This is a series of articles about the web design options available and the cost of good web design.
Larger firms with depth in staff and that seem to have a cost effective price
This is the scenario where you meet with a “custom” web design company or marketing agency at their office, and everything feels pretty good about your meeting. They have designers and programmers. They may even have writers and SEO people. You cover what you are looking for and they come back with a quote that sounds reasonable and a promise that they can get it done. What could be wrong with this picture?
Maybe nothing. But just to be sure here is what you should do to avoid potential landmines:
– As I’ve mentioned earlier, insist on a detailed site plan and statement of work that outlines the project, has milestones and covers each step of the design and development project. And understand that you are making a commitment to this plan also.
– Do your homework and know what you want your web site to look like and consist of before you enter an agreement and make sure your agreement contains language that covers your desires so that the firm you are working with clearly understands what you want and prices is accordingly. – On your side you must understand that building a web site is very similar to building a custom home. You cannot expect your builder to add another bathroom or five more electric outlets in the living room without adjusting the cost.
– There are no materials involved in building a web site but there are hours and that is how your design firm earns their living. Don’t expect them to give additional hours away when you realize you would like to make an adjustment to your plan.
Next you should consider the firms capabilities. There are many, many ways to cause what looks like a web page to display in a web browser, and there a many web browsers out there that people use to view them. What is important here is that you are dealing with experienced designers and programmers that understand the importance of building your web site in a way that allows it to adjusted and added to without a lot of financial pain.
– Ask them to explain how they will support your web site and explain how they will be able to make modifications like adding additional buttons to the main navigation for you in the future easily. It’s easy to create an HTML component and then copy it twenty times to create twenty new pages, but imagine how long it will take to go back later and change the same thing on twenty pages.