In the Broadcast Louder webinar called “Secrets to PPC advertising and Ultimate Marketing Tips” with my guest speaker Louis Tanguay of Circle Marketing, he brought to my attention a phrase I hadn’t actually heard before, “Good, Fast, or Cheap, pick any two!
Basically it means you can combine any of these but cannot have all three. If you want something good and fast, you’ll pay more. If you want something cheap and fast, it’ll probably be a design nightmare.
The reason I am writing about this is because it has come to my attention that so many just don’t know what’s involved in designing and building a website or what the costs would be. So, here is an outline.
1- Research: Before I begin designing any project I must understand both my client and my client’s industry better. I’ll ask my client a bunch of questions and also ask them to show me by example, other websites they like or dislike and why. By building the groundwork and seeing the color palettes, functionality and structure preferences, I am better able to give my client exactly what they are seeking.
2- Designs: Designing a client’s website is going to be different each time, because they each have different goals. Some may want to build a following, some way want to sell a product. Using the content, my marketing concepts of what will work and designing everything to achieve the client’s goals is crafted with hours of thought, layouts and development. In showing those first drafts, my goal is for the client to say, “Exactly!”
Then I build out a few or several other page designs, depending on the complexity of the site (blog or e-commerce store).
3- Initial theme or custom page development: Once the page designs are ready the high resolution Photoshop designs are given over to the team developer who builds out the custom design into ready to go pages. We work together to tweak and customize that css styling to perfection.
4- Pages, posts, plugins: Once the theme is ready, the content is loaded. The images added, the SEO tagging and plugins are added. I have a list of 20+ plugins I love and will start to load many social media and SEO plugins, plus lots of other fabulous and functional ones.
5- The site is all completed and is either taken live, or was set live (with coming soon on pages till filled).
As you can see there are many parts that must be designed, created and developed and something that is the face of YOUR BRAND shouldn’t be slapped together.
Costs: Be prepared for the starting rate of most custom websites/blogs to begin at $1,800-2,500.E-commerce sites start at $5,000 and go up depending on the types of e-commerce and the bells and whistles. Usually there is a down payment or installment plan.
The ROI: Here’s a case study to show you how a well developed website can make a big difference in your wallet. A local business in my Jersey City Heights neighborhood didn’t even have a website before 2008. We designed and built a lovely, tasteful e-commerce website and after launching the orders were coming in locally, internationally and after 6 months – 1 year it increased his business by 25-30%. If you’re business takes in a million a year in sales, imagine what 25-30% can do! Now it’s 2012 and if the client continues to add new products, and actively engage on social media, the sales will continue to go up!
Here’s another article you might like: Tips on Building the Most Effective Website for Your Business