It’s always the first question. “What will my website cost?” And there’s never an easy answer.
My standard reply is that there are 100 websites for 100 budgets. And even that doesn’t touch on the complexities of the right level of custom design, photography, videography, copywriting, SEO, functionality and all the other pieces that make up a website. That’s why my next comment is “Let’s talk about your business.”
Not “Let’s talk about your website,” it’s “Let’s talk about your business. And your marketing.” Because if your website is going to exist in a vacuum without the appropriate relationship to your business and marketing plans, you don’t really want to hire Cold Spring. And – I have to say it – we quite likely don’t want you as a client. Nothing personal – it’s just that we love to help businesses succeed, and we can’t really do that without tying it all together.t
Next step, especially for the smaller businesses: “Oh, you don’t have a business or marketing plan?” Hmmm. I don’t mean a fancy, neatly bound document. It doesn’t even need a professional clear plastic binder! It really does just mean a plan. Tell me what differentiates your business from your competitors. Tell me who your clients are, where your revenue comes from, and what your plans are for growth. That’s all we need – just a plan. If you don’t have that, let me know and I’ll hook you up with a professional or two who’ll guide you down the right path.
OK, so now we know what makes you special, who you want to appeal to, and where your money comes from. Good. Now, what will your website cost?
- Do you want to be found by people who don’t already know who you are? If so, you’re going to have to think about search engine optimization and all the associated costs. Pretty solid return on your investment.
- Would you like to establish a brand that’s going to help your business gain recognition and aid growth in the coming years? Do you have a good logo? That’s a good first step. How about establishing value for your customers and creating an emotional connection with them? I bet your website can help with that.
- Do you want to be seen as a professional? Establish trust through photos and/or videos that allow your potential clients to connect with you prior to making that first phone call or sending that email? Sounds like an important step.
- Will your website be accessed on mobile devices? If you say “not much,” I’d recommend you think again. You’re right that mobile browsing was approximately only 1% of site access in early 2010. But it’s almost 10% now. And it’ll be around 20% by the end of 2013. Are you willing to tell 1/5 of your potential clients that they’re not important to you? I didn’t think so.
- Will you maintain your own website? Will you have a blog? Will you manage the SEO of your site to any extent? If so, we’d better integrate a content management system (CMS) for you, as we do for almost all our clients.
- Functionality? As simple as contact forms & quote requests. Project management? File transfer? What do you need to run your business efficiently?
- Copywriting is a fun one. We all can write – some better than others. Writing concise marketing copy, however, isn’t quite as simple as you might think. Five or ten years ago websites were full of boring long-body text that not many people read. Now there’s an expectation that the copy on your website will be witty, catchy, short & sweet. Will it help build your brand? Or will it help bounce your intended customers before they have any interest in contacting you?
And then there’s that little thing called custom website design. It’s what we do. Yes, I know custom website design means asking all the above questions and ferreting out the answers that will help your business. I know it means working with your timeline and budget. And, as with almost every project in the design world, it also means working with personalities, preferences, preconceptions, egos, and helping manage the project so that it’ll reach a successful completion. But custom design also means building a website that will be uniquely yours. It will give you a positive return on your investment and help grow your company now and for a few years to come. We’d like to help build your brand and become a trusted resource for your company.
So, what’s your website going to cost?
Call me at 508.865.5191. My name’s Jeff. Let’s talk about your business…