• Sian Davies

"Can you let me know how much a website costs?" My most frequently asked question....

If I had a pound for every time someone asks me this question 🤔

I'm not trying to avoid giving a price, or trying to catch you out. I'm not trying to be cagey. I don't want to arrange a meeting just so that I can pester you all the time. It's just really difficult to give a definitive price as there are so many variables to consider when thinking about website design.

You wouldn't expect a builder who was building a house extension to give you a price without meeting with you first would you? The same is true about web design.

So I have come up with some things for your to consider when planning a website successfully..

How to plan a website successfully.

Understand the purpose of a website. This sounds like a simple statement and it is.

All great websites will be able to educate, inform and delight a visitor, and the purpose of most websites are to grow and drive sales.

However, the main reason is to convert a visitor into a lead and a lead into becoming a customer.

It doesn’t matter what industry you’re in, whether you sell online or use the website as an online ‘brochure’ for your business. The main goal is normally the same, to increase enquiries and ultimately sales.

Without a clear plan, costs of web development can increase significantly.

You wouldn’t build a house or house extension without a plan…

Imagine you were planning your house extension and half way into the build you wanted to add two extra bedrooms. Prices would soon sky rocket as extra costs such as extra design, extra materials and labour etc would need to be taken into consideration.

It’s the same when #designingawebsite

New functions you want added may seem minor to you, but in reality, could mean starting from scratch on something.

So, plan as best as you can to start with, and build it ONCE. Of course, there will be changes and amends (only to be expected) but the clearer everyone is on what is expected at the start of the process, the easier it will be for all concerned.

Without a proper plan, a lot is left down to assumption.

Avoid having to go back and forth with each other and be clear from the very start of the process what is to be expected. Often this means a meeting (maybe two) to really knuckle down what you need.

The reason I offer a free consultation with every single potential client is to help with the entire planning process. Simply put, it’s a discovery session where I ask lots of questions to find out what out what you really want. We’ll often discuss things you may not have even thought of!

It gives me a chance to find out a little bit about you and your business, and for you to find out whether what I offer is suitable for you – it works both ways!

Here are some typical questions I may ask you

Do you have a mission statement for the business? It will include details about who you are and what you do, and let me have a better understanding about what you do.

What is the main goal of the website? Eg. generate a sale, make an enquiry, book something, subscribe to a newsletter etc

Have you prepared any type of #websitedesignbrief

Do you have any realistic targets to achieve such as ranking, visitor numbers or sales etc?

If you already have a website, do you know your current website analytics data? Is this something you’d like to have?

Will the website be focused on a local, national or international level?

Who is your target market and can you describe them?

In an ideal world, what is the number one thing you would want a new website visitor to do on your website (e.g. buy a product, ask for a quote, subscribe to a mailing list etc.)?

Do you know who your main competitors are?

What is your USP (Unique Selling Point) What makes you different or why would someone choose you over company B?

Some other questions I may ask…

Do you have any brand guides or previous design to work to?

Have you seen any websites that you love the look and functionality of? If so, supply

Are there any websites that you hate the design of? If so, supply

What functions will your website need to include (e.g. email signup, blog, image gallery etc.)?

How do you intend to market your website?

Will you be actively doing SEO or any techniques to bolster ranking positions?

Will you be looking to fully manage your site or require input from me?

Are there any external systems that need to be integrated?

What level of input and how often will you be able to keep on top of your website and marketing?

Post website launch will you have any future or stage two plan for the site (e.g. you sell products now, but want to integrate Amazon and eBay in the future)?

Do you have a realistic budget for completing your project and any significant deadlines?


What happens next?

After our meeting/ meetings I come back with a proposal for you based on what we’ve discussed. This is your chance to check that everything we discussed has been included.

Carefully go over the documents and make sure everything is there. This is your opportunity to dot the i’s and cross the t’s.as it were!

Ensure that everything you need on your website is included in here.

Typically, my proposal will include the following:

Background of your project and a summary of the reasons for your new website

Amount and types of pages your website will have

A list of features that your website will have and a clear description, e.g .A carousel or slider at the top of your main homepage, Live chat feature, email subscription etc

Map on your contact page

Links to social media accounts

Any costs outside the estimate such as images, video or graphics that need creating

Roles of people involved and any specific tasks

The design process, costs and anticipated time lines for production

I hope you've found this article useful and interesting. Sorry If I've gone on a bit, but I think it's really useful to break it down, ans for you to be really clear about the website design process.

So, what are you waiting for? Get in touch with me today to get the ball rolling!