Many companies undervalue the importance of their website. You need to make sure your website makes the right impression, reflects your values and drives users to the content or product they are after. It is often the first time users come into contact with your brand, so you need to get it right.
• There are many variables depending on your requirements and who builds your website
• Don’t underestimate the value of your website and how it can affect or improve your business
• Reduce costs by doing research and having a clear brief before you approach businesses for quotes
• Understand the difference between cheap, quick websites and considered well-designed ones
• Familiarise yourself with the correct website delivery process
• Use this simple formula to understand the variables
Let’s tackle this stage by stage.
The scope is the list of requirements and scale of your website. When you or your web team/person sets out to define your requirements, it will determine the type of process required to deliver it. When people ask “How much does a website cost?” I struggle on where to start in terms of letting them know that it isn’t that easy.
Some companies package or productise their website services to offer different levels web builds at fixed prices. After defining what your scope is, they recommend you go for ‘X’ package as this will include everything you require.
• Amount of unique page designs required
• How much bespoke functionality is required, for example, e-commerce or unique page designs?
• How complex are the user journeys?
• What is the size of the website (how many pages or sections does it have)?
• Does my client need help to define the structure?
• How much time is needed at the design phase?
• Are the timescales within normal delivery times?
The process is the website delivery stage and it can change massively depending on who you get work on your website. Design agencies will usually have a very thorough process, if they are of a certain scale they will have experts that look at each stage of the process individually – but it comes at a cost. There are smaller more specialised teams or ex-agency website designers that are cheaper and still follow this process. The end result is largely the same. As you move towards cheaper options you may start to find that this process becomes compromised or stages are removed and missed out altogether. Each part of this process is essential for delivering a website that doesn’t just end up being a waste of money.
You should challenge your web designer or team on their process. This can mean the difference between someone throwing your website together based on assumptions and a lack of knowledge, or, someone implementing the correct process effectively and producing the highest level of creative work. Websites are pointless if they don’t fulfil their purpose effectively.
I have had a handful of clients approach me saying they need a new website only to find out they paid another company to do it not that long ago and it was terrible. When visiting said agencies website they had the terms ‘ROI’ and ‘Champions in web design’ plastered all over the homepage. It’s very easy for a company to claim they have an amazing process and that their creative work is amazing, so challenge them on it and ask for insight on the process.
It is probably no surprise that different companies charge different amounts. You might be curious as to why some companies are saying they charge £500 for a website – while others are charging £15,000+. The difference is expertise and process. As you move from the cheap end of the scale to the more expensive you gain experience, insight, advice, a guarantee on the quality and reassurance that it will meet its objectives. So it all comes down to how much you value your business and its online presence. If your website is essential for keeping your business up and running you really don’t want to cut corners and should be looking around the mid to high level on the cost spectrum.
A freelance designer can charge anything from £8 to £50 an hour based on experience and location.
A digital agency with a web team can charge between £60 to £150+ an hour.
All conversations with your web designer or agency should start with a meeting about the details of your business, the website requirements, users, projected targets, content and functionality. If they say “send over your logo, I should have a design for you next week” – walk away.
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