Virtually every business owner- no matter what the size of the business- has come to the realization that a web presence is absolutely necessary. Â Your competitors are on the web. Your clients are on the web. Most importantly, your potential clients/customers are on the web.
Your companyâ€™s website is your storefront. It is often the first exposure a potential customer has to your business.
Just having a website is not enough. Your website must present your brand in the best possible light.
The design, content and functionality are all key elements to engaging your visitors, while an integrated online marketing program is essential to attracting such visitors in the first place.
Once the decision has been made to create a new website or redesign a current website, businesses must make the decision as to how much they are willing to spend.
What is a Reasonable Price?
If you Google â€œWeb Design,â€ you will find companies offering $500 website or even $199 websites. When new clients come to our offices, they are often surprised to learn that a sophisticated e-commerce web project can cost tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of dollars.
So, how can a person know how much to spend?
This is actually the wrong question. The more important questions to ask are:
- What am I trying to accomplish with my website?
- How will my website enhance my brand?
- What are the bottom line numbers Iâ€™m trying to achieve through my website?
A poorly designed and engineered site will not only do little to bring clients/customers to your site, it can damage your brand and reputation, thus jeopardizing relationships with current clients/customers.
So what factors go into the cost of a web project?
The first factor to consider is the quality of work youâ€™ll be receiving. Great websites are created by great professionals. Look for a company with highly trained and experienced designers, managers and developers.
These people are paid for their time, much the same as professionals in any industry. Where does the time go?
- Planning: At the outset of the project, time is invested in learning about your current business, checking out the competitive landscape and understanding the precise ways in which you want your website to work for you. If this stage is not given proper attention, the project is doomed to fail.
- Technical specifications: How sophisticated is the functionality you are seeking? Are you looking for e-commerce solutions? Advanced reporting options? Customized content management systems? Many of these features require complex engineering.
- Design specifications: How much customized design are you looking for? Are you content to have the same basic design for all of the pages of your site, or are you looking for unique design elements for each of the sections of your site?
- Marketing strategies: How much traffic are you looking to drive to your site? Search engine optimization, online marketing and social media marketing all require time to strategize, implement and monitor. A well crafted marketing program can be expensive, but the returns can be enormous.
- Maintenance: How much attention to I want to give to the site once it has been launched? Ongoing SEO, site analytics and adding features and functionality require investments of time and money, but can do a great deal to bring in further revenues.
The amount of time and effort spent in all of these areas can vary greatly from client to client. Every client has different requirements.
It is critical to find a web design, development and marketing company you have confidence in. Meet with them. Talk with them. Test them. If you are fortunate enough to find a group you are comfortable with, then decisions about scope and price become much easier to make.