There are so many variables that go into pricing a website and let’s face it web producers all need the same basic information, copy and pictures to develop a design prior to programming; but the difference in producers is their ability to develop a site architectured specifically to gain the widest appeal for the client’s audience.
So what does it cost? That is the question Blue Olive gets asked on at least a weekly basis and that depends on what you can and will do for yourself, and how much you want done for you. Here are 10 basic questions to consider and that should be asked/answered to give you an accurate price:
1. Do you want a customized design or will a design template do?
2. Do you already have photography, if not then will you be satisfied with stock photography or will you need a photo shoot?
3. Is the copy already written and grammatically correct, if not will you need a copy writer to research and write your copy from scratch or will you be providing some draft copy for them to re-write?
4. Do you know how many pages you anticipate the finished site to be?
5. How often will the copy and pictures on your site need to be updated? If more than yearly, you may need/want a content management application or are you willing to learn some basic HTML coding?
6. Do you want your site to be found by search engines? If so you will need to have Meta words and analytics (preferably Google, Yahoo, and Bing) embedded in your source code and will need a monthly budget for optimization updates. You will also need to develop a list of potential keywords words or word strings that people would use to search and find your site?
7. What are the goals for your site? To be an electronic brochure or do you want it to be an interactive experience? Is it to attract new visitors/customers or will it be for existing customers already familiar with your products/services or does it need to attract both? Do you want/expect to be on Page 1 of searches?
8. Will you want to gather visitor contact information so you can reach back with emails later?
9. Will you sell products/services on the site?
10. Do you already own a URL address and where will the site be hosted?
While these aren’t the only questions you will need to answer, they provide a good start in making an educated decision before selecting the best interactive team to meet your web needs.
And, since a blog of mine wouldn’t be finished without an analogy, think about your web budget like shopping for or replacing a vehicle. Why do you need a vehicle? To transport people and cargo from one place to another? Why do you need a website? To transport information about products and services you provide?
While a compact car is less expensive than a transport truck, and a Saturn, Honda, and Toyota are generally less expensive than a Cadillac or a Range Rover, many buyers of web services don’t understand the web end product like they do a vehicle and unfortunately you just can’t make a Schwinn bicycle work when you really need a Cheverolet Suburban. Think of the frustration you will feel when you can’t transport your kids to school or take your family on vacation.
So, beware… sometimes you get what you pay for, but did you really know what you were buying?