Getting a new website is a lot like a buying a car: there are many options available to you, and what you get all depends on what you spend. As with buying a car, when your budget is small (or you don’t want to go into debt) you can go the used car route...sure, it’s got a few miles on it, but it will reliably get you from point A to point B, and it won’t break your bank account. Also for the budget-challenged is the “free” route. This doesn't really mean “free,” it just means you will invest your own time and energy instead of your money. Another option is to spend a little bit of money and hire a company like Strategy to implement a pre-designed template website for you.
If you have a dedicated budget, the options available to you really open up based on your needs, wants, and budget size. Just like car shopping, if you spend a bit more money you can get a really nice looking site that meets all of your specific needs whether that’s a Toyota Prius or a Cadillac Escalade. Occasionally, organizations need a website that really blows the roof off creatively or programmatically; in that case, you can go with a Mercedes, Jaguar, Hummer, or even a Bentley.
When looking to develop a new website, it is important to separate your needs from your wants and determine your budget constraints before getting started. It’s hard for web companies to give a blanket price for your website because there are so many variables (be cautious of those that do have bucket pricing)... Do you need basic design, highly creative design, basic HTML functionality, Content Management Systems, custom logic code, e-commerce solutions, etc.? Having a set budget and working with your web company on what you really need (as well as a few priority wants) will allow them to craft a solution that meets your objectives while remaining within your budget.
- What process do they follow? Make sure they have good discovery and architecture processes.
- Does the company have experience doing the kind of work you need?
- Ask for referrals. Does the company have happy customers?
- Can the company help you after the design and programming to market your site so that people can find it on Google? What does this cost?
- What kind of long-term support does the company offer after the site is finished?
- Will training be provided on how to update the site?
- Can you get a demo of the content management system that is used?
- What is the typical timeframe for the site to be built?
- Can the company assist you with creating content, custom photography, video production, or other content related needs for the site?
- Will the company allow you to enter your own content to save money?
- Is the company willing to work with in-house or other contract designers?
Building a new website can be a daunting task, but with the right company it can be a rewarding and fruitful experience that accomplishes your goals on budget and on time.
Do you have any other useful questions that would be helpful while interviewing web companies? Enter them in the comments below.
We would love to chat with you about your next web project and answer any questions you might have; contact us today!