In this post, I will outline 20 questions to open up communication between you and your clients to discover exactly what they need from their upcoming website. Asking the right questions will save you a lot of time and money. I see a lot of designers who does not understand their client’s requirement and end up delivering something that does not produce any results for their clients. Not asking the right questions can cause you to build a website that your clients do not need or worse going over budget. The following questionnaire will help you understand the needs of your client, their expectations, their problems, budgets, products & services, timeline, etc.

I will help you to fully understand exactly what your client need from their website and to provide an accurate quote for cost and the time for completion. There is nothing more soul crushing than having your amazing design turned down because of a tiny oversight.

20 Questions for your web design client questionnaire Answer the following questions in as much details as possible during your conversation with your clients: Now let’s look at each question in depth.

  1. What does your business actually do?

This question includes all the basic information about the client:

  • Business name
  • Business Address
  • Postal Address
  • Phone numbers
  • Email Address
  • How long they been in business
  • Why they started their business i.e. vision, mission statement, values, background information, etc.
  • Business Model – membership, prepaid, etc.
  • And more depending on the type of business they in
  1. What specific services does your company provide?

This question will help you to understand what design elements, commercial intent keywords to focus on, process their clients will use to buy their products and services. You can ask the following:

  • Products they offering
  • Service they offering
  • Business model – SaaS, Paas, subscription, freemium, High touch, Low touch, etc.
  1. What makes your company remarkable?

Client response will tell you’re their unique selling proposition, unique value proposition, competitive advantage, or strength so you can show their potential clients why they should choose them. You must explain to your client how their potential customers are doing their initial research. They are browsing 10+ different suppliers’ websites looking for someone to solve their problems. Understanding this will help your client to stand out in the crowded marketplace. And this will be the message that will be presented to their potential customers.

  1. Who exactly are your customers and what are their pains?

The answer to this question should include all applicable demographics, such as location, gender, age, income, occupations, education, etc. Understanding your client target market will give you an insight into what design elements – such as colors, images, font, etc. to use on their website.

  1. Who are your competitors?

Now that you understand your client’s business and target market is time to do research. Your client should know already who their competitors are. However, you also want them to think a little outside the box. Do not just get their direct competitors, but get them to think about who their less obvious competitors are. For example, if your client runs a restaurant, they shouldn’t just look at similar restaurants in the local area, but also look at competing attractions that pull customers eyes away from their site, and also check out regional competitors too.

  1. Do you have a website already?

If the client has a website already, ask them about it. And if they do, make sure you follow up with more questions their old site inside and out.

  • When did you get the current website developed?
  • Do you find it easy to use and edit the website without calling your developer?
  • What CMS (Content Management System) does it use (if any)?
  • What do you like about it(9 below)?
  • What DON’T you like about it?
  • How many inbound leads are you currently getting from it?
  • Is it giving you the results you want to see?
  • Have you got Google Analytics setup? If so, can you generate a report for us so we can see what’s working and what’s not?
  • What would you like to see carry over to the new site?

In a nutshell, you want to learn from your website past mistakes, likes and dislikes and make sure that your website knocks it out of the park and seriously out-performs the previous version of their site.

  1. What do you like about your website?

The client answer to this question will help you understand the website elements that mean the most to them. Defining the new website’s goals, understanding its current weaknesses, and creating a detailed feature list will help you build a solid foundation for a successful project.

  1. Do you know how what keywords will your audience use to find your website?

The answer to this question will show what keywords the client’s website currently ranks for (if any) and what they want to rank for. You will research which keywords are the better choices, but knowing their target keywords will help you understand the audience, what they search for.

  1. Why do you want a new website?

This questions will help you understand the weakness of the current site and see what’s not working for the client. It will help you understand the new website’s purpose. It could be that the site just needs a new feature added or a different theme, or it might need to be built a new platform with a different layout and features.

  1. What features will your website need?

Some features can be:

  • Forms – Contact, Request a Quote or booking form
  • Maps
  • Social Media Buttons
  • Search Functionality
  • Gallery
  • Portfolio
  • Click to Call button
  • Calls to Actions
  • Pricing table
  • Slider banner
  • Forum
  • Blog
  • E-commerce/Online Ordering
  • Online Booking
  • Mobile site
  • Responsive site
  • Onsite video
  • Email connection and email marketing
  • … etc.

Again, we should advise the e-client to think of their target audience and the goals for their website when coming up with the list of necessary features – Factor in how your clients will buy/request a quotation.

  1. What websites do you like and why?

This will show you what styles they like and provide examples of functionality that might be difficult to describe. It can be especially helpful for the client to point out features they like on competitor sites or websites they like.

  1. Who will provide content for the new website?

Please note not all clients understand what you mean by “content,” so start out by explaining what website content includes:

  • Website copy
  • Graphics,
  • images,
  • logo,
  • fonts,
  1. Does your company have a Logo and brand identity?

Branding identity includes materials that the website will need to match, including colors, fonts, business cards, newsletters, flyers, logos, signs, etc. If the client hasn’t established their brand you can also help get their brand identity designed.

  1. Do you need a new domain name?

Depending on the client technical knowledge, you might first need to explain what a domain name is and it’s related to the website. If the clients need a new URL, who will be responsible for securing the domain name?

  1. Do you need web hosting?

Again, you might need to explain the concept of web hosting and what to look for in a web hosting provider. If the client does need web hosting South Africa, will you provide this service? If you don’t provide hosting at all or the type of hosting that the client requires, they need your recommendations.

  1. Will the old site be moved to a new location?

Website migrations can add a lot of time and cost to the project. Be sure to set the right expectations to avoid downtimes.

  1. What is the expected competition date of the website?

You can use this information on the web design client questionnaire to determine if the client’s needs can be met by the deadline. You might need to provide a timeline to show what can be done by the deadline and what can be added later and when.

  1. What is the budget for the website?

Defining a web design budget will let you know if you meet their goals. With the budget in place you can know if you can provide all their requirements or part of the requirements. If cannot provide all requirements on the provided budget, you can show the client that other services will be provided at extra cost. This will help them adjust their budget accordingly.

  1. Do you want us to handle the maintenance of website?

These questions show that web maintenance is not part of the web design project and that It will be an additional cost they will have to budget for. Website maintenance will include updating themes, plugins, add-ons, changing look and feel, updating content, adding few features and as well as ongoing changes on images, prices/packages, backups, and more. If you provide this service, you could supply the client with different pricing options based on the services they want.

  1. Would you like us to handle online marketing and SEO?

Your client needs to understand that creating the website does not guarantee rankings on Google and traffic. And that it’s your obligation unless they want to pay for the service. Online marketing includes content marketing, SEO, local SEO, social media, newsletters, ad campaigns, articles, etc. If you provide this service, you could offer different packages for them to choose from that would fit different budgets. If not you can recommend them to someone who offers this service. In conclusion, create a website design questionnaire template or checklist with the above questions and ensure that you cover all of them as this will give you a full view of who you are dealing with and how you will help your clients achieve their goals.