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Wednesday, 26 October 2016 20:16

The Trouble with “Free” Websites

You get what you pay for. Nothing is ever really “free”.

Published in Websites

Planning & Discovery

  1. What are your business goals?

  2. How does the website fit into those goals?

  3. What is the purpose of your website?

  4. Who is/are the audience(s) for the website?

  5. Can you identify demographics of your website visitors?

  6. Do you have marketing personas developed?

  7. What do you want website visitors to do/accomplish on your site?

  8. How do you define a lead from the website?

  9. How do you follow-up with leads from the website?

  10. How will they find your website?

  11. Why would they come back to your site more than once?

  12. Who are your competitors?  

  13. What makes you different?

  14. Do you intend to update content/site pages yourself after launch?

  15. How are you planning for mobile use?


Project Timing/Timeline

  1. What is the time frame for completion of this project?

  2. Are there particular dates, seasons or events for which the site needs to be completed?

  3. Do you have the time and/or resources to ensure the project is completed on time?

  4. Who will be the internal project manager, responsible for managing the project schedule and ensuring internal contributions are made on time?

  5. Can you think of anything that would prevent us from completing this project on time?


Technical Details

  1. Do you already have a domain (url) or do you need to register one?

  2. Where is your domain registered?

  3. Where is your current site hosted?

  4. Do you have Control Panel access with that hosting?

  5. Will you utilize a content management system on the new site?

  6. If no, will it need to utilize databases?

  7. If it doesn’t use a CMS, do you want FTP access to make edits?

  8. How much Bandwidth and Disk space do you need?

  9. What is the Speed and Reliability of your host?

  10. Does the host offer technical support?

  11. Does the host offer email accounts and webmail access?

  12. Will you need multiple domains and/or subdomains?

  13. Do you need e-commerce support (SSL, Dedicated IP)?

  14. Does the host provide regular site backups?

  15. Where is your email hosted?



  1. Do you have Google Analytics installed on your current site?

  2. Do you utilize Google Search Console for site health tracking and reporting?

  3. Based on historical analytics reports, what is the demographic of your website visitors?

  4. What devices do they use to access your site?

  5. What percentage of your traffic is coming from mobile?

  6. Is your traffic mostly domestic or do you have international traffic?

  7. What pages do they spend the most time on?

  8. What pages to they bounce from?

  9. What are your top 10 landing pages/entrance pages?

  10. What are your top 10 exit pages?

  11. Do you currently track any goals in analytics?

  12. Do you currently track any events in analytics?

  13. Do you have e-commerce tracking set up? (if applicable)



  1. Have you done any SEO planning?

  2. Have you done any keyword research?

  3. Do you know what keywords are driving traffic in your industry?

  4. Do you know who your competitors are online?

  5. Do you know which terms you want to rank for?

  6. Do you know which terms convert visitors on your website?

  7. Do you have onsite search and is it tracked in analytics?

  8. Do you know which terms you currently rank for?

  9. Do you use Google My Business?

  10. Is local/geo-targeted SEO important for your business?



  1. If you currently have a website, what do you like/dislike about it?

  2. Is there anyone in your industry (local, regional or national) who’s doing a great job online?

  3. Are there other websites (in or outside of your industry) you like the design of?

  4. Do you have logos (and other branding elements) for your site?

  5. Do you have corporate brand guidelines we need to adhere to?

  6. Do you have corporate colors or fonts that must be used?

  7. Do you have any photos you can provide?

  8. Do you have a stock photo site(s) you prefer to use?



  1. Will you need an open-source, custom or enterprise CMS?

  2. Will you need a blog?

  3. Are there any specific site features or functionality that you will need?

  4. Do you intend to provide user-restricted content that would require users to log into the site?

  5. Do you need integration with social media?

  6. What social media channels do you use?

  7. What plugins do you need for security, social media, SEO and analytics?

  8. Do you require online chat features?

  9. Do you need a forum or membership system?

  10. Do you need to integrate with an event calendar?

  11. Do you have any compliance needs (HIPAA or 508 compliance)?

  12. Do you need multi-language support?

  13. Are there integrations you need with video hosting providers or CRMs?

  14. What 3rd party systems does your website currently integrate with? (if applicable)


Content & Marketing

  1. Do you have staff in-house that is familiar with writing for the web?

  2. If yes, will that person develop and write content, or only edit and provide feedback?

  3. Will you provide gated content on your site for lead generation?

  4. How often do you plan to add new lead-generation content?

  5. Are you considering integrating marketing automation with your website?

  6. Are you planning to market and promote your website after launch?

  7. Have you developed a marketing plan for post launch?

  8. Do you need content writing support from our team, either for the site development or after launch?

  9. Do you have an email marketing service provider?

  10. Do you have email templates built for lead nurturing?


Management & Maintenance

  1. Do you need maintenance support after launch?

  2. Do you have any experience updating your website?

  3. Do you have the appropriate staff in-house to manage and maintain your website after launch?


Working Together

  1. Who is the internal point person for this project?

  2. Are they empowered to make decisions about the project?

  3. What question(s) have we not asked you?

  4. What concerns do you have?

  5. Where do you think this project has the most risk of going off track?

  6. How do you prefer to be managed and communicated with?

  7. What questions do you have for us?

Download your guide to website planning and maintenance

Additional Info

  • Page Heading 100 Questions your website/digital marketing partner should ask you
Published in Websites

We’ve said it before, technology is changing — rapidly — from the appliances in our homes to the communications methods we use to the cars we drive. And though our phones or computers or TVs still work, if they don’t have the fastest processor, newest integrations or highest pixel quality, we end up wanting to upgrade or update them as soon as we can.

And, if we aren’t upgrading, we are at least maintaining. Take your car for example. Every 5,000 miles, you bring your car to your dealer or trusted mechanic for regular maintenance. They change the oil and filter, check the tires, inspect the brake pads and top off the fluids. At other times, more in-depth maintenance is performed such as tire rotation or manufacturer-recommended software updates, recalls or repairs.  You take care of your car to make sure it works and continues to  perform at its best.

So why would you let your website stagnate for years?

Additional Info

  • Page Heading Your website: don’t “set it and forget it”
Published in Websites

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