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How much should I pay for my website?

How much should I pay for my website?
Posted on November 22, 2011
Archive : November 2011
Category : Web Solutions

There are so many variables and an obvious starting point has to be a really clear understanding of exactly what you want your website to achieve for your business.

But let’s start at the bottom as you can get a website for free can’t you so why bother paying anything at all?

When you pay for something, you earn some rights, but more importantly it brings “accountability” and “responsibility” to the table.

Do not underestimate how critical a good website is to your business and if you are selling on-line as well then you have to get serious about the level of your investment.

A site is very real, it’s no less real than having a physical shop and a person at the counter waiting to take your money. At any one point there are millions of potential customers out there – your site provides a gateway to your business.

For a lot of customers this will be their first experience of your company. Does it shout “professional, you can do business with me in complete confidence” or by cutting corners, using a cheap template website does it tell me you are a struggling concern. If you have clearly tried to set up a business website as cheaply as possible, what kind of message do you think that sends out?

However, I appreciate that there are also too many people who have paid out huge amounts of money and sadly still only have a very poor website to show for it. So clearly throwing a lot of money at your website is also no guarantee of success!

Sadly for those of us reputable companies it is a minefield out there, the whole “Web Design/Engineering” industry is full of cowboys, script kids and bedroom developers and it isn’t easy to distinguishing the good from the bad.

So where to start? my top tips would be :

  • Focus on your business objectives and then hire a firm to get you there. You will need to be realistic in your budget. A decent agency will tell you how to spend your budget not build a website up to the cost of that budget just because you have that much to spend.
  • Like with other purchases, clients shouldn’t just consider the product. They should see what kind of support they will receive, the upgrades policy and any limitations that may exist. It’s no different than anything else we buy in the ‘real world’ and the same rules apply for software, even when it’s open-source.
  • Get referrals, ask to see their portfolio and randomly ring at least 3 of their CURRENT clients and ask them how they found working with their developer.
  • Get a fixed price, we always make exactly clear ALL costs now and ANY potential future costs. ie will you get charged for technical upgrades? etc 
Is investing your whole business website in a one man operation the right decision? What happens if they fall ill? No longer want to do? Do they have the technical expertise to grow your online business significantly in line with your business strategy? 

If you are serious about having a successful business then get serious about your on-line requirements.

There’s Always a Cost!

 
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By Caroline Endersbee
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