Questions to ask before building a new website…

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Everyone loves a good deal. That doesn’t always mean we’re looking for the cheapest, but we are looking for a good value.

One of the first questions people ask us about a website project is “how much is it going to cost?”

To which we often reply, “do you have a specific budget you’re trying to stay within?”

This isn’t an attempt to be coy or deceptive, but to make sure we’re able to provide a solution that fits a price expectation.

In web industry, there is still very little consistency in pricing of projects. You’ll often see quotes range in cost by thousands or tens of thousands of dollars for the same scope. Now what you’re actually getting is likely not the same, even if the quote is based off the same scope document, but that can be hard to know before you get into the project.

One of the most important things to ask yourself when reviewing quotes for your new website is “do I trust these people?”

When I take my car in to be repaired, I have to trust the person giving me a quote because I know very little about the cars. Technology often feels the same for many people.

Determining trust can be hard with people you don’t know, but here’re a few key things to consider…

1. Do they have good referrals from past clients?
2. How long have they been in business?
3. How deep is their web development portfolio?
4. Are they timely in responding to initial consult requests?

We often compare pricing of websites to the pricing a new home. So when someone says “how much does it cost to build a website?” if’s the same as asking a contractor “how much does it cost to build a house?” The answer is usually — “it depends”.

What size home do you want? Where is it located? What type of upgrades and amenities do you want in the home? Etc. etc.

The same goes for a new website. Some key items to know prior to requesting a price quote are as follows:

1. Do you already have a domain name? If so, what is it?
2. Is this a totally new site design or a redesign of an existing site?
3. What specific features and functions do you need the website to have other than just displaying content?
4. Do you already have all of the content prepared for the site or does that work still need to be done?
5. Do you have a well design brand and image with specs on how to use that brand on various items?
7. Do you have a detailed scope / plan for the site already — especially if it includes advanced functions.
7. When do you need the site online by?
8. What’s a maximum budget you need to stay within on the project?

Find a web development team you feel is trustworthy, know the answers to many of the above questions, and you’ll be well on your way to getting a realistic, quality quote for a new website.

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