6 must ask questions when building a new website or upgrading your existing website.

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1) Will my website be mobile friendly on phones, tablets and what ever other device they dream up compatible with wifi!??

This should be a given these days, but it’s worth a mention when talking with a web design company.

The technical term used in the internet industry for mobile friendly is – responsive and it’s most likely a term you will become familiar with through out the process of finding the right provider.

What is responsive I hear you say? It means your website is user friendly on all devices and that you don’t have to zoom in and out to try and read the content or click a link when viewing on your mobile or tablet.

A responsive website will actually re-structure it’s own layout to be easy to use when you are viewing the site from a small screen like a smart phone.

As of April 2015 your site needs to be responsive. 
Google is now PENALISING any website that is not responsive and user friendly on all devices. Your competition who has updated there sites to be responsive will be listed in front of you when people look for you on a mobile or tablet!
Keep in mind almost 50% of internet searches are conducted on smart phones now and that statistic is increasing.
That IS A LOT OF BUSINESS TO MISS OUT ON if you have not update yet.

2) Is the website mine and can my site be easily edited in the future?

Some websites are built and can not be updated easily. Some providers will rope you in to staying with them because the platform the website was built on is theirs and you are simply renting it.

Make sure you ask if the website created will be your own and that if you decide to move the hosting to another provider, you can do so easily.

It’s also worth asking what the costs are if you decide to make any changes in the future. 
The internet is ever evolving and your website should be evolving as your customers learn to use and utilise technologies in different ways.

3) Is it going to be designed to generate my business new leads or sell my products?

Every site is designed with a different purpose in mind (or at least should be!) You can spend $20,000 for a beautiful website that does nothing to helpfully guide your customer to take the action desired.

Whether it be to purchase a product online or to contact you for further information.
 It is a good idea to sit down and get very clear about why you are creating a website in the first place and exactly what function it is to serve.

 Your chosen website company should go into great detail to narrow this down with you.

4) Will it be SEO (search engine optimised)??

You need to make sure that the company that designs your site will optimise the site so it can be found easily by google. 90% of New Zealanders with a smart phone use google to search for your business so being listed PROPERLY on the google database is a MUST!

When you create a new website it’s like creating a book and putting it into a library with millions of other books. The book (your website) needs to be referenced and placed in the correct section of the library so anyone who’s looking for you can find you and preferably you want to be placed on the display shelf, So even those that weren’t looking for you can discover your great services or products.

•    At the very least your website company should be listing your business on google business. It’s FREE! If you haven’t already It take 10 minutes!!- https://www.google.com/business/

•    Researching the relevant words and phrases people will be searching for you with (these are know as the keywords) and place them into your content. This helps google put you in front of the people searching for you.

•    Making sure all your settings are set with webmaster tools. Webmaster tools is a platform that google has provided to make sure your website is geared properly so the Google machine can place you is the correct section of the google library.

5) Will you teach me how to add my own blog posts, pictures etc?

Make sure that your chosen website provider has included time to teach you how to use and update the site in the price quoted.

You don’t want to be stuck with a site you don’t know how to post your blog updates on unless you fork out the the going rate of $120 an hour for help! 
Updating posts and blogs should easy and intuitive and if it’s not that is a definite red flag and something to consider moving forward.

6) Do I need to pay a service fee and is there any support after you have built the site?

If your site is being used regularly and updated with new content it needs to be backed up often. If not you could LOOSE EVERYTHING to a bug or virus!
 Make sure they are backing up your site and that your site has security measures in place to avoid hackers tampering with your site.

Most business will offer a monthly package to provide ongoing support including backup, free site modifications etc. 
It’s wise to ask for price structures and what is included within them as they can vary from company to company.
That concludes the 6 must ask questions when building a new website or upgrading your existing website.

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