Any new IT project runs on the risk of going overboard its intended budget. In fact, a majority of projects do not come even close to what is expected regarding cost.
When aiming to build your website, make sure that wire framing and designing remain as close to the budget as possible. Not laying proper groundwork leads to creation of a website that falls way below your expectations.
Whether you or attempt to design it yourself, you need to have a clear plan in place.
Reasons for Going over Budget
Understand the common reasons that are contributors to driving a budget off the road.
#1 Lack of Organization
You might have a great idea about the look of the website and the functionality. However, if you haven’t organized these thoughts, then you run the risk of cost overruns. Lack of clarity regarding what you want with your website and how you wish to get there leads to over heading costs.
#2 Too Many People Involved
When there are too many stakeholders involved in the process, there are multiple opinions and viewpoints at work, which prevents you from reaching a consensus. With each of the stakeholders giving their own opinion, it results in cost overruns and delay in project completion.
#3 Poor Design
If the website has been poorly designed, if the user is facing difficulty in navigation, and if the pages take too long to load, your site will ultimately be ignored. You will have to fix these issues, which invariably make you go over budget since either you will design from scratch or you will have to invest hours in fixing the problems.
#4 Poor Content
Although design and functionality play an important role in driving up user experience, however the real reason your website gets traffic and is visible to search engines is good content. If content is not up to the mark, either your website will be ignored by search engines, you will pay extra to have good content created in a rush. Alternatively, your site will sit idle which will result in revenue loss. In all these cases, budget will take a hit.
#5 Too Many Revisions
Excessive amount of revisions can lead you far away from the intended idea of your website building project. Ultimately, the work done originally becomes nullified.
How to Set a Budget
So, what is the best way to set a budget and make a site that meets your expectations?
Step #1: Create Specifications
Before setting a realistic budget, the first step is to have a clear idea about what you want the site to do. Consider the following:
- Design: What is the level of customization that you need? Do you need custom design from ground level? Do you have images for the new site or they have to be taken?
- Content: What is the amount of unique content that your site needs? Do you have in-house teams to write content or will you outsource?
- Functionality: Are you offering downloadable content like PDFs? Do you need a basic contact form or something more? Is there any need for third party integration? Do you want to optimize your site for SEO?
Step #2: Seek Proposal
Now that you have a rough idea about site specifications, you can solicit proposals. A professional web design and development agency would need these inputs to give you a reasonable estimate. The proposal will have all the practical deliberations that will meet your project needs.
Step #3: Aligning Expectation & Cost
It is possible that your site costs much more than what you initially expected, but now you have a review of development options, their real value and cost. Follow the three-step approach to find out where there could be disconnects.
- Design: Creating imagery and graphics from scratch can be time taking. Most companies do not pay attention to images at an early stage; however, at a later stage they regret when they see too much text and boring looking pages. If you go for stock images, they are plain and generic, which gives your site a boring look.
- Content: Companies more often do not realize that content is expensive time consuming to create. It is irrational as well as impossible to assume that an employee can whip up good quality content at the last minute.
- Functionality: Many companies are not aware what all functionality is actually needed and how much it costs. Midway during the project, they get frustrated when things don’t go as assumed.
Your initial proposals can be used to set a rough budget for your website project. Furthermore, you are more likely to find the right company and create a site that is right for your business performance and overall cost.
A budget cannot be pulled out of thin air! Going by a plan requires strategic thinking and hard work but the ultimate pay off will be big.
Hamad Almuraikhi is the Founder and CEO of eDesk HUB, a research and review platform that offers vetted and verified references and reviews on high quality web development companies with varied experience. eDesk HUB helps the firms to select the top performing IT service providers for Middle East.