It’s the first question we normally get. “How much will it cost to design/re-design our website”. It’s very similar to how much will it cost to build a house. The factors involved can be immense depending on your needs. The costs can range from free to thousands of dollars depending on your willingness to get dirty.
Here are a few steps to help simplify your website redesign, tighten your design scope, speed up production, and reduce your final budget (even if you can’t answer everything).
Website Design Architecture
The first step in an project should be to define your needs. You’ll want to begin a high-level bulleted list of the top pages needed on your website. These high-level pages include, among others, your Home page, About, and Contact pages.
Once you have the top level pages listed, add sub-bullets to these top level pages, to describe any items needed on each page. These items can include login buttons, blog posts, content carousels, etc.
If you have a solid vision of your website outline, or already have a current website, you can also take this outline one level deeper, listing the second-level pages that will branch out from your high-level pages. Doing this will help strengthen your understanding of the scale of your new website, and call attention to it’s key areas of focus.
As you are creating your outline, be thinking of the content on each page. Ensure that the content you have on each page is worth dedicating an entire page to it rather than being a part of another page. Keep in mind that the visitor needs to find the information they are looking for with the least number of clicks.
Websites You Do (and Especially Don’t) Like
Next, you’ll want to create a list 5-6 sites you like, and some websites you do not. In web design, everything is subjective. When you explain why you do, or do not, like certain aspects of specific web pages, you dramatically increase the odds that your project and agency can live up to your expectations, without destroying your budget.
Some key questions to answer include:
- “What specifically do you like about the design aesthetic (i.e., color, typography, layout, space, and visuals)?”
- “Is there a specific design style that speaks to you and your business?”
- “What design styles do not represent you and your brand?”
- “What type of content (i.e., copy, images, video, motion graphics, icons, and infographics) do you find compelling and important to your website?”
- “Is there specific interactivity you feel your new website needs?”
Your design may not incorporate everything you mention (as not every option will align with your goals and objectives), but it will help the designer take the right path. Providing this information sparks a conversation, giving them a better understanding for the level of quality and type of website you are seeking.
Design will dramatically change between targeting truck drivers and soccer moms. So, establish who will be (or already is) visiting your website, with detailed buyer personas. Your persona(s) should drive every aspect of your business, and are a critical component of any website design project. This exercise ensures that you and your partner agency can tailor every aspect of your website design (and marketing) to your unique users.
Establish the goals for your website. You know your market better than anyone. Why would your customers visit your website? Where do you want to lead them?
What are your end goals for your users? To have them forwarded as leads to your sales team? Make a purchase? Donate to your cause? Read your articles? Download your app? Advocate for your brand? Your end goals likely include several of these options. By answering these questions ahead of time, your agency can develop all of your website interactions to funnel your users towards your end goals.
Knowing what systems your company is using (or plans to use), and what tools you need integrated with your site. For example, if you use Salesforce, or marketing automation software like HubSpot, they will need to be integrated with your new design.
Even if you are just seeking new systems and tools, you will want to make this clear with your agency, as they each have specific integration requirements. Knowing this all up-front allows your agency to keep your scope down, develop faster solutions, and avoid busting your budget trying to squeeze in last-minute changes which could have been avoided.
I’m sure you’ll agree that it’s always best to have a plan before any successful venture. Please contact us and we’ll be very glad to talk with you about your website project.