Choosing a web designer: Part Two

Continuing on from Choosing a web designer: Part One – below are a few more things you should consider before choosing a web designer.

What should I expect to pay?

As a web designer, a question we often hear is – “how much does a website cost?”

The price of a website can range from a little to a lot. You can get a website for as little as almost nothing and just pay for hosting, or the price can go up to $50,000 and beyond. One of the interesting things about the web design industry is that you can get quoted a considerably different amount for the same job depending on the company that is quoting you.

As is the case when looking to purchase anything there can be a temptation to go with the cheapest option. You can buy websites for under $1,000, however it is important you understand what you are purchasing as these products always have limitations. Another important thing to consider with these products is that they are often out of the box solutions and you won’t get the consultation and customisation that can be important so that the website is best serving your business interests. These cheap options can still work for some people, but not for all.

To some degree the saying “you get what you pay for” holds true in the web design industry. However there is a point where the price just keeps going up and the quality of the work or expertise doesn’t justify the cost.

Obviously price is highly dependent on the specific functionality that you require, but if you have a budget of between $4000 – $10,000 , and if you follow the points in this guide when selecting the web designer, you should be able to get a professionally designed and developed website for your small business.

The best way to look at it is a website is a long term project and an investment in your business. If you are prepared to pay a little extra and choose the right website designer your website can be an asset and money making tool for years to come.

Can you update the website content yourself?

Ensure you will have access to update and edit the content of your website 24/7 on the fly. This is achieved by software which is called a content management system or CMS. Regardless of whether you intend to edit and upload the content of your website yourself or hire someone to do it for you, it’s important that your website is built on a content management system so that it is easy to make changes.

This is considered as best business practice in website development for small businesses and has become fairly common these days. It is something important to consider because if your website isn’t on a CMS, it can create a lot of expense later on when you ask your web designer to change or add content. You will also want to make sure that the CMS is an industry standard platform and you also want to make sure that it’s easy to use and that good training and support is available to you.

Are there any additional or hidden charges?

When you are purchasing a website and receiving quotes from a web designer, in addition to getting a fixed project price, it’s important to be aware of any limitations, ongoing charges and costs that may be related to the website.

For Example: hosting and support fees. But you will also want to know about additional development costs or future design costs. It is good to know how much the ballpark studio rates are per hour to cover your expectations. It’s also important to establish the project scope and prices straight up.

Sometimes without correct management, a web designer can allow a project to go out of scope and budget, or get escalated due to unexpected challenges, and suddenly you’re in a situation where you’re 75% invested in the project and now it’s more expensive than what was originally quoted. And this can also happen because you have decided mid way that you want more functionality too.

Another thing to consider are the particular limitations of the service, for example, limited hosting space or design revisions. If the web designer is placing limits on these you can guess there’s a chance that you will be charged extra if you exceed these limits.