11+ Questions To Ask Before Building a Website if You Are a Small Business Owner

Published 21 August, 2023 Updated 27 September, 2023

Building a business website is not a small feat even if you work with a professional web designer. Luckily, you can make the process much smoother by preparing important questions in advance.

11+ Questions To Ask Before Building a Website if You Are a Small Business Owner

You know a website can be a game-changer for your business, and you are ready to create one. However, there are a few crucial questions to ask before building a website and diving into the web design process. 

With careful consideration and planning, you can avoid costly mistakes and establish a powerful online presence that drives growth. So, let’s explore 11 of the most important  questions to ask before embarking on the journey of building a new website. 

1. Do I need a website for my small business?

Before creating a new website, you need to dig deeper and evaluate the importance of having a website for your small business. 

For many small businesses, a website can boost traffic, build credibility and, eventually, drive more sales. Besides, it serves as a communication channel that enables sharing basic information about the brand and showcasing what makes it unique. A professional website can also help support passive income ventures for students and others.

However, as beneficial as a website can be, not every business might require one. Here are the essential questions to ask yourself if you are also wondering if your company or business needs a site.

  • Is my target audience online? Consider whether your target audience actively uses the internet to search for products or services like yours. If your audience is online, having a website can help you reach and engage with it much more effectively.
  • Are my competitors online? Evaluate whether your competitors have websites. If they do and you don’t, you may be at a disadvantage. On the other hand, if they do not, you can distinguish yourself by building a site. Even if it is a single page one.
  • Do I want to expand my customer base? A website can open doors to a broader customer base, allowing you to reach potential customers beyond your local area. So, if you are looking to expand your buyer base, a website can help drive the traffic you are after.
  • Do I want to sell products or services online? If you want to expand your sales beyond physical stores, an ecommerce platform can enable you to sell products or services online.

Although there really aren’t many reasons not to build a business website, make sure you evaluate the potential benefits and opportunities your future website can bring to make an informed decision.

2. Do I have the budget to support a website design process?

Budget is a key factor in the website creation process as it determines the resources available for design, development and ongoing maintenance. It also influences decisions that relate to hiring professionals, including web designers and graphic designers who can handle all web design or graphic design challenges. 

The initial web design cost may eat up your budget, but remember that you must also account for future implementations, updates and upgrades. This is why clearly understanding your budget is essential before starting a project and creating a new website. 

Fortunately, you can grow your brand and build a website even on a tight budget. For example, you can try to build a website yourself using website builders or, better yet, free web design services.

3. Can I create a website myself, or should I hire a professional?

You may be unsure whether you should design your website yourself or hire a professional. In this case, it is important to assess your skills and expertise before making a decision. 

If you want a professional-looking site, hiring an expert may seem like the best option. Of course, a skilled web designer can create a custom website that perfectly embodies your vision. Besides, as the expert works on the site, you have the time to focus on other important tasks that require your attention. 

Needless to say, a strict budget may affect your ability to hire outside help for your new project, so building a site yourself may seem like the only solution. Thankfully, it is not.  

You do not need to compromise and sacrifice a huge money investment to get a professional and unique website. What’s the solution? You can have your website designed for free by trained web design interns. 

4. Who is my target audience and what will I offer them?

You must understand your target audience before kickstarting the website design project. Clarity on who your site is for can influence the design, content and color schemes to ensure that it attracts the right visitors

It’s also important to consider what prospective customers expect from a website like yours. Browsing through competitors’ websites can give you ideas. That way, you can know and implement specific features and functionality to enhance visitors’ user experience and meet their expectations. 

5. What types of content should I include on my website?

Along with the design, your website’s content is crucial for engaging visitors and conveying your brand’s message. You want clear and compelling descriptions of your products or services. And you may also need to set up a blog to position yourself as an authoritative voice in the market. Consider this your opportunity to communicate your value offerings and convince visitors to choose you over competitors on other sites.

Alongside written content, you also need to include visual content, such as images and videos. This is what makes your website recognizable at a first glance. Whether your website will have a single page or multiple pages, remember that a picture may be worth a thousand words. 

6. How can I ensure mobile-friendliness and responsiveness?

Smartphones and tablets have become integral to our lives, so your website should adapt and function well on these smaller-screen devices to ensure a pleasant browsing experience for mobile users. Mobile-friendliness and responsiveness go hand in hand when it comes to creating a website that reads well on mobile devices. 

A responsive design approach enables your website to adjust its layout, content and functionality to fit various screens, making it mobile-friendly. And why is this important? Ensuring your website is mobile-friendly and responsive can enhance user satisfaction, reduce bounce rates and increase the chances of conversion

7. How do I optimize my website for search engines like Google?

What is the purpose of owning a website when it is not visible to your target audience? Without visibility, your website becomes akin to a hidden treasure buried in the depths of the internet, rendering it ineffective in achieving its goals. 

For this reason, you need to make your website visible to potential customers. And one effective way to achieve this is to increase visibility through search engine optimization

Making your site optimized for search engines requires several key considerations. From keyword research to on-page optimization to technical optimization to user experience and backlink building. This is something to keep in mind and make plans for before building your website. 

8. What features and functionalities should I include?

Features and functionality determine the experience of your visitors. Of course, the features you include depend on the type of service you provide.

For example, if you sell a physical or digital product, you want to set up an online store where customers can browse a visually appealing product catalog page with detailed descriptions, easily access a checkout page and finally make purchases via a secure payment system. This all ensures a smooth transaction. 

Again, browsing competitors’ sites can help you better understand what practices are working best. Use what you learn to generate ideas for what to include on your own site.

It is also a great idea to incorporate a contact form or live chat functionality and an FAQ page so users can easily communicate and get problems resolved. Remember to discuss your specific goals and requirements relating to features and functionalities with your web designer before starting the project.

9. How can I ensure my website is secure and protected?

You want to make sure your website is secure because that is crucial for a positive customer experience. Needless to say, you should safeguard your business and your users’ data. In fact, you should employ multiple levels of security to guarantee full protection.

If you are not building your project yourself, always ask about the website security measures being implemented. This will give you insight into how the web developer and/or web designer will create a safe online environment. 

Do not forget to inquire about the backup systems your web designer intends to implement, as regular backups serve as a fail-safe in the event of data loss or unforeseen website malfunctions. With reliable backups, you can swiftly restore your website to its previous state, ensuring minimal disruption to your operations.

10. How can I track my website’s performance and measure its success?

Tracking your website’s performance will give you insight into making decisions. You can utilize analytics tools like Google Analytics to gather detailed data on various aspects of your website’s performance.

These tools can help you understand visitors’ behavior, create buyer personas and see how much traffic you’re getting. By analyzing this data, you can uncover patterns and trends that reveal how your audience engages with your website. This means you can leverage analytics data to cater to your customers’ needs and preferences better. 

Regularly monitoring website metrics allows you to identify areas for improvement, refine your strategies and make data-driven decisions.

11. Do I have a deadline in mind?

Establishing a realistic deadline is important for managing your expectations and ensuring a smooth website design process. Some business owners underestimate the time required for website design and then go ahead to promote it on social media before it is finished, which can lead to lost trust and disappointment. 

Communicate your deadline to your web designer clearly to avoid disappointment. This is how both parties can stay on the same page and avoid unexpected scope creep. Ultimately, remember that building a website is a complex process. Each stage takes time, and rushing through them may compromise the quality and functionality of your site.

A few other important questions to ask

Here are a few other questions you should find the answers to before you build your website.

  • What do I expect my website to look like after a year? 
  • Will I need to upgrade my website or perform a website redesign as traffic increases?
  • Should I integrate a social media feed into my website to enhance engagement?
  • Can I incorporate client or customer reviews and testimonials to build trust?
  • What is the process for updating and maintaining my current website?
  • Can I optimize my website’s loading speed for a better user experience on a mobile device?
  • Will people with disabilities be able to access my website?
  • Should I integrate a blog, newsletter or email marketing to engage my audience?
  • What are the hosting options available for my website?
  • Can I independently add new web pages or modify existing ones in the future?
  • Will I be able to independently expand my website’s functionality and add new features as my company grows?

By asking these additional questions, you can delve deeper into various aspects of website development and ensure that your site meets your specific requirements and aligns with your business goals.

WAcademy has the perfect solution for small business owners

When building a website for your small business, asking the right questions is crucial to ensure a successful and effective process. At WAcademy, we understand the importance of addressing all aspects of the web design process before it even begins. 

Therefore, when you sign up for our free web design service, we use a comprehensive questionnaire to understand your specific needs and requirements better. Beyond that, our dedicated project managers keep communication lines open to keep you informed and get your feedback to ensure expectations are being met. 

Although we focus on free web design services, we can also offer additional web services that can further enhance your website’s functionality and performance.

Please note that hosting and domain name registration are outside the scope of the free design project. Thankfully, our partnership with Getspace guarantees a comprehensive hosting package that includes WordPress hosting, a domain name, data backup, an SSL certificate, professional email inboxes and an Elementor Pro license.

Have a website project in mind? Ready to get your new site up and running without investing a ton of money? Click the link below to get started.