How to write a website brief, in 8 steps

Team member
Digital Marketer & PM
Deciding to redesign your business website is an important decision, but it's just the start of a process that's probably out of your daily routine.

Once the euphoria is over, “We will finally have a site that holds up!” or “This will make it easier for us to acquire customers.”, questions come up.

How to develop it? On what tool? Who is going to create content? How to design it? And more importantly, how much is it going to cost?

There are many web agencies in Switzerland. And it is often difficult to compare the offers of different agencies, which can sometimes range from simple to fourfold, or even more.

While this may seem simple from the outside, it's like trying to compare apples and pears.

And while staying within your budget is very important, here's a first tip: don't just focus on the price!

The quality of implementation, project management and support is crucial. If the price is low, it is a safe bet that the production is done abroad, and perhaps far from Swiss standards.

Or else, the provider simply changes the colors and inserts your content into an already pre-made template.

Or that the service provider is the cousin of a friend of a friend's son, who creates websites alongside his work... with the risk that he will have no time at all for you to change things once the site is delivered.

In order to receive a realistic and as complete a quote as possible, any service provider or web agency will ask you for details about your project.

Establishing a brief, or complete specifications for your website, will allow you to obtain a quote close to the time needed to complete it, without unpleasant surprises. It will also serve as a discussion base for the entire creative process.

There is no standard methodology for creating website specifications. However, it is necessary to include a number of essential points to best describe your needs.

You will thus get a precise quote from the web agencies that you will request for an offer. And upon arrival, you can choose the web agency that suits you best, with complete peace of mind.

In order to make your life easier (and ours!) , we have listed 8 steps, divided into 30 points to address, to write the perfect specifications for your website.

Let's go!

Business and context

Tell us about yourself.

We need to understand the context in which you operate in order to be able to imagine appropriate solutions to your daily problems!

And above all, don't skimp on the most important thing: your audience.

1. Can you provide a brief description of:

  • your business
  • your values and your mission
  • your products and services
  • your differentiator on the market (USP, Unique Selling Proposition)

2. How would you describe your business in a single sentence (80 characters maximum)?

3. What is your typical audience? Or rather, who do you contact to sell your products or services?

4. Do you have personas to share with us?

Objectives of the project

What will your new website be used for? Is it a marketing tool to generate leads, or e-commerce to generate sales?

Understanding your needs in detail will allow us to design tailor-made options.

5. In what framework does the creation or redesign of your website take place?

For example, is it a visual refresh to bring it up to date, a technological or cybersecurity constraint, or a lack of clarity in your offer by your prospects?

6. What is the main purpose of the website?

For example: acquire new prospects, inform your future customers, retain your customers, etc.)

7. Do you have a clear idea of the nature of your future website?

For example: showcase site, e-commerce, landing page, web platform, etc.)

8. Do you already have a site?

Mention the address.


Avoid the “we don't have competitors” answer.

You must have them! This is even if they do not offer exactly the same service or product. For example, who else is positioning themselves with your audience?

This will allow us to understand what environment you are operating in, and how to best position your business with your website.

9. Who are your 3 main competitors, even indirect ones?

10. Is there anything you particularly like/dislike about their website?

Design, Look & Feel

To fully understand what inspires you and the vision you have for your future website, it is important to best convey to the web agency what you have in mind.

A bit of research is certainly required in order to review sites you like and then describe what you envision for your new site.

For example, do you want to focus on illustrations or rather large photos?

11. Can you name 3 to 5 sites that you particularly like (as sources of inspiration) and briefly explain which elements you particularly like and which you don't like?

12. Do you have a graphic charter with specific guidelines to use (logo, font, icons, colors, etc.)?

Structure and contents

Ah, the content.

Often overlooked and yet so essential, it can become the No. 1 blocking element that will delay the launch. Content is king, regardless of the website: texts, photos, videos, sorting and importing current content, etc.

Start thinking as soon as you have decided to redesign or create your website. Clearly designate internally who will be responsible for producing the content.

13. In order to be able to determine the architecture of your future site (website map, or sitemap), can you list all the pages you expect to see on the site?

14. Do you already have the content to integrate on your site (texts, images, videos, graphics, etc.)? How much should existing content be imported into the new site?

15. Do you need help writing your content (copywriting)?

16. Is there content from other sources (ERP, CRM, specific applications, social networks) that should be displayed dynamically on the site?

17. What should be the default language for your site?

18. In how many languages should the website be presented?

Technique and functionalities

Detailing the expected functionalities is another important point in order to best estimate the cost of creating your website.

19. Where is your domain or should it be hosted?

Do you have a dedicated hosting provider (like Infomaniak) or do you have legal or economic constraints requiring you to host your website in Switzerland, for example?

20. What are the specific functionalities to be implemented on your website?

For example:

  • Team page
  • News page, blog page, or both
  • Events section or page
  • Portfolios
  • Dynamic feed displaying your social media posts
  • Interactive maps
  • Conditional forms
  • Book an appointment online
  • Online payment
  • Online shopping (e-commerce)
  • Search module
  • Simulators, calculators
  • Login, user management, user dashboard

21. Do you prefer a content management system (CMS), like Webflow, WordPress or other? Why?

Natural referencing (SEO) & Visit tracking

By default, we include ideal title structures and meta descriptions for on-page SEO. More information from you allows us to optimize these points.

22. What should your customers write on Google to find you, your service or your product?

23. Have you already carried out an analysis of your SEO?

24. Do you want to track visits with Google Analytics, or with another tool?

Project Management

A successful web project requires adequate follow-up as well as good management during and after its completion.

It can also be useful to be able to have personalized and regular support.

25. What internal resources do you have for the creation of this new website? (project manager, content writer, designer, developer)

26. What internal resources do you have to manage this new site? How often are you going to update the content?

27. When should the new site ideally be launched?

28. What is your budget? You can give a fork.

29. From how many providers did you request an offer?

30. What is your decision-making process for choosing an agency?

Once this preparatory work is done, you will be ready to request a quote for the creation of your website from the web agencies you have selected.

A tip: ask 3 agencies, or even 5, but no more. As valuable as your time is, so is the agencies' time.

Download the complete website specifications

How nice we are, we even prepared a document for you to download and fill out!

Would you like a quote from us for your new website? Fill it out and attach it to our contact form. We will respond as soon as possible!

Download the website brief ->

Let's work together!

Tell us about your project or need, without commitment ! Of course, we guarantee the highest confidentiality.
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