Here’s a situation that might ring a couple of bells: you have a website that hasn’t been updated since 2005, half the links are broken and many of the images have been reduced to ugly red crosses on the page where high res photos used to be. There’s no Facebook link because back then social media was only for techies and students. You face up to the fact that your website is the online equivalent of that car your Granddad passed on to you when you were 17.
So you email a couple of web developers wanting to see how much it is going to cost to fix your website up – and instead of coming back with a price, the first question they ask is “What is your budget”?
Why do They Ask That?
The cynics among you might respond by suggesting that it enables the web designer to come back with a quote that is always only a couple of pounds less than the budget you’d quoted, whatever that figure may be. But putting such pernicious thoughts aside, there are a couple of very good reasons why this is the first question a designer asks.
1. It avoids them giving you a wildly unrealistic quote. Web services vary widely in price. A ‘skin’ for your Facebook page or blogger site might cost £200 or less, but a ‘smells & bells’ ecommerce package could run into the thousands. By asking you your budget a designer avoids quoting you for services you don’t need and aren’t in a position to afford.
2. It allows them to tailor their services to suit your needs. A good web designer will always try to work within your budget and give you the best service possible within those parameters. If you come across a web designer who gives you the “I don’t get out of out of bed for less than £10k / I only take on large projects” spiel, then wish them luck and run.
This brings us to the second question the designer should ask – at the same time as enquiring about your budget…
What do You Need From Your Website?
That’s right; your website is about your business, not about the designer. A good designer should first determine what functionality you need from your website so that they can offer you services that genuinely suit your needs and are going to make your life easier. They then ask for your budget in order to figure out the most affordable way this can be achieved for you. If they don’t ask this question then the services they offer are not tailored to you, no matter how low or high their quote is.
So, have a realistic budget in mind when making queries to web designers, but also have a clear idea about what you want to get for that money as well. Take a look around for a number of quotes, and speak to some experienced designers to see what is possible within your budget.