The second of a four part series called Getting your Project off the Ground: A practical guide.
From potential clients, friends, and organizations it’s not uncommon for us to hear horror stories of budget discussions with relation to web projects and service providers. Mainly, it surrounds what can be offered or what is offered for the amount of funding or money available. As well, sometimes clients get convinced with other providers through upsales on additional products that might not gain revenue or help them get further exposure.
Finding the right budget for your project is essential and can be intimidating.
We attempt to outline some of the basics to help guide your decision-making process, reduce the stress and ensure you are getting the deal that works best for you!
Know Your Price Minimum & Limit
It may seem quite obvious to ensure that you exactly the price range that you can afford, but it’s not uncommon to see projects where the clients are less aware of what they want to spend. Realistically, if you enter discussions with a price range you’ll be less likely to sign up for addons that you really do not need.
When reflecting on this price limit ask yourself a few questions: Are you comfortable to disclose this range of budget? Are there items you absolutely must have to make this project a success? Do you have a small amount of budge room in case there is a really cool feature that would take your website to that extra level if you really need it? Can the proposal include optional items or be optimized to allow you to choose more options to fit your needs and your budget?
Know Your Needs
Maybe you have an idea of a base of what you need, but ensuring in more detail what you want out of your new website, and more to the point the new representation of you, is essential. To do this, we suggest sitting down and writing out a list of goals for your website, including essential and less essential items. Secondly, browse other websites and see things that you like and do not like and present that information to each web company who is making a quote. This information becomes an asset during hte design phase and ensure you have a better grasp over your needs vs. wants.
Ask yourself the following questions: What type of features do you really want to see? Are there varying types of content on your website? Is this a basic website or one with many different types of content? What are each of these sections? – outline in detail the information within them. Can What is included / What isn’t?
It’s important to understand exactly what is included within the estimate you receive. For example, using a WordPress system could leave you paying for additional plugins that were not originally quoted in the estimate. You should also have a understanding of what type of hosting you would be receiving, and whether you have control over the server and content yourself. Some providers take complete control which does not allow for easy modifications and additions of plugins. While others allow you to add plugins and provide automated upgrades on core addons and features.
Ask yourself the following questions: Is the hosting included? How much will it cost every year? Is your domain registration included? How much will it cost in additional years? Are there plugins we need to pay for? Are they included? Do we have the access information to upgrade / download these plugins? Is this project estimate final or is this simply and estimate for which we pay the number of hours worked? Are there ways to reduce the price by having fewer design revisions? Is the design based on a pre-made theme and additional items added (normally this provides for a major reduction in budget costs)? How much will it cost if additional features are realized during the project?
Upselling & Cutting Costs
It’s not uncommon for web companies to pitch cool features that seem great, but in the end you might not use like flying pigs across your homepage. This technique is called upselling and generally means for greater profit for them. Other times, suggestions of features might better integrate your needs and provide a better outcome. Be wary of upselling and suggestions of features that do not appear to make gains on your initial goals.
If, for whatever reason, you really want additional features you can always ask if there are ways to reduce the costs. Normally, we provide the option to have less design revisions as a means to reduce the costs for clients, and in some cases can have more room to move in order to integrate features they would like to integrate!
Ask yourself the following questions: Are these suggested features enhancing my list of must haves? In the longterm, will this feature really help me out? Are there other things we must have, and can I negotiate with the company to create more room to budge?
We always encourage our clients to contact other web providers to determine if our prices are reasonable. It is essential to shop around for other quotations, as you would if you were purchasing a new bicycle. It’s a big investment and something you will want to use and represents you – so getting the right quote and service is essential!
Ask yourself the following questions: Are we comfortable with this project quote? If you prefer the services of one provider, but the price is not right can you negotiate changes to the contract? Are you comfortable with the CMS that they are offering? Did you receive a demonstration of that system if you are unfamiliar?
Ask for References
Asking around or requesting references is an essential part of determining whether your web company will provide exactly what you need. Just like when you purchase an expensive bicycle you might ask around to see if others have had experiences with the same company to ensure your will receive good service during and after the purchase!
Ask the web company the following questions: Can you provide me with a few references? Are there other projects that had a similiar budget as ours? Ask them why they are referring those clients (you should get at least two to three).
Ask the references: Were you happy with your experience? Was there anything that did not go the way you wanted? Were there any hidden costs you didn’t expect?Would you do anything differently in the future? Would you use this company again in the future? Why? Have you used other companies before?
Hopefully, this second guide helps to prime your ideas around how to negotiate and research an appropriate company that can build your dream website. Having a solid budget idea including your needs is essential to avoid having the company upsell solutions that really may not meet your needs in the long term. Feel free to contact us if you have additional needs, require a quote, or want to chat!