Pricing a website is a common challenge for many businesses. Every website is unique and serves businesses in different ways. Therefore, in the beginning, it is tricky to accurately scope the total cost of a website project. However, there are several methods that one can use to narrow down the estimated cost of a website, and that gives you more confidence in the value of this project.
The best way to start scoping a website project is to determine your current traffic to analyze your website’s needs. By installing tools like HotJar and Google Analytics, you get an idea of your needs based on your online traffic from your website’s current audience. By using the data, you layout the structure of this new website. Recording these conversations with your contractors is also essential for you and your designer/developer to reference throughout the project. A tool that you can use to record your calls is Rev.com.
Your initial discovery conversation with your contractors is crucial, as it is an excellent opportunity to probe essential questions. Ask yourself, what are your thoughts on your current website (if you have one), what you like about it, what you don't like about it. More importantly, what do you wish you can change on your website. Ask who are the main competitors in your industry and look at your competitors' websites to compare and contrast. Having this conversation with yourself and your team, paired with the data you've collected, will help you develop an idea of the project's needs.
Now, if you already have a website, it's essential to take a thorough look. Analyze your current website and break it down page-by-page. Create a map of your existing website. Web maps are an excellent way to analyze traffic flow through a website and see which pages link to each other. It also gives a barebones look at the structure of the site. Use tools like xml-sitemaps.com to assist you in creating sitemaps. Also, measure how dated the current website is, and use your previous conversations to determine what needs changing and adding. What can be a template? Can you use templates on individual elements and the style to speed up workflow?
After you look at the current website, you should then determine the goals for the new website. What kind of audience will it attract? How will that audience interact with the new website, and what are their preferred devices? Determining your audience's demographic will help shape the layout and functionality of this new website—traits such as their age, gender, income, interests, etc., will help construct the user's demographic.
Use that information to help translate the needs for new functions on the project. Will the website need eCommerce sales? A way to measure the shop's performance? Will the website's users need to register accounts to take advantage of the site's functionalities? Will the website need an online booking system? Answering these questions will help you layout whatever tools and plugins your project will need to serve your target audience better.
If you express the want to make edits yourself, it's essential to start planning a process. What will the editing side look like for you? Will you need to learn how to make edits on your new website safely? Take into account, early in the planning phase, a wishlist for yourself. Package all of these needs and wants together, as well as essential credentials for you to get started. Such as WordPress admin access or access to your hosting service. Work with your team to distribute these credentials and share your wishlist with your team.
Keeping a detailed account of the project and your work will give you confidence in the project. It will also provide you with confidence in calculating your scope creep. Accounting for these details in your contract is essential since it will keep the pricing and understanding of both parties consistent. Work these details in your agreement, don't cut corners on reading your contracts with any contractors, agencies, or freelancers. Any missed details in your arrangements can confuse pricing out your website project. Avoid handshake deals, as they are not always concrete agreements, and both parties of the contract can flex the terms and pricing.
Be sure to analyze how many pages the website will be, what tools and plugins will assemble it. How will the website be designed? By template, custom, or a hybrid of the two? Would the website have a shop, and how many products will it host? How secure will the website need to be? Where is the website hosted? Determine the pricing and plans of what will be in use, estimate how many hours it will take to bring it together, and consider the contractor’s rate to estimate the overall cost.
You would be working directly with your team to bring this new website together. That means that you and your contractors are responsible for delivering certain assets for the project. At APEX, we have an onboarding process. Such as filling out questionnaires, scheduling calls, and working out any additional paperwork. You may be responsible for providing specific photos, your brand identities, such as logos and the business name, and text copy for the website. You would also need to consider if you want website mockups, and how many revisions would be allowed throughout the design and development process. Be sure to try your best to emplace timelines for each step in the process.
This process to scope out a price for a website is not an exact science. Every client and service provider is different. Be sure to take these steps into account and plan for your current and future projects. With more projects, you'll refine this process over time, and it’ll be easier to estimate the cost for future projects. If you want professional experience, book a call with our team at APEX, and we’ll start making a powerful website that is guaranteed conversions.