Things I need from you to develop your site.

5 Things I Need From You Before I Can Design Your Website

By Charles Kolstad

Date Posted 7/11/2023

Building websites is my passion. I've spent years learning about different web technologies and working on improving my craft. It's my privilege to use what I've learned to help resourceful and passionate business owners be successful!
There are a few things I need from you to build the best website possible for your business. Here's a list of a few of those things.

Knowledge of your business and industry.

To build a website for your business, I need to know a little something about it… like its name. Other important things that are easy to forget are hours of operations and the business phone number and email.
Product & service details
Knowing about the products and services you offer is essential too. The main objective of your business website should be to make people aware of your business and offer a compelling reason to buy from you. Of course, there are things that are unique about the products and services you offer that may not be obvious at first.
For example, a small business named Charles' Pizza obviously sells pizza. Visitors probably get that as soon as they see the site in a Google search. But what they might not know is that a free cheesy bread, made from a secret family recipe, is included with every order.
Details like this are important for me to know, and even details not directly related to a product like Charles' Pizza supports the LGBTQ community. Knowing these things helps me work with you to determine the best way to present this information on your website. You never know, details like this can make a curious web surfer become a customer for life!
Knowing about the industry your company is in can help find some untapped potential too. One of the things I like to do is find out how successful businesses in your industry are using their website to find success.
For Charles' Pizza, I'd maybe study Dominoes or Little Caesar's websites. I'd check out their site to see if there's some sort of functionality that can be replicated or a particular design or layout decision that might be good to imitate.
Success leaves clues. Knowing more about your Industry may help us to understand where those clues are.
Your Vision & Goals
You have an exciting vision for your business. You desire to serve your community something no one else can, more conveniently than anyone else. That excites me too!
For the vision of your business to come to fruition it needs to be broken down into goals. These goals need to be broken down into smaller goals that are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-based (S.M.A.R.T). These smaller and measurable goals are great for monitoring the success of your website and finding out early if any changes are needed.
Some S.M.A.R.T goals for your website may be to receive 100 online orders for a specific product within 90 days. Another might be to grow your mailing list by 10% within a month.
Collaborating together on the S.M.A.R.T goals for your website helps to ensure its success. This also gives me clear objectives to meet as your website developer.

Know your Customers

Another important part of being a business owner is knowing who you serve. Who are the customers that you're targeting? What are their motivations for coming to your website and what might they be expecting to find while visiting?
While working through the development process it's important that we are able to put ourselves in the shoes of your customers. This is easy to do if you've ever developed buyer personas for your business.
Buyer personas are fictional customers that represent a particular segment of your target market. An example of some personas for Charles' Pizza might be Friendly Fred who always has his buddies over for pizza and the big game, or Hustle Holly who stays up late at night working on projects and pizza is her go-to fuel source.
With these personas handy, you and I can judge Charles’s Pizza's website through the eyes of Fred and Holly. We can determine how well the site serves the segments these personas represent.

Domain Name

You should already have a website domain name registered for your business. If not, make sure you get that taken care of as soon as you're done here. Domain names usually cost about $10 to $15 dollars to register for 1 year.
A domain name is an easy-to-remember name that is associated with your website’s IP address. Your site’s IP address will be complicated, something like Could you imagine telling your customers to find you online by typing in into their browser? To make things easier, domain names like are used to help navigate around the web.
Domain names are unique, your first choice might not be available. It's quite possible that you’ll have to be a little creative to get the domain name that is both available and right for your business. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when selecting a domain name.
- Always try to use the .com extension
Every domain name has an extension. The most popular ones are .org, .net, .co, and .com which are the most popular. Buying a domain name with an extension like .pizza or .news is possible, but this isn’t a great solution. Your customers will be used to searching for a website using the .com extensions and search engines like Google and Bing prefer a more common extension too. If you can, try to make sure your domain name has the .com extension.
- K.I.S.S. (keep it simple slim)
Keep your domain name short. If possible, don’t go more than 2 to 3 words. is great, two words. is okay too, three words. is no good, way too many words. Make sure every word in your domain name is spelled correctly unless you have a good, brand-related, reason not to.
Here are some good places for you to buy your domain name.
- Namecheap
- Godaddy
- Google Domains
I will work with you to configure your domain name to point to your website.

Your Partnership

The last thing I need from you is your partnership. My job is to take the vision you have for your website and work to make it a reality. I'll make sure you have the elements needed for your site to be optimized for visitors and search engines, but your direction is what makes your site unique.

Charles Kolstad - website developer with 10 years experience building websites.
Post written by Charles Kolstad Charles is a website developer with ten years of experience designing and programming websites. Consider joining the mailing list to be alerted when new articles related to website development like this one are posted.