The value of a good website is constantly being questioned these days - due to the availaibility of tools and vendors in the marketplace.
There’s the simple rule of economics - too many providers, and too many automated tools - equals a cheaper product.
And with a predicted incoming recession, uncertainty surrounding Brexit and many people beginning to feel the pinch, who can blame potential customers for looking for the best value?
The problem with Digital Agencies & Freelancers
Most digital agencies sell on the same pillars:
- Fresh approach
- We’re part of your team
- A great design
The issue is that by selling ourselves mainly on creativity, it’s difficult to put a value on it. The value of design and UX is tough to measure unless you’re an expert in the field. For the average company director without a dedicated marketing department, it really doesn’t mean anything to them.
We then have a bit of a problem with freelancers, who proport to be the one-stop shop for websites. But, being honest, having worked in this field for 20 years now, coding and creating websites, there’s still no way I’m an expert in every field of website projects. There’s just too many specialisms - front end design, interactive design, UX, UI, SEO, hosting, database design, to name just a few.
Professional agencies hide behind the ‘there’s just too many factors’ argument to not put pricing on their websites. These days, people expect to be able to find a price online. It enables trust, and is one of the first factors that will start the process of them picking up the phone. No-one will pick up the phone if they think they can’t afford it. This means that the sales process lies solely on relationship building, which is great, but time-consuming and costly.
We should be proud of what we charge - as long as we explain all the benefits.
Our website is being redesigned at the moment for launch later in Spring, and we will be adding pricing to our main pages, so potential customers can see what we charge.
When we’re figuring out what to charge, we need to explain everything that a project involves. And that’s why we always ask a client what their budget expectations are. Every time.
- Initial client meetings (and travel time…across Europe sometimes)
- Understanding the client business and re-interpreting that for best effect for communicating online
- Creating initial design ideas for discussion and review
- Sourcing or creating all the required media (images, videos, logos, icons)
- Sourcing client data and information for the website
- Database and CMS coding (from scratch or using industry-leading systems)
- Linking to existing data sources and APIs (postcode lookups, payment systems)
- Linking to our third-party tools for emailing and text functionality
- Coding mobile-responsive templates (front end design)
- Building all the interactive elements and functionality that links with the databases
- Launching test versions onto custom-built web servers
- Linking up domain names and installing SSL certificates
- Getting this all moved to live domains ready to launch the site
- Setting up nightly backup routines and building in regular checks for the site functionality
All of this takes significant time - our average project length from initial meeting to going live is around 3 months. And then there’s still work involved in amendments and maintenance each month. Sometimes, we can rush things through in a month, but we’d rather not.
Depending upon the kind of agency you work with, they will split most of that time into maybe front end design, SEO or back-end functionality. It really depends on who they are.
So, what do we charge?
As a company, working remotely, with a number of specialists, and 20 years of coding web based software and sites, we sit in a rather competitive place. Without the expense of an office, we make huge savings, and have the ability to work much more flexibly.
For a standard website, maybe with a news/blog functionality, a portfolio of works, customer quotes and custom design work, we charge from around £3,500.
E-commerce websites vary based on how unique we need to make them. If you’re just after a simple shop that doesn’t have any unique features, we can charge around £5,000. For something more unique or specialist, you’d be looking at around £10k minimum.
A lot of our work (and that’s most of it in 2019) is building customised software for business, moving data around, creating ordering portals, in-house intranets and linking different software together for business efficiency. Most of our projects here start at around £5k, but average around £10k-£20k.
The value we provide.
Ultimately, we save organisations time and money. £10k might seem a lot at the start, but when you remove the need for data duplication, extra staff as your business grows or missed/cancelled/returned orders, it pays for itself over and over again.
Websites, that are well thought out, consider the needs of their users, how they flow around the website, and convert visitors into customers provide huge value. They aren’t a cost, they are a valued investment.