Making a great website requires skill.
If you’ve ever looked up “Pinterest fails“, you know that seeing something cool, and making something cool isn’t always the same thing.
You could save money by having your cousin’s nephew make your website, but unless he knows what he’s doing the results might be…
…less than professional.
Of course, there’s nothing wrong with giving your nephew a shot at making your website (everyone has to start somewhere) but there comes a point when you need something truly professional.
When that happens, be sure to consider the following questions…
3 Questions To Ask When Getting A Website
- What goals do I have for me website?
- What message do I want to send?
- What am I willing to spend?
1. What Are My Goals for My Website?
Every website should have goals. Business owners that don’t consider goals when building a website, usually end up with websites that doesn’t accomplishing anything.
It doesn’t have to be hard though. Common goals include…
- I want to Provide vital information about a company
- Lead generation (getting people to fill out forms or call you)
- Selling Products
Figuring out your goals will help determine what kind of website you need. Do you you need to take payments online? Do you need to keep track of individual customer information?
Common Types of Website
Understanding some basic terms will help you talk with your web designer. Here are a few common types of website with simple explanations for each.
Informational Websites are the simplest and most common business website. They tell about a company, its products or services, and provide contact information. These are generally least expensive type to develop.
E-commerce Websites are another common type of website. At a minimum, they consist of a catalog and a means of taking payments, but they may also feature individual customer logins, product review options, shipping calculators, and other advanced functionality.
Blogs are a collection of articles. They’re great for people who want to regularly write about a specific topic or industry. Blogs can also be a valuable addition to a standard business website as a way to attract new visitors.
Online Directories are websites that collect and organize information, such as business listings, or area attractions.
Beside the types listed above, there are several other types of websites including social media websites (like Twitter or Facebook), online dating websites, job boards, forums, wikis, and web apps.
2. What Message Do I Want To Send?
The next question you should ask is “What message do I want to send to my customers?”. Your message is more than the words. Color scheme, photos, and design all contribute to your message.
What’s my message?
Many business owners struggle to write about their business. A thoughtful designer or copywriter can make a big difference here, but they can’t do it alone.
Good communication between you and the designer can help you define your message and allow your website to work toward meeting it’s goals.
Get Ideas By Looking at other websites
It’s a good idea to look at other websites (both inside and outside your industry). The goal here isn’t to copy, but to get inspiration. Giving your designer a list of websites you like and more important, what you like about them will help him or her understand your expectations and make sure you’re both on the same page.
3. What Am I Willing To Spend?
Which brings us to the subject of budget. Large corporations often spend $100,000 or more to develop their websites. Luckily, there’s no need to spend 6 figures on your website. Website prices can range wildly, but if you’re going have one build for you expect to pay anywhere from $500 to $10,000.
That’s a pretty big range. Let’s break it down a bit…
A $500 website is going to be pretty basic. Websites in this price bracket are simple information sites with 3-7 pages, with basic information about the company and it’s services. It’s going to be based on a template.
Expect to pay $1000+ for a custom website (one not made from a template). These tend to yield a more polished end product.
At EZ-NetTools most custom websites run between $1500 and $3000. Part of the reason we can offer quality website at these price-points has to do with where we’re located. Working out of Idaho (instead of high-cost locations like New York or Los Angeles) means we can charge $3000 for a site that might cost $5000 elsewhere.
3 ways to get a website that fits your budget
For some small business owners $1500 is more than they can afford. When talking with new customers, I’ll explain that they have 3 options for getting a new website, depending on their budget…
- Do It Yourself (with training) (~$100) – For people that have time but don’t know where to start, having a professional show you the ropes is a lot less scary than figuring out everything on your own. I will often setup up a basic account and then show clients how to setup a website via screen-sharing software.
- Use a Template ($500-$900) – When you don’t want to build it yourself but your budget is tight, consider using a template. Using a template is faster and cheaper than doing it custom. This is a good option when you’re not too concerned with having it look a specific way.
- Custom Website ($1000-$5000) – Custom website are built from the ground-up wit your specific goals in mind. It allow you and the designer to have the layout be define by your goals instead of making your goal fit into an existing template. The value of consulting with an experienced designer can make a world of difference. When you combine your knowledge of your company with the expertise of a skilled designer, the results can be truly impressive.
Talk, don’t just email
Use the phone. I can’t overstate the importance of actually talking with a designer (at least in the initial stages of the project). Emails are great for sending content or requesting simple revisions, but you can’t have a consultation over email (and a good consultation is a critical step in making a great website).
If the designer isn’t willing to actually talk with you in the initial stages, consider it a red flag and look elsewhere.
Want A Bid?
Interested in getting a website redesign? We’d love to talk with you.
Visit our website to get a quote or call 800-627-4780.