things digital. Feel free to follow him on Twitter or schedule a consultation call with him.

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