We get it, you want to get the best price you can on a website, but there are questions you need to consider when opting for the lowest price. As appealing as it is, it may actually end up costing you more money in the long run with lack luster results.
- Is your website going to be built and tailored for your business? Or will the designers attempt to fit your business model into a pre-made template that might only cost them $40, but they will charge you thousands for?
- Will the website scale to allow continued growth for your business?
- Will you be able to easily update the website without fear of “breaking” something and then being charged to fix it?
- Is training included to help you learn how to use your website?
- Is the company you are hiring actually doing the work or are they jobbing it out? Who will be directly working on your project?
- Are they familiar with search engine optimization or the user experience to aid in lead generation?
- Will you own the code after the development is done?
Now that the basic questions are on the table, let’s answer them.
Is your website going to be built and tailored for your business?
Your business is unique, and your website should be as well. Yet, we have heard many horror stories of companies spending anywhere from $2,500 to $10,000+ for a website and then when reviewing the HTML code, you can see the designers used a template available on the internet for just $40.
So where do all those extra zeroes come from? Surely copying and pasting text doesn’t take that many hours? For your website to be a true reflection of your business, time should be spent up front learning about your business, who you are, what makes you different, who is your audience, what is the goal of the website, and more.
There is no one set template that answers everything. That is why it is important that the website is custom crafted from the beginning to fit your needs and goals. Corners are often cut to get the job done faster and then when something needs to be changed later, it takes more time than it should, costing businesses even more money.
Will you be able to easily update and scale the website? Is training included?
Do you have to you contact your website designer every single time you want to make a site update? Those updates cost money, but also eat up more of your time to explain them when you should be able to make simple updates within just a few minutes.
In addition, training should be part of the process because what is the point in paying for a content management system if you are not shown how to use it or forced to pay for what usually takes less than an hour to learn through training.
Many times website companies drop the cost of a project to quickly close the sale. However, once the work begins line items are added that escalate the cost far beyond what was originally agreed to.
Who will be directly working on your project?
It is important to learn about the process of how your website will be built. The way a website is built has evolved over the years and requires expertise in many different areas of the build process. A team is often recommended as each individual is specialized in the different areas of the build.
Team members should be experts in the following areas: design (user experience focused), front-end development (the general build of the website and how it looks), backend development (how the website functions and is controlled), search engine optimization (maximizing the impact a website has when ranking in search engines), hosting (setting up the hosting environment and connecting the domain the proper way), and content (writing text that generates interest for human readers while delivering what is needed for search engines).
As you can see, there are a lot of different roles when building a website. Make sure the company you are speaking with has someone who can work well in all of these different areas. If not, you may be paying more because the company may be hiring outside help to fill in gaps and then charging a markup that gets passed along to you.
Are you getting found online organically?
Organic or natural rankings are when your website appears towards the top of search engine results without having to pay for each click. Organic rankings differ from Google AdWord results that appear at the very top, which costs money each time a user clicks on your link.
This method can get expensive, which is why many small businesses strive to achieve strong organic listings. Websites that lack search engine optimization or those that have been optimized poorly, have no choice but to pay for their traffic. This often leads to more out of pocket expenses to create exposure than if a business was to spend more money upfront and have it built properly from the beginning. Missed traffic opportunities has a direct impact on the business and lead generation.