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It can often be an overwhelming task looking for a web agency to work with on a brand new website or to refresh your existing one.

Scenario 1 – Your boss is looking for a new website to go live next month.

Scenario 2 – You have been assigned a fixed (limited) budget for the design project before gathering quotes or having an expectation of what you can get before sourcing quotes

Both scenarios above are just a couple of reasons why website projects are doomed before they even get started. These scenarios explained further:

Scenario 1 (explained) – Businesses should seek out web agencies that deliver high-quality work to reputable brands. It is important to have a workflow in place before a project is started. The immediate concern with an agency unable to provide a roadmap would be a quick turnaround without any thought around strategy or direction.

Scenario 2 (explained) – How valuable is your website to your business? With an investment, can it be more valuable and provide higher ROI from the conversions it generates? Agencies need to be contacted first to understand the cost range based on your project scope and delivery requirements.

Without gathering agencies feedback on input, timescales and deliverables; it is nigh on impossible to approach a web project with a fixed cost in mind. Ballpark estimates are usually gathered after initial discussions around your brief between the agency and your company.

Helping you to estimate a budget for your business website 

If a business is unaware of how much budget to set aside for a web project, the car purchase scenario could be used to help you to understand the range and value you should be looking towards:

Small business, not currently looking to scale 

A small local business, perhaps an independent garage or local builder. Limited regional audience. The requirement for a couple of web pages to clarify their offering with a simple MOT/service booking form and contact area.

The range of spend for website = £3k-10k

Equivalent vehicles valued in this range:

Vehicles available at this rate inc. the low-performance runabouts – Skoda Citigo or a Dacia Sandero 1.0.

 

Both cars are low performance and lacking in design. Often labelled as a “box on wheels”, with an owner’s typical response being, “it gets me from A to B”. The equivalent website would be a basic WordPress website with little functionality and a template design.

Small to medium size (SME)

Medium size enterprise with a national or international target audience. The requirement for a number of web pages, social media integration, blog, news, whitepapers and contact forms.

The range of spend for website = £10k-£19k

Equivalent vehicles valued in this range:

Car options available include a Toyota AYGO or a Ford Fiesta. These cars are starting to look a little more punchy..

Medium to large enterprise

Businesses an international reach/customer base and multiple locations. Requirement perhaps for a multi-language global site or separate global domains? The sitemap would be more extensive than the typical SME.

The range of spend for website = £20k-£50k+

Equivalent vehicles valued in this range for a Rolls Royce of a website:

Cars available include a snazzy, eye-catching Mercedez Benz underpinned by “reliable German engineering” to another German manufacturer with their Porsche Cayman – a truly standout vehicle and the “crème de la crème” of vehicles in the marketplace for this price range in terms of sleek design, engineering and performance.

*All trade ads are courtesy of AutoTrader as of 22.10.18

Creating perspective between a car purchase and a new website

If your business sees a new website as the platform to drive your brand, boost traffic, engagement and conversions, be very wary of paying for the equivalent of a second-hand vehicle under £10k. It may only serve you a couple of years and higher repair and maintenance costs may be incurred as a result. If looking for a brand new car, a Nissan Note standard of website may suit your needs if you are a small business with very few competitors and a small regional audience. If this is the case, a WordPress theme and a freelance designer may be the best solution if cost is your limitation.

It is quite a common occurrence for an individual to spend the typical market value of between £10k to £20k for a brand new car in one lump sum, perhaps to last them for the next 5 years. Businesses with high turnover should, therefore, be looking to invest a significant amount of resource into making their website a success. For a website with the highest quality engineering and development, coupled with a truly unique and bespoke design and functionality, the value placed should be upwards of the £10k mark; dependent upon scale.

It is important to note that most considerate agencies will try to work closely with you on costs; and to work out a costing plan with you, rather than to request a full payment up front.

Futureproof your brand and website

Evaluate whether paying such a low value for your website will reflect in a lower output and a lower level of time invested as a result – as it probably will. With little time invested, there’s very little in the way of time to create anything bespoke, or even to review anything deeper. How about the effect of the website design on conversion rates, or optimisation of the website for SEO? Has this been overlooked? It’s not always just about the “design” of the website, but the performance with its need to drive conversions and revenue!

Has your company considered that the whole process of making staged improvements over time may result in the whole process of tackling your web project more costly in the long run, than if your business invested more in a brand new site with an impressive, bespoke design in the first instance?

If your business operates in a crowded marketplace, has ambition and is looking to turn heads, perhaps a WordPress theme for under £5k isn’t the ideal solution. The questions should be:

  1. What significant improvements will be made on your last website when the new one launches?
  2. Will a website with a simple theme design, looking alike to so many others in the marketplace really future-proof your business over the next 5 years or so, giving you the platform to push your business onto the next level/reflecting your level of ambition?
  3. What value will there be in your marketing efforts (beyond website launch) if you are taking potential customers back to a mediocre website from your marketing campaigns?

If the answer is no to all, perhaps it’s worth revising the value you are placing on your business. If looking to support your website with marketing activity, your marketing consultants have done the hard work making you visible, so the last thing you want is for your website not to impress. This is only likely to result in high bounce/exit rates, fall in subsequent conversion rate and revenue.

How much will your design agency invest in your business and the new website?

In short; expertise, a clearly defined strategy, time, care, consideration and a project plan/timeline all matter. Always look at an agency’s portfolio (case studies) as a measure of design quality and output, as well as the way in which they consult you on the process. Is there a project plan in place, or just a willingness from the design agency to just simply say “yes, we can redesign a website for you” with no strategy/thought behind it. Have you challenged all the agencies (quoting for your website) enough? Are the brands that the agency has worked with recognisable and do their designs look unique, or impressive across desktop and mobile devices?

Considering the above, what value do you place on your business and its success moving forward? A website is your company’s key driver, not just as a marketing platform, but as a key source of driving leads and revenue. Your website is often the first impression of your business your clients and potential customers get. More than that, it’s the engine that can drive your business.

We often wouldn’t think too hard about purchasing a car from our own pocket valued at up to £10k. With your organisation often likely to have far more capital than what is held within your personal account, how much do you value your brand and the direction your business is heading towards in the future?

In addition, websites also often hold more longevity than a vehicle. As soon as you drive your new vehicle from the garage forecourt, the value of the vehicle instantly depreciates. Your website, however, won’t age or lose value anywhere near as quickly if designed and developed to a high specification.

Are you looking towards a new website for your business? Get in touch 

Originally published here

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