When it comes to designing and building a new website, there are a number of things one can do to keep the costs down. As a web design agency, we are going to let you in on a few secrets that will cut $1000’s off your next website design project. The majority of the top 5 factors are all based around saving time, because as the saying goes, time is money, and when engaging a professional web design company to build a website, the hourly rates can often be quite expensive. So do yourself a favour and take note of these handy tips to save yourself some dollars.
Plan out your website
The more information you can provide your web designer the better. Spend a good chunk of time initially working out a solid project plan. Create a sitemap of the pages you require and itemise out a list of required features and “desireables”. Be sure to highlight any features that may require integration with 3rd party systems. Think of your website project much like building a house, a builder will want to know how big the house is, how many rooms and features are required, the same applies for a website except rooms can be swapped for pages. Sketching up some rough mockups or even just examples of sites you like will really speed up the initial discovery and planning stage for the design team.
Organise your contact
One of the biggest factors in causing delays in a website project is the lack of content. As a web design agency we are forever putting projects on hold because the client is yet to provide content for their project. This could be text for pages, or images for feature graphics and header images. It’s also hard to design a new website without knowing what the content will be. Having the content ready will allow agencies to provide a more accurate quote, it will also reduce the amount of future correspondence and requests for content. Labelling images correctly and organising content in folders based on pages or sections of the site will definitely keep your designer happy and the project flowing smoothly.
Limit any new changes to the website
Changes to the website project can cause all sorts of delays and additional costs if performed once development has begun. For this reason, it’s best to spend more time on the planning and design stage to ensure the site design is exactly how you want your website to look and function. It is much easier to change a layout or shuffle content around in the design phase than it is once the pages have been developed. Changes to overall templates and functionality in the development phase will add additional development time to the project and in more cases than not incur additional charges. Make sure you communicate with your designer as much as possible in the early design stages.
We can’t stress it enough, communication is key. If you don’t like something then tell your designer. Don’t wait until it’s too late in the project to finally mention you don’t like the page layout, or you want to change the colour scheme. You might think these are small changes, but in reality they can cause a great deal of additional work which will be billed to you the client. Try to respond to any emails or phones calls as quick as possible to keep the momentum of the project going. Lengthy delays in responding to questions from the designer can really slow a project down and projects quotes and timeframes can blow out.
Cost Effective Web Hosting
With so many web hosting companies available to choose from, there is plenty of opportunity to save money on a hosting package. A simple search for the best web hosting companies will provide reviews and comparisons of the best plans. Choose one that is suitable to your requirements in terms of how much space and features you need.
Use opensource software
If you would like to avoid paying expensive annual licencing fees, then look towards using an opensource content management system for your website. CMS platforms such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal will allow you to run a full featured, professional website, without the huge ongoing costs like enterprise software. Gone of the days of opensource software being full of bugs or only for running amateur blogs, CMS software has come leaps and bounds and can be customised to suit any new business website. Take WordPress for example, it now powers nearly 30% of all the websites worldwide and has the ability to be scaled cost effectively via plugins such as ecommerce, forums, contact forms, membership and more.
So when considering your next web design project be sure to take these 5 tips in mind to save yourself both money and unnecessary hassles.