The ultimate web design client questionnaire: 2018 edition

Right questions, right results

The best way to understand your clients’ needs and provide them with the best estimate possible is to ask lots of questions. These questions need to be specific and purposeful. The best way to do this is to use a web design client questionnaire — a list of questions designed to open up the communication between you and your clients to discover exactly what they need from their website.

Asking the right questions will save you a lot of time and money— and it will make the project a smooth and enjoyable experience for both you and your client.

Not asking the right questions can cause you to build a website they don’t need or go beyond their budget.

A web design client questionnaire will help you understand the needs of your client, their expectations of your work, their problems, products, budget, timeline, etc. It helps you to dig deeper to figure out exactly what your clients need from their website and to provide an accurate quote for cost and the time-frame for completion.

Web Design Client Questionnaire Sketch
Photo: Hal Gatewood on Unsplash

Questions for your web design client questionnaire

Answer the following questions in as much detail as possible during your conversation with your client:

  1. Tell us about your company.

  2. What specific services does your company provide?

  3. What sets your company apart from your competition?

  4. Who is your target client?

  5. Do you currently have a website?

  6. What keywords will your audience use to find your website?

  7. What do you like about your website?

  8. Why do you want a new website?

  9. What features will your website need?

  10. What similar websites do you like and what is it you like about them?

  11. Who will provide content for the new website?

  12. Does your company have established branding?

  13. Do you need a new URL?

  14. Do you need hosting?

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

  16. What is the deadline for the website?

  17. What is the budget for the website?

  18. Do you want us to handle maintenance?

  19. Would you like us to handle content marketing?

Now let’s look at each question in depth.

1. Tell us about your company.

The first question in the web design client questionnaire includes all the basic information about the client, including:

  • Client/business name
  • DBA (if applicable)
  • Mailing address
  • Phone number(s)
  • Email address
  • …etc.

The response should include all abbreviations such as Inc., LLC., etc. If the client chooses to discuss their motivation for starting the company, their vision, their mission statement and any other background information, include it in this section of the web design client questionnaire.

2. What specific services does your company provide?

The answers to this question can help you understand what design elements and keywords to focus on.

Web Design Client Questionnaire Checklist

3. What sets your company apart from your competition?

The client’s response will tell you their unique selling proposition (USP), unique value proposition (UVP), competitive advantage, or strengths so you can show their potential clients why they should choose them.

4. Who is your target client?

This should include all applicable demographics, such as age, location, gender, education, occupations, etc. Understanding the client’s target audience will give you insight into what design elements — such as colors, images and fonts — to use on their website.

5. Do you currently have a website?

You will need to assess the site and compare it to the company’s goals to see if this will be a tweak or a complete rebuild.

6. What keywords will your audience use to find your website?

Web Design Client Questionnaire Keywords

The answer to this question will show what keywords the client’s site 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 and genre.

7. What do you like about your website?

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

8. Why do you want a new website?

Like the preceding question on the web design client questionnaire, this question helps you understand the weaknesses 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 on a new platform with a different layout and features.

9. What features will your website need?

This answer needs to be as detailed as possible. Features include:

Again, encourage the client to consider their audience and the goals for the website when coming up with the list of necessary features.

10. What similar websites do you like and what is it you like about them?

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

11. Who will provide content for the new website?

Not all clients understand what you mean by “content,” so start out by explaining what website content includes — website copy, graphics, images, logo, fonts, etc.

12. Does your company have established branding?

Branding 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, here’s a fun quiz to get them started.

13. Do you need a new URL?

Depending on the client’s technical sophistication, you might first need to explain what a URL is and how it’s related to the website (i.e., it’s the website’s address). If the client does need a new URL, who will be responsible for securing the domain? Maybe they will need your advice.

14. Do you need 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 hosting, 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.

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

Migrations can add a lot of time and cost to the project. Be sure to set the right expectations.

16. What is the deadline for 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.

17. What is the budget for the website?

Defining a budget will let you know if you can meet the goals of this project.

Explore opportunities for ongoing work

The web design project is just the starting point of a lasting relationship. You should consider ongoing opportunities. If you don’t provide these services, maybe you could partner with someone so you can recommend each other.

Adjust the following questions according to the services you offer. This will also show the client that these services are provided at an extra cost and help them adjust their budget accordingly.

18. Do you want us to handle maintenance?

This question shows that ongoing website maintenance is not part of the website design project and that it will be an additional cost they will have to budget for. A website maintenance plan can include updates for themes and plugins, changing themes, adding new features through plugins, as well as ongoing changes such as images, prices, backups, etc.

If you provide this service, you could supply the client with different pricing options based on the services they want.

19. Would you like us to handle content marketing?

The client needs to understand that creating the site doesn’t guarantee traffic and that traffic is not your obligation unless they want to pay for this as a service. Content marketing and promotion can include 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.

GoDaddy Pro

Web Design Client Questionnaire GoDaddy Pro

GoDaddy Pro is an excellent tool to help you manage websites for multiple clients from a single dashboard. Automate backups, clonings, migrations, monitor performance and security in real time, configure hosting, manage email, and lots more — all for free.

Conclusion

For every web design project, it’s important for both you and your client to have a realistic understanding of what needs to be done, by when, and at what cost. Using a web design client questionnaire is the best way to accomplish this big task. This questionnaire will help both you and your client create a successful project.

Image by: Brooke Cagle on Unsplash