The Basics

You’ll search for a digital agency or web designer that may be able to help, you then start to make a couple of phone calls to the relevant businesses , arrange a meeting to discuss then you receive a quote.

As you are in the early stages of planning your websites, you may have an idea of what you would want. You explain this in the meeting and then receive a variation of quotes.

Website Building Process

The list below shows some of the stages a digital agency or web designer takes to create a website:

  • Planning
  • Design/User Experience (UX)
  • Development
  • Content
  • Testing
  • Launch

Each stage takes a considerable amount of time to complete. Each digital agency or web designer may not take the approach above, and will put in more or less time into each stage and this means that you will always receive a significant variation in the price you are quoted.

Types of websites

The way your website is built and the systems each company uses will always vary, below are several scenarios you may experience:

Templated website & Website Builders

A templated website or using a website builder means you can have a website built using a range of stock templates where your content and images must fit into the specific designs. The designer can help you with the best approach and make sure the templates are fit for purpose.

Advantages

  • Low cost solution
  • Simple and easy to use
  • Updating content is an easy process

Disadvantages

  • If the template needs modifying or adapting this could exceed your budget.
  • The website builder could be limited with the functionality available; which could limit your websites growth in the future.
  • If you needed to move the website in the future this could be limited and may require rebuilding.

Custom Design

Having a website that is built using a custom design means the designer can build you a website that fits your requirements, business need and displays the content how you would like it. This type of website will be custom coded and created from scratch and would be a higher cost solution.

Advantages

  • Fully customised design.
    • Built to your requirements and business needs.
    • Wide range of functionality and integration.
    • Ability to grow your website with your business.

Disadvantages

  • If the website is not built in a content management system updates could be difficult or have to be done by the designer.
  • Website functionality could be limited to a cost basis.
  • Updates may need to be done via the original designer which could incur extra costs.

Content management systems (CMS)

Having your website built within a content management system means you can have a website which is built to your requirements and allows you to have full flexibility of how your content is displayed. This type of website can both be custom coded and created from scratch but also be templated and would also be a higher cost solution.

Advantages

  • Fully customised design which can be templated.
  • Wide range of functionality and integration.
  • Built to your requirements and business needs
  • Ability to manage the website and update content.
  • Ability to grow your website with your business.

Disadvantages

  • Website functionality could be limited to a cost basis.
  • The core software system needs updating and managing on a regular basis.

Each one of the above involves different complexities and has advantages and disadvantages. Depending on the type of website offered, you will always receive a significant variation in the price you are quoted.

Websites & digital marketing

Which type of website you choose can influence cost, but another aspect to cost can be having a website built which incorporates digital marketing principles and approaches.

A digital agency or web designer will put extra time and energy into the planning, design and UX stages of your website to help your business increase conversions and generate more leads. The extra time in creating effective ‘calls to action’ and building intuitive design can make a difference in how successful the website is.

Making your website search engine friendly also takes extra time and careful planning. This stage involves applying best practices when building your website according to search engine algorithms and researching keywords and integrating threes into your website. This process will never guarantee your business will be on the first page of search engines, but would provide your business a good basis to start ranking.

What you (the client) can do to improve receiving an accurate quote?

To help receive accurate quotes you can do the following:

  • Create a structured briefing document that explains your requirements – This means a digital agency or web designer can gather more information and tailor a quote to you.
  • Plan ahead and prepare your content – Creating unique and compelling content in a good structure can save a digital agency or web designer time when adding the content to the website.
  • Provide good quality images – this means the digital agency or web designer can optimise and prepare them for uploading to the website.

The more time and attention to detail you invest in the above will always help a digital agency or web designer with building your website.

In conclusion

The above doesn’t mean that you won’t receive a variation in quotes but it does mean you can understand the differences in why you will receive a variation in quotes. The cheapest option may not always be the best, likewise the most expensive option may not be either, but understanding the key aspects of what a website costs can provide you with the right information to make a decision based on your requirements, business need and budget.