Do You Need An Expensive Website?
As business owners and marketing leaders, we all hopefully recognize that a great website is crucial for a successful business is just about every industry. But what type of site do you need, and what should you expect to shell out to make sure you aren’t overpaying for your website? Which features do you need, and which are going to run up costs unnecessarily? What exactly is hosting and what should it cost? Since having a website designed is often viewed as a confusing process, many will blindly hire someone to build them a site not knowing whether or not the cost is even fair. We’re here to help you cut through the noise and understand how to price out your website project properly.
1. Understand What You Need
First, you need to have a better understanding of exactly what it is that you need with your website. What are the core competencies of your business? What has worked well for your business, and how might you integrate that into a website? Never just blindly accept what your designer says, because they may not have an intimate understanding of your business and what drives it forward. Do you actually need a fancy site that does a lot of cool but unnecessary things (even if those are recommended to you)? Maybe not. Take a look around at your competitor’s sites to see what they look like and write down the ideas you’d like to emulate. If you have friends or colleagues who work in online marketing, don’t hesitate to get advice from a 3rd party about making your site stand out and hitting its goals. Once you have both of those lists, you’ll be much more prepared for the conversation with your team or agency about designing or redesigning your website.
2. Do Your Research
Another point is to make sure that you do your research first to become aware of the going rates for the work. A good rule of thumb is to get 2-3 different quotes to establish a realistic range of what you should expect to pay. By assessing what different website designers are offering and for what price, you’ll be able to see if you are indeed being overcharged for the work. If you have a colleague who has had a site built that you like, be sure to ask what they paid for their site and what exactly was included in that price.
3. Look Out For Hidden Extras
With a website, there are some companies that may be looking at adding in some hidden extras such as “upkeep and maintenance” of your website. If you are the kind of business where you do not need to update things on your website very often, you might want to ask why you need to pay for a service like that. It is all too easy for companies to charge a healthy monthly fee for webmaster duties, but in all honesty, all they are selling is peace of mind. There may be a fair price for that, or you may need frequent maintenance on your site, but if this doesn’t apply to you and you get quoted hundreds of dollars each month just for upkeep, you might want to inquire further into the actual work required to do this. If you are looking for ways to keep your costs low and your company has the bandwidth, be sure to tell the web developer that you will want him/her to teach you how to use the site once it is done. If they are unwilling to do that, it’s probably a red flag as many firms make a living by taking control and billing for it year after year! Keep shopping for a firm that will empower you to run the site once the major build has been done if all you require are basic content updates.
4. Think About The Hosting
If you have a small business, and your website is not going to be getting a huge number of hits, then you might not need to pay for an expensive hosting bill. Our advice is to check out the rates of some larger hosting companies, so you will be informed when your web development team gives you a quote. When shopping around, be sure to check the customer reviews of each company as not all hosting services are created equal. Although price is undoubtedly important, factors such as bandwidth, access to tech support and amount of storage you’ll receive are also important considerations. If you are unsure about what you need, make a call to the sales team of the major service providers and find out what they’d recommend and look for any overlap with the recommendations of your web developers.
Don’t End Up with an Expensive Website You Don’t Need
In summary, it is essential for you to do your research before you get a website designed, or re-designed, or you could end up costing yourself a lot more money than is required. Think carefully about what you need, look at what others are doing, do your research into the companies themselves, and actually try to find out what the going rate is for a website similar to what you need. A final word of caution: while price is undoubtedly something that you need to take into consideration, you should also make sure that you are getting value for money. “You get what you pay for” is often true in the world of online marketing. It’s true that an expensive firm may not be a good firm, but it’s also true that spending a little more upfront with a strong company will be well worth your while compared to the DIY temptation many people often consider. Your website represents your business, so investing in a good site is important. A budget website may actually be worse than having no website at all. All in all, doing your homework and following these steps will lead you to the best possible experience. Good luck!