One never goes so far as when one doesn't know where one is going.
This is where everything starts.
To serve you best, your website partner should be fluent in the language of business. Growth, share, revenue, return on investment, projections, budgets, timeliness, and key performance indicators are central to virtually every web project. Do you want to grow traffic? By how much? How soon? At what investment level?
We become experts in you, in your world, your market, your audience. What are your users like? What do they like? Who are they? What do they do? What kinds of things do they respond favorably to? What are your resources? How much staff time can you spend on day-to-day operations of the site?
What legacy content do you have? If we're migrating you from an existing application, we evaluate its data to assess general feasibility and identify areas of uncertainty.
Plans are useless. Planning is indispensable.
What action do you want your site visitors to take? Do you want people to sign up? Do you want them to buy a product or service? Donate to a cause? Attend a class? Share experiences? What level of infrastructure will that require?
How will success be measured? (What Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)?) By traffic? Growth? Revenue? Registered users? Search engine ranking? Ads volume? If, for every dollar invested in a new site, the site yields two dollars in additional revenue, is the budget a constraint or an opportunity?
Websites are a means, not an end. What job should your web application do for your users? How can your website provide a great experience to your visitors?