Anyone who has inquired about website services probably learned very quickly that quotes can vary wildly. Depending on goals, it can be very challenging to determine what is worth spending money on and what is just fluff. Here’s a quick list of things to consider when budgeting for your next website build or redesign.
1. Have a website project budget. This seems obvious, but it’s much more advantageous to have a defined investment in mind from the start, yet many clients often don’t have this nailed down before requesting quotes. A defined budget will allow your webmaster to prioritize and provide guidance on what’s necessary and what’s a “bell & whistle” for a successful project. In the vast majority of cases, paying indefinitely by the hour can not only explode costs, but encourage project wandering and delays.
2. Infrastructure is more important than style. Your budget should reflect this. Fun animations and cool visuals won’t mean much if your site takes 30 seconds to load because you over-economized on hosting. Also, good design doesn’t necessarily mean complex or time consuming. Keeping it simple is your best bet, especially if you don’t have a huge amount to spend on revisions and ancillary services.
3. Don’t forget about consulting. As noted above, you will need to know how to prioritize to get the best result and to avoid costly tangents that can arise with web development projects. Scheduling a discovery session will help clarify concerns and inform a better decision when contracting with a developer. Pre-project consulting can save a lot of time and money and result in a better project overall.
4. Don’t expect your administrative or marketing teams to become webmasters overnight. Many website owners will assume that their support teams can manage the site for them and do updates… and this will save money. A bit of tough love: this is not a good long-term strategy. It’s not fair to them and not great for the website you’re investing in. Yes, the Internet is easier than ever to use these days, but that does not mean your bookkeeper understands image optimization or DNS (nor should they). Website management is not rocket science, but there is much more to it that meets the eye. Hire a pro to look after it.
5. Factor in ongoing site care. This is critical for WordPress sites, as it’s a platform that is constantly changing and improving. A business website needs ongoing attention to keep the site secure and up to date. Websites are NOT “set and forget”! This is so important that I recommend allocating less on development and more on continuing care and good quality hosting.
Wondering how to allocate your next web project budget? Schedule a discovery session!