Five Questions Your Website Developers Will Ask Before a Project

Nikkita Walker

The benefit of working with a custom web development company is that it’s okay to come to the table not knowing the technical nuts and bolts of what you need. We often hear our clients tell us, “I don’t know what I don’t know”, and that’s okay.

Part of what we do includes working together with our clients as consultants and acting as guides through the technology landscape. In order to give a fairly close estimate or idea of the work involved we do need some specifics such as what ERP it is, what extension you’re using, or at least access to their backend. You can expect us to need some input in order to create what you want.

Typically, the more details we have on what you’re currently working with, the smoother and quicker a project goes. That way you can keep your developers filled in with everything they should know about your website before digging in. In order to turn your wish list into a tangible roadmap for production, here are the things your team needs to be thinking about.

Five questions your web developer will ask

Going into a website project, you can be prepared to answer these five questions: 

  1. What does your current system look like?
  2. Do you have a web design?
  3. What do you need to integrate with your website?
  4. How does your business intend to sell online?
  5. What is your expected online revenue?
What does your current system look like?

Our Technical Project Managers work with you throughout your project, translating your requests into actionable tasks for our developers. Our technical project managers will ask you a lot of questions about your goals for the project, your current website layout, content structure, server access, users on your website, and your web design to start drafting an idea of what you’ll need. 

2. Do you have a web design?

If your request is a new website or an updated website layout, we’ll need to see the new web design before planning your project. It’s important not to confuse web design with web development. For example, here at Bear Group, we are website developers. That means we work on the technical aspects of your website and lay the foundation for your site to function properly. However, website design is how your site looks to people using it, considering elements like font and user experience. Web design is the overall look and feel of your website, but not the technical details of how it functions.

Your website’s design tells us what functional aspects we need to enable (like a blueprint). Once our team has your website designs, our technical project manager will start breaking up the designs into individual tasks. If you don’t already have a web design, we can help you find a design partner whose style best matches your brand. Because we often work together on projects, we have strong connections with a number of design partners.

3. What do you need to integrate with your website?

For adding new features or making improvements to existing systems our technical project managers will ask you for information necessary for the developer to build. Will they need access to a third-party system? Do they need design direction? And will then break that into tasks.

4. How does your business intend to sell online?

When a development team is searching for the right website platform for you, or trying to decide what integrations or extensions are needed, it’s important that you’re both on the same page about how your business will sell online. The primary selling approaches we see are:

  1. Custom ecommerce storefront for your brand
  2. Business-to-business (B2B) sales
  3. Subscriptions
  4. Experience-driven commerce
  5. Product customizers
  6. Online marketplace
  7. Ticketing & memberships
  8. Unique online sales scenario

Depending on your business model, Adobe Commerce (Magento) might be the best decision. Or it could be Shopify or Drupal. Together, you and the development team will determine the way your business will sell online and formulate a plan—user experience, extensions, integrations, subscription services, payment gateways, and more.

5. What is your expected online revenue?

This is similar to how your business intends to sell online. Knowing how much revenue you expect to generate online can be helpful to prevent over-building (or worse) under-building your ecommerce platform. 

Companies with simple ecommerce needs and expecting fairly small incremental revenue from their online store should avoid large integration projects and over-building. A smaller business would be incapable of taking full advantage of the customization offerings of the larger platforms and would find themselves presented with a number of options that they have no use for. Platform customization can include things like owning your own code and scalability. A development team may also discuss things like verticals and annual licensing costs.

Decision time

We'll make sure you feel completely in the loop as we pull together our recommendations for your website. After our initial discussions, we'll pull together details about your current system and present a few project solutions to you. Although we may make a recommendation on which platform and approach we'd recommend you consider, ultimately the choice is up to you and we'll be happy to help with platform demos and answer any questions that will help you make this decision.

What's next

After you’ve determined your website goals, our technical project manager will use Jira (our project management tool of choice) to start breaking up your project into individual “tickets” (tasks).

Before we start your project, we’ll deliver a Scoping Document to you that summarizes the information you’ve told us during the consultation period, and how it will apply to your project’s outcome. It will act as your “roadmap,” containing your project’s timeline, expenditures, and the details of our work.

You should be in control of your website projects, and our process aims to put that control in your hands. We emphasize mapping out your project right from the beginning so that you feel confident and in control every step of the way.

If you’re curious to learn more about the process of choosing a website developer and what you can expect, be sure to check out our free guide on Choosing a Website Development Provider.

Choosing a Website Development Provider

Trying to select the right website developer doesn't have to be complicated. Our guide can help.