This morning at my local networking group I was asked by a member how much we charge at Web Goddess to build a website and when I mentioned our starting price, I could see that it was higher than they had expected.
Now we know our price is right for our ideal clients and we also know that some companies charge more and some charge less. But it’s not as simple as that when comparing website packages. Because buying into a website is like buying a car, a house or anything else where comparison between features is difficult.
So how can you tell whether the deal you are being presented with is actually right for you?
Ask for a list of features and costs
Most web designers will give you a list of features, but often this is not broken down into an itemised list and that’s OK. Charging for ‘actual time’ is often not how we work because every project would be completely different, but there are some things that designers will be able to tell you are included or not, such as domains, hosting, email addresses, management fees, ongoing monthly costs, etc.
And this is where it can get tricky. You may feel like you are comparing apples to oranges. But a simple way of looking at your options is to create a spreadsheet:
In this example, you can see Company A charges more in terms of setup and Year 1 costs than both Company B and C. However, by the end of Year 2 it is actually the cheapest of the three and after Year 3 that margin is growing as the annual renewal costs are enormous. So that cheap to set up website doesn’t look that cheap now does it?
You may have also noticed that Company A has a different number of pages in its package so this is an important detail to look out for when getting website quotes.
If you simply go on the word of one company that they are the best then you are more likely to fall foul of these surprises when it comes to added costs after twelve months. So, I always recommend doing your homework and looking at the costs in detail to see what you are getting. Please always ask for a few different quotes before committing!
Know what you need your website to DO
It is also imperative that you have a clear idea about the purpose of your website. Otherwise, you could be spending loads more than you need to for features you will never use, or choose a web platform that simply doesn’t do what you need it to.
And, trust your gut
Your website is not only an investment for now but for every day of every year as it works for your business. You have to LOVE your website or you won’t send people there (and believe me, we’ve had lots of clients in that boat).
You also have to feel comfortable with your designer. This is a professional relationship that needs to work. If you start by feeling bullied, scared, or stupid in how they deal with you – WALK AWAY! It is only going to get worse over time, I assure you.
And as the old adage goes, if it looks too good to be true it usually is. When looking at that shiny cheap deal, make sure you have factored in all of the above costs and also look at the access you need. You’d be amazed how many of those ‘monthly management charges’ don’t actually cover any changes to your website.
“The bitterness of poor quality remains long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten.” Benjamin Franklin
Armed with your new knowledge of some of the things you need to ask, I hope you can now feel more confident in asking for full details of a website package before you commit.
If your website needs rescuing, get in touch with us at Web Goddess – it’s what we do.