“What does a website cost?” is the first question we often hear from someone in need of a new site for their business. Frequently the people who ask this question are those who are just starting their business and fear spending more than they can afford.
Our response is most always, “What do you want to accomplish?” This key question is the foundation of the development of a website for your business. As the business owner, you need to answer these basic questions:
- Who will be the primary audience for your website?
- What experience do you want your site’s users to have?
- What actions do you want your users to take?
- What level of interactivity you wish for your site? Will you provide them opportunity for feedback? Customer Service Chat? Downloading of white papers or instruction manuals?
- Who will produce the site’s copy / content?
- Where will the images come from to illustrate your site?
- How often will the site content be updated and who will do those updates?
- Who will maintain the site?
We use this questionnaire to help our clients in the development of their website. We find it focuses everyone’s thinking during the critical planning process.
Website templates abound, and while cheap and quick, they may not be the right tool for your business. You may spend far more time trying to cause one of them to fit your corporate identity than if you’d started from scratch.
But the bottom line is that you as a business owner must know is what resources you can allocate to the development of your web presence; not only the dollars you allocate to pay for services, but the time you have available to be involved. Will you write copy? If so, expect to spend a very significant amount of time writing it. This takes time away from your business and may not be the best use of your resources. Do you want to take all the photos of your products or facility? If you want to do this, do you have the right equipment to produce the finest quality images that will represent your business well?
As with most designers and developers, CBS Web Designs works with you to provide as much of what you need and stay within your budget. However, you also must have realistic expectations. Ask other business owners whose websites you admire what they spent. Ask your CPA or business advisor or banker what they’ve seen as a typical expenditure for a business with your projections.