5 Questions I Wish I Had Asked My Web Developer

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Becky Berry • February 3, 2016

I have re-branded twice in the last 8 months. With that re-branding came the inevitable changes to my logo and my website and online presence. I was in a quandary. Previously, I had developed my own sites from scratch (no templates), sometimes with help from a graphic designer. So, I found a graphic designer and a branding person (2 different people) that I liked and signed up for branding and website and social media re-design – all at the same time.

This re-branding attempt didn’t work the way I wanted it to because (1) I wasn’t finished defining my brand and (2) I didn’t know what questions to ask my designer about two main items: the design process and the platform that would be used to develop the site. Since I didn’t understand that my brand needed to be fully defined before we started on the website, the website couldn’t fully reflect it! I didn’t understand the process, and, unfortunately for me, neither person told me I should finish the brand before moving to the website.

This resulted in a website that was not as effective as it could have been. The graphics ended up being awkward as was the implementation of the template I ended up choosing. The disjointed nature of the site along with my feelings about it kept me feeling like my whole business was off. And it was. People weren’t drawn to the site because it looked awkward and it didn’t represent me at my best.

Had I known to ask these 5 questions before I started, perhaps I could have just re-branded with new images and tweaks to the site.

Five Questions to Ask Your Developer

1. What platform will you use to develop the site?

My designer used a platform that I had used previously and didn’t like. Unfortunately, I didn’t realize this until the site had been designed. The platform’s drag and drop format and limited functionality around blog posts ended up causing me problems until my current re-branding which went live last month.

2. What kind of input will I have in the selection of templates and design?

I wish we had talked more about my vision of my site and how that would play out online. I also should have asked for more information about how to select templates (because I did have some say and had minimal experience using templates). I didn’t understand how the template drives so much of the look and feel of the site. I also didn’t understand limitations of the template I chose.

3. How often will we evaluate my website while it’s being developed?

Had I asked this question, I would have had defined opportunities to offer my input into the site development. Perhaps I would have understood the limitations of the template I chose sooner. I could have asked more questions.

4. How will my website handle e-commerce: products, tickets, etc.?

The platform we used did not have a robust set of add-ins to make adding e-commerce easy. As a result, I posted events outside of the site, losing click-through traffic to my site.

5. How will my website handle blog posts?

Oh, my. Blog posts are my bread and butter and the blog function on the platform we used was abysmal. Once a post was published, it could not be changed. There was no way to schedule blog posts. It didn’t accommodate an RSS feed gracefully. It was excruciating to publish weekly posts.

Had I known to ask these questions, I would have been so much more satisfied with my website. As it was, every time I looked at it, I would cringe a little. The worst part was I knew I could have done a better job participating in the process had I only known what questions to ask!!

You can check out my current website, BeckyBerryCoach.com, developed by Cynthia Bartz of CB.Graphics. I did ask her the 5 questions and the result is a website that represents my brand (which is me) perfectly.

Becky BerryBecky Berry is a Career Coach based in Atlanta. She has a Masters Degree in Special Education with an emphasis on ADD. She is also a Certified Professional Career Coach and an Independent Career Coach through CareerHMO. She works with her clients to uncover hidden talents and communicate those talents to employers.



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