Not always is the cheapest the best.

Not always is the cheapest the best.

It goes without saying that a website is imperative for your business today.  Not only are new start-ups needing websites created, optimized and looking professional, older established businesses need to keep their websites fresh and up to date, as well.  If you’re looking at creating a new website or updating your existing site, one of the first things you need to do is set a realistic – not optimistic – budget for your project.

The reality is that you can have a website designed for anywhere between a couple hundred dollars and several hundred thousand dollars depending upon functionalities, back-end systems and more.  However, how much you invest doesn’t necessarily dictate the quality of your site, either.  Understanding and clearly defining your needs and expectations when talking with developers will go a long way in getting accurate quotes.  Additionally, you must fully understand the process for design and development, what is absolutely necessary for your website, and what price you’re willing to pay.  Much like your own business, I’m sure, product or service quality is vital.

It’s important to understand the lowest bid is not always the best choice.  This not only applies to website development, but skateboards, guitars, cars, construction costs, etc., as well.  For example, I happened to see a request for a bid in one of the many LinkedIn groups I’m a member of.  From the provided information it appeared that the project was pretty straight forward – 5 pages, a contact form, etc. – nothing difficult.  However, one gentleman responded that he’d do the job in 5 days for $150.  The comment right below from another developer said he’d do it in 4 days for $140.  Really?!?!  Any professional developer that creates quality products knows what kind of work these people do.  Unfortunately, the customer is the one that will only lose in the end.  I have yet to hear anyone tell me, “I got my website built for next to nothing and love it!”  Consequently, simply be careful when getting bids and be sure to do your homework prior to handing over any cash to the lowest bidder.

Next, when determining the purpose of your site, how you want it to be utilized by the viewer and what action you want them to take, you’ll also have to consider how much time it will take, as this ultimately determines the cost.  Ecommerce sites take more time to build, thus are more expensive.  If you want a back-end and Content Management System so you can change and add information to your site, this will also take more time to develop.  This isn’t to say that you have to spend tens-of-thousands of dollars, but just don’t expect to get everything you want for $250.

So the next time you’re requesting bids for your website design, don’t be surprised if the various prices are all over the board.  Likewise, don’t dismiss the higher bids hastily because you just might have to go back to these people to get your website done right.