Working with years of experience in the field, there are some key actions that clients can take before getting a website designed that will save money in both the long and short run.
1. Have a business plan. Good web design companies will want to know a whole lot about your business, your customer types, your services, your marketing plans, and your goals for the future. Your new website will be tailored to each of these points, and if you do not know what they are, your website will not live up to it’s potential — a huge waste of money. Hubspot provides some great resources on how to write a business plan.
2. Create a list of website features. You might not be entirely sure of what your website needs, but having a list of must-haves and nice-to-haves will help you control cost on your site and educate your web designer on what the priorities are.
3. Do your research. Find examples of other websites that either function in a way you like, or are visually presented in a way that you like. Showing your web designer inspiration and ideas can help define the scope of your project, and help educate you on what breaks a budget, or what is actually quite simple to do.
4. Have your content ready. Nothing can blow up a budget quite like content creation or making tons of changes down the road. Having your written content ready to go saves a lot of time in tedious changes down the road which can often be out of scope in a bid. So if you want to make your website design a little more affordable, write as much of your content as you can and organize it into word documents. Be sure to proofread and get a second opinion too!
5. Have a well defined brand. A website that is not showcasing your brand identity is a big no no. Why spend money on a new website, when it will not even look like your website? That is a huge waste of money. Plus, when you do finally develop your brand, you will have to refresh your website again. Not to toot our own horn, but we totally do branding…
6. Have a plan for photography. The large-high-quality photo trend is showing no signs of slowing down, and nothing holds a website back quite like bad or low resolution photography. Another way to save a little money on a website design, without sacrificing your brand, is to purchase stock photography yourself, or reach out to student or professional photographers that are willing to do some trade work. Either way, having a bank of professional, high-res images will cut cost over having your web designer purchase them, or take them on their own.
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