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Why we really need to know your web design budget

Buying a Home - Budget

When we were shopping for our first home, one of the first things our realtor advised was to go to the bank to get pre-approved for a home loan. I remember her exact words: “Go talk to them to see what you can afford… or want to afford.” And so off to the bank we went and handed over paystubs, social security numbers, tax returns and bank account statements without thinking twice. We knew how much cash we had for a down payment and how much we could budget monthly. Once we got the stamp of approval from the bank, we handed over a letter with an amount on it to our realtor along with our home feature wish list, and off we went.

When you are buying a home, at least in most cases, you begin with an amount in mind and then figure out what you can get for it.  There are dozens of ways to compromise. You can back off on square footage and maximize the upgrades. You can compromise on the location in order to get a larger lot. You can get more house in exchange for fixing it up yourself. The list goes on.

Budgeting for a website should be similar to budgeting for a home. There is a common misconception, however, that withholding your website budget somehow gets you a better price. Or (perhaps more accurately) that a web designer will change the price based on what you tell them you can spend. While technically true, it’s not for the reason you think.

When we quote a website, we are trying to create a perfect blend of what you want and what you can afford. Or, as my realtor said, what you want to afford. Neither of us wants to waste our time looking at mansions in an elite neighborhood if it’s totally out of your price range. (Or, maybe you do want to look, but it will help if we know when you are just “window shopping”).  You also don’t want to end up in a crappy neighborhood if you can comfortably afford something better. Remember: you website should either directly or indirectly contribute to your bottom line. You don’t want to skimp, but you also don’t want to get too far out of your comfort zone.

As your “website” realtor, we will evaluate your wish list against your budget and tell you what fits. In some cases we may tell you that you don’t even need to spend that much to get everything you want. But, ultimately, it helps us guide you toward the right solutions.

When we ask for a budget, we are not setting a price tag. We just need to know what neighborhood to look in and what type of dwelling we are looking for: apartments in the city, houses in the suburbs or mansions on the hill? We excel at creating workable solutions regardless of the neighborhood or the type of building.

We really strive to work with clients long term and genuinely want to help you find the best fit. What’s good for you is good for us. Let us know how we can help you get started.

Three client responsibilities during a web project

Entering Website Content into a computer

Provide the content

Content includes digital assets, such as logos, color requirements and infographics, as well as copy and supporting graphics (or video) for your pages. (We can provide branding and copy writing assistance upon request, but that adds an additional level of service to your web project.)

Logos should be in a vector format (eps or ai) to give us the most flexibility in creating your design. The client is also expected to provide the written copy along with images or photos in an organized format. And by organized format, we mean that we must clearly understand what goes where. It does not necessarily need to be perfect or publish-ready; we will review your copy to optimize it for the search engines, and also provide editing and writing services to improve it. But the client must give us something.

Give constructive feedback

There are many stages of the design process that require timely response and practical feedback from you, the client. In many instances, we will not be able to proceed until we get the answers that we need. We love to hear “I like it” – but we are much happier when a client gives us specifics about what they do and don’t like about a design or idea. Strive to give us at least 2-3 things you do AND don’t like about something. Your project will move much faster and you’ll also be happier with the result.

Let us know your schedule

It’s also important to emphasize that a delay on behalf of the client can significantly delay a project altogether. You may be on vacation, but if we don’t hear from you for two weeks and can’t proceed until we do, then we will begin another project in the meantime. Then what happens when you suddenly appear, ready to pick up as if you never left? Do you still get priority, or do we owe that to the other (responsive) client? This happens more often that you would think. Help us help you, and give us notice if you will be away. More importantly, tell us when you expect to be back. If you need a day, a week or a month, please tell us so we can plan around you.