14th Jan 2019
What to do before getting a quote for your website
If you’re currently doing a bit of research on web developers and/or creative agencies trying to suss out who is the ideal fit to build your website. There’s a couple of steps you should take before you jump to making those enquires.
We know that sometimes you just want a ballpark figure, but it’s also good to understand that this is not an easy answer. Whilst we can give you a general website price range, to officially quote your website and ensure we or any other web developer is giving your business the best possible chance with a quality website, we will need to know a couple of things first before we provide you with a quote.
So, for those who understand the value of investing in a good website developer, we have a outlined a couple of steps for you to take to make the process of both quotes and design a lot easier for both parties.
This guide will help make sure you ask the right questions as well as potentially save you time and money when it comes to investing in your digital storefront.
Step 1: Know your brand first.
Before any developer can begin your website process they will need all your branding information. This includes a lot more than just your logo, so it’s a good idea to make sure you’re not skipping a step. Branding comes before your website.
– What is your business? We suggest writing a blurb about what and why. Some developers only work within particular industries or specialise in particular styles, so telling them exactly what your business is straight away may help the elimination process.
– Logo, colours & fonts: Most creative agencies can offer this as an additional service if you don’t already have it. But if your branding is complete they will need your logo in high res PNG format and they will also need your brand guide with your colour a palette and logo, which most designers should provide throughout the branding process.
– Your customer profile: who you are selling to is a big part of your branding and having an audience profile will assist your developer when it comes to the look and feel of our website. Start with the basics: Age, gender, location, style and interests.
Step 2: Website goals.
What is the purpose of your website?
This question becomes the entire foundation, so if a designer doesn’t ask you this question from the onset, it is a major red flag.
You do not want to build your site for the sake of it, so make sure you set out clear goals.
Here are some examples:
– Increase brand awareness
– Educate your visitors
– Drive sales to your product
– Promote your blog
– Encourage email subscriptions
You can have more than one goal, in fact, I would recommend about 3 short and long term goals.
I will often ask our clients if a visitor lands on your website and they are not ready to purchase from you yet, what would your secondary goal be? Where do you want them to go?
This is a great example of why blogs are important, to give your customers another reason to stay on your website.
Step 3: Understand what pages your website needs.
When you land on a website you will often see a menu bar with options such as Home, About, Services, Contact etc – these are called pages.
Before any web developer can provide a quote they will need a good idea of the pages you require. Often they are happy to work through these with you but it’s good to have a rough idea of what you need before you approach them.
If you’re completely new to this, go and have a look at the pages your competitors have and see if you can identify any vital pages that are required for your business.
Developers will also ask you if you require any additional functions for your website, these can include:
– Email subscribe bar
– A blog
– A booking calendar
– Social Media icons and feeds
– Website tracking analytics (Google Analytics/SEO)
– For online stores – how many products? What the delivery terms?
Step 4: The content.
For budget-conscious businesses, this step is particularly vital. Are you going to provide all the content such as photos and copy or are you going to outsource this as well?
If you don’t have a way with words or access to high-quality images, we highly recommend engaging in a good photographer and copywriter. Again a full services agency can sometimes assist with this.
But if you have a creative mind and are happy to provide copy yourself, now that you know what pages you will need, you will now need to think about the content going into them.
Either way, when we work with clients we will usually map this out with them and let them know what content is needed for each page, but it is up to you to decide if you are providing it or getting further assistance as this may affect the quote.
This can include your business slogan, about story, list and details of your services and much more.
Your content is key.
Step 5: The look and feel.
Having your banding complete and knowing your audience in step 1 will assist here, but now to dig a little deeper into the style you want your website to have.
To get a clear idea of this we suggest researching 1-3 websites that you love the look of, remembering it needs to reflect your overall branding and appeal to your customer.
Is it going to be minimal and trendy, or bright and colourful? Maybe you want a corporate feel or bold colours?
Also take a look at your competitors again and see what you do and don’t like about their websites. This type of feedback is always welcomed by web developers!
This is why having a developer that also has a creative eye is beneficial (outlines below in step 8).
Step 6: Your timeline.
Now you have a good idea of what’s required, have a think about when you would like your website to be finished by.
We often have people say “I just need one asap”. This does not help us we need a good estimate of when you would like to launch your website to see if we can fit it into our schedule.
We know people want things sooner rather than later, but putting yourself and a developer under pressure to finish in an unrealistic timeline is going to cause stress and, most likely, more money down the track.
An ideal timeline is 4-8 weeks, depending on what’s needed. But quick turnaround can be as little as 1-2 weeks, it all depends on the developer and content.
Sometimes online stores can take longer as they go through a comprehensive testing and security phase.
Remember, a good website is not a rushed one.
Step 7: Your budget.
This is a question we see people extremely hesitant to answer, and you need to keep in mind if a developer asks you this, they are not trying to squeeze you for every penny. They are simply trying to figure out if what you are asking for is possible within your budget.
Most developers want to help you and if you are asking for too much for what you are willing to spend, they will simply provide you with feedback and suggestions on where you can save time and money so you can afford it.
Your website is your digital storefront and it speaks to the customer before you can. Just like your logo, it is a silent ambassador for your brand so really think about what you are willing to invest. What is your website worth to you?
Step 8: Choosing the right developer.
As tempting as it might be to get your neighbour’s daughter to help you with your website or going with the quickest and cheapest option, if you really want to invest in a good website, you need someone that not only knows how to build a website but also has a creative eye, and understands what makes a great business online.
Whilst price might be a deciding factor, making sure your developer believes in your vision is going to give you a far better outcome than one that is simply doing it to get paid.
Start by checking out their portfolio, see what style they have and if it’s similar to your direction.
Next, jump on a phone call with them and if possible ask to meet them in person. Building a good relationship and making sure there is a connection is vital. They need to understand you as well as your business needs.
Getting your website built is an exciting time, and as you can see there’s a lot that goes into it, however, the more you can prepare, the easier you will make it on yourself.
And if you have read through the above but feel a little overwhelmed, that’s ok, no one expects you to be an expert on websites, that’s why you’re looking for help. So just work through as much as a possible, experienced developers will guide you through the process and help make it as stressfree as possible for you.
Work with us
Want a little help delving into all of this? Book in for 1:1 briefing session and will make sure you’re on the right track as well as answer any pressing questions you might have. Our briefing sessions are $175 ex GST & receive $50 off by mentioning this blog post, simply email us here.
Or, are you feeling extremely confident and ready to make your first enquiry? Great, we’d love to see if we’re the right fit. We offer a free tailored quote, simply fill out this online website brief or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to have a quick chat and we’ll do our best to give you a “ballpark”.