With all the free templates out there you’d think that creating a website would be just a matter of securing a domain name and server, selecting a template, plugging in some images and copy and presto! Unfortunately, in spite of significant advancements in wysiwyg-type design building a website is not much easier than it was 10 years ago. In fact in some ways it’s much more complex.
Here’s why: In 1995 there were just over 20,000 websites. Today there are close to a billion – that’s billion with a “b” – websites. Because of that the focus of website building has shifted from how the site is perceived by the user (the GUI) to how the site is perceived by the major search engines (SEO).
Requesting Web Design Quotes
The reality of a billion websites means you’ll need professional help if you want to have any chance of making the web work for you. The best thing is to find a single web designer or web design company that can design and build the site and create and implement the SEO campaign as well. This will save you time, money and innumerable hassles.
Before inviting quotes though, it will pay to give the whole process some thought. So here are some things to figure out before calling the designers.
· What is my budget?
· Who is my target audience?
· What is the purpose of my site?
· Does the site need to be scalable?
· Who will manage the site once finished?
· Do I intend to use the site for data collection?
· Will there be a blog and if so, who will provide content?
Once you have a handle on these various concerns you can feel pretty confident about asking for quotations. There will still be things that come up to which you’ll likely have to shrug your shoulders but by and large this should be enough to elicit some real numbers. Keep a couple of other things in mind as well.
Large design houses will charge more but usually have a proven track record as well as enormous resources at their disposal. They also don’t have a lot of interest in building small websites. Along those lines, if yours is not a website that’s going to significantly enhance the reputation of the company, you may never see or talk to any of the principals.
Small companies and freelancers will give you their full attention. In the case of freelancers they’ll likely be handling all the work themselves so they’ll be in tune with every nook and cranny of the site and be able to respond to any questions. On the other hand you may get last year’s SEO techniques because the designer hasn’t had time to update his or her skillset. And there’s always the outside chance they’ll head for Siberia with your deposit.
Get web design quotes from large and small companies as well as freelancers. Throw out the high and low quotes, check references for the remaining companies and/or individuals, and then whittle things down from there until you have a designer you’re comfortable with at a price that makes sense for you.