Are you considering setting up a new website for your business or organization? If you're in the middle of this process or planning for it, then you should be thinking about a number of things. These things include your budget and your monthly/yearly spend along with the features that your website will have.
Basically, with about anything, the more you put into it, the more you get out of it (except maybe slot machines in Vegas). That's kind of a basic rule of life but it applies here in a way. The thing to keep in mind is that when you turn your website over to some experts to work on, you get expert help. The more you budget, the more you get - but exponentially. We can do a lot more with $20,000 than we can with $6,000.
For $6-7k, we can get you a decent website set up (with some great features) but that's about it. With a bigger budget, we can do more market testing, A/B split tests as well as add more features that will save you time and money (more on that part in a minute). We can set you up with custom, responsive design if you want. We could do things like set up some optimized pay per click (PPC) campaigns as well as some website optimization (SEO). Instead of just "setting up a website," we can take it further - a LOT further!
Next, think about what you can budget each month for your website. This isn't just domain name and hosting costs but for website promotion and maintenance as well.
Maintenance is not just things like website software updates but adding content and adding new features. You can add content yourself or hire a copywriter but, either way, it'll have to be done. Adding content isn't about quantity but quality, so set aside either time or money for getting good content written.
And then what do you want to spend each month on promoting your website?
You might want to think about putting money into video production as well. YouTube is the #2 search engine out there and you can reach a LOT of your audience on YouTube if you can produce great videos. No, not every client of ours should be creating video content but this would apply to most of them.
Website features are things like forms or functions where your customers can go to your website to accomplish certain tasks. So, for example, let's say you're having a conference or event. Everyone knows that planning an event like that is pretty much a full time job. Well, what if your website could handle much of the logistics of the event like accepting registrations, taking payment, keeping track of how many people are attending, giving attendees information on a mailing list and so on? Would all those features help? If you have a few of these events of year, then this feature will pay for itself in no time and save you money in the future.
And what about e-commerce or a shopping cart? What if your website could extend your business hours and take payment or sell products or services online? Or how about taking donations (if you're a non-profit organization)?
You may be thinking about your website and see what I've listed here and you might think that you need to now wait a little bit before investing in your website. Well, that might not be exactly the case!
What's good for a website developer to know is basically, your "dream website" or a list of all the things you're really like your website to do. Maybe you can't do it all now but most of the time (if you have your website built the right way), you can build your website in phases. You can do the base part of the website now and then add on features in the future. The important thing, though, is that we know which features you eventually want to add on. Knowing this will help us decide which type of website to build for you - like which programming platform to start with. We might pick different systems based on your future plans and getting the right system from the start can save you thousands of dollars.
It's important to plan a website. Plan a budget, plan which features you want and set some goals of what you need your website to accomplish. Don't just have a website to have one but build one that will be a vital part of your business.
I wrote another article a little while ago that might help you:
How to Save Money on a Website Project (webstix.com)
If you do some planning and work yourself, you could save some decent money when going to a website developer with your project. Basically, any of this work that you don't do, you're going to have to pay your website design company to do for you - so if you can do any of it yourself (or at least start on it), then you'll be saving some cash.