Why You Need a Web Design Budget
The process of building a website is pretty much identical to that of building a house. It’s a significant undertaking that needs diligent planning, a clear breakdown of phases and a boatload of mindfulness. You want to work with a firm you trust, you need a plan that guides you, and if you’re wise, you’ll factor in your environment. The hard fact is that the questions you’ll be faced with are predominantly going to be answered by the amount of money you have to spend. So many potential clients seem hesitant to state their budget, like, if they give it away, it’s all gonna be spent. But yeah, the budget you have should be spent and you should be clear about what you can afford–in the same way you would (should) be if you were building a house.
1. Who to Work With.
As someone who is looking to build a website, you have three options (and plenty of options within these options) of who you can work with. The cheapest, in terms of short-term dollar bills, is offshoring the work to India. Despite the potential for heart failure, this may be the best choice if you’re on a super tight budget. If you have a small, but not teensy budget, you will probably want to work with an individual who can do both design and development. The draw backs to this scenario are that you’re dependent on one person, probably a freelancer, and who likely does not have the best time management situation–to no fault of their own–freelancing ain’t easy, and you’re limited to their realm of proficiency. Working with a firm/studio/agency is generally the best option, if you have the budget for it. When working with a studio, you have access to the power of a group over an individual, the reliability of office hours, and the highest likelihood of getting a great product.
The level of planning needed for a website is directly proportional to the scope of the project. It’s essential to understand that websites are structural in nature. House building requires a solid set of architectural blueprints. Similarly, a website requires careful information architecture planning and functional specs. On paper. In blue ink. Okay, blue ink is not necessary, but fleshing out the full plan most definitely is. Imagine constructing up to the second story of your new home and then realizing that the foundational plumbing was put in the incorrect place. The whole structure has to come down and be rebuilt. The same is true for a website. Having an appropriate budget will help ensure this phase gets the attention it deserves.
You have options. You can lay down the finest Home Depot fake wood floor laminate (offshoring to India), or you can put down long lasting, gorgeous oak floors (working with a studio). Knowing your budget will help you determine whether you need to work with a pre-existing, template-type situation or if you can afford custom design and development.
A huge mistake I see made in this industry is forgetting and thus, not budgeting for maintenance. A website needs upkeep, the technological environment changes faster than the seasons and not budgeting for this is probably one of the largest reasons websites become ineffective. A smart web design plan includes a maintenance budget that’s reflective of how often your site will need to be updated, both in terms of content and technology.
Website design and development is just as much about the plan as it is about the product–the product is dependent upon the plan. So, look at your business and establish an appropriate budget. Do your research and talk to multiple firms and individuals. You can thank me later.