Top 5 cost influencing factors for your new website
23 Jul 2021
In this article we will consider five areas which will often drive the main development costs for a website and should be considered carefully for the optimum outcome.
For many businesses their website has now become a shop front, business card and possibly the only interaction with their customers. Therefore, it is not only first impressions which count, but also how engaging the content is, how responsive the site is and how easy it is to navigate.
We have all experienced websites which have disappointed us and we've quickly clicked away. Similarly we've visited sites which have impressed us with their whizzy media, clever tools and crisp design, and dreamt of embedding it into our own business website. But that all comes at a price, and one which many small businesses may be unable to justify.
It perhaps goes without saying that the more complex a website design is the more it will cost to build. This can extend to page configurations, site navigation, brand design, on-line tools and shopping baskets. An impressive website may wow your customer, but will it make them buy? What is it that they value most? Maybe just being able to find what they want as quickly as possible and with minimal distraction. Some basic research amongst customers, or family and friends, may help simplify your requirements and focus on the key deliverables for your website.
The underlying technology upon which the website is built will definitely impact costs. Are you able to use an 'off the shelf' solution or do you require a bespoke solution? Using technology which is familiar to most developers can be a useful compromise. It will impact many areas other than cost and is considered in more detail in our earlier article available here.
Another consideration is what computers and mobile devices the website needs to work on and ensure no functionality is compromised. Most technology can now adapt websites to work with desktops, laptops, iPads and mobiles, as well as the various operating systems and browsers, but it is still worth bearing in mind.
The web developer themselves will be one of the cost components, but comparing them on price should not be done without consideration of other factors. Where is the developer based, what experience do they have, and are they accessible and communicative? Will they be able to offer advice and support and work on future developments? Ensuring that they have a strong reputation is a good starting point and interviewing them can help indicate whether they will be an easy person to work with.
Another point to consider is who will project manage the website development. If you have other parties involved, possibly providing imagery, logos, payment tools or other variables, then you may want to outsource this to ensure it is joined up and delivered efficiently. Similarly, who will be testing and signing off the website to make sure it looks and works as expected.
There is no point building an amazing house if it is not built on the right foundations. And so it is with a website. A website needs to be responsive and available when your customers need it. Making sure that the code runs smoothly and the website is correctly hosted will improve your user's experience. If, as you plan, your business takes off and your website has a surge in traffic, can your website and host cope with increased traffic? Or perhaps consider a scalable solution which can be dialled up and down as required.
You should try testing your website, especially to see if images or videos are loading quickly. This is best done on different devices, at different times and in variable places to give you an indication of your customer's experience.
As technology evolves, newer and more advanced security risks threaten to compromise a firm's website integrity. From malware and viruses to malicious apps and the threat of hackers, websites need to prevent security breaches. To reduce the potential for browser-based threats, businesses should add SSL certificates to their websites. This is even more important if you have customer data or payment details being processed. Protecting your customer's information is a core requirement of the GDPR and having a secure website will reassure them and encourage prospective customers to work with you.
With all of these points there is no right or wrong answer, but all are worth careful consideration. This will ensure that you are giving the various users of your website the best experience possible, while protecting them, and your business. By taking the time to do this additional thinking and planning, you can still deliver a professional looking website, but hopefully at a more acceptable price.
If you would like to discuss your requirements for a new website, or an upgrade to your current website, then please get in touch.
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