Chances are if you’re in any kind of sales or marketing related position, the company’s website has come up. You’ve likely been part of a team considering updating the website, redesigning the site or looking at ways to better market the site. Website costs vary.

So what do you do? Ask around for referrals, likely engaged in a Google search and even checked out competitor sites to see if there was a link to “website developed by XYZ Company” at the bottom of the site.

The proposals come in and you’re floored at the wide range of estimates. Depending on the kinds of companies you contacted for estimates – from smaller web design firms, a web “guy” or freelancer who’s done a few websites, your internal IT guy to a larger web design or development firms – there were remarkably low prices, very high prices and some in between.

This is an industry where it seems like everyone has a different approach to your website design costs.

  • Some will give you just what you ask for – a new design, with your input and brand materials, using the same content and navigation from your old site.
  • Some will make suggestions on improvements to copy, calls to action and likely address some elements of the on-page SEO (search engine optimization) elements. They may even touch on admin capabilities or a content management system.
  • Some will make a bigger deal of the whole thing. This company will educate or share with you a thought process of planning the site for your target audiences, addressing a lot more detail of the site structure for SEO(search engine optimization) and have a team to assist in your website design.

You’ll find a different answer from everyone you ask or consult with. Then look at their portfolios, work that is similar to your company or industry (or not) and weigh the pros and cons for each company.

Remember that your website is a marketing tool, and this is not an “expense,” it is a marketing investment – be sure to invest in something that will help improve and grow your business now, and well into the future. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Admin control and content management – how much do you want?
  • Current technology& access to updates – the web changes fast, will your site be flexible?
  • Video players – video is very important, what formats will your site support
  • Social media integration – your website is only part of your online presence these days
  • Great design – it has to look professional, yet be easy to navigate, think usability
  • Web success – takes more than a good looking site to make successful online

So what’s right for you? I’m not answering that for you, because everyone’s goals, needs and resources are different. Consider what’s important to you as part of your new or improved website, as well as your new Web partner. Good luck out there. I’d love to hear your experiences and insights for others considering a website update in the future.

-Rebecca Dutcher