10 Factors to Consider When Receiving a Web Design Quote
The prospect of creating a website can be quite exciting. This might tempt you to rush to get started on the design process. But you need to be careful since how you start is crucial to the success of your website. This involves choosing the right web development company or freelancer to work with. Here are 10 factors that you should consider when receiving a web design quote.
1 – Timeframe
There should be a timeline on when work will be started, when different milestones will be achieved and when the project is expected to end. The timeframe will give you an expectation of how long the entire project will take. Be also aware that the successful implementation of this timeframe heavily depends on own ability to timely provide the raw content of your website, namely the structure, texts and images!
2 – Hosting and domain registration
Never accept web design offers bundled together with hosting and domain registration. Register by yourself your own domain and hosting so that you can have complete control over your accounts. This way, even when you change agencies, the designer cannot hold you hostage.
Unfortunately, many designers will try to lure you by offering cheap bundles, pretending that you don’t need to bother with that and they take care of everything… In fact you should bother with those questions as they are crucial to the success and sustainability of your website! Otherwise, you might one day discover that your domain is not registered under your name and you can’t get back, or the hosting your site is using is extremely slow and not secured.
3 – Cost
This is one of the most important aspects to consider. As the saying goes, “you get what you paid for”. Price varies greatly from one company to another, but you should always be very suspicious for very low cost quotes as they always hide something you might discover when it’s already too late. The key thing is to ensure that the company is transparent so that you know exactly what each costs covers and how much you will be billed for what exactly. This can be a fixed price or an hourly price but quotes should always be very detailed.
You also need to know if there will be any ongoing costs after the initial site setup, like maintenance fees or the cost for future updates.
4 – Credibility and specialization of the designer
Carry out due diligence. Check out what previous customers say about the company and which websites are still available online. All websites are different and nobody is specialized in everything. Some designers are specialized with online shops and eCommerce, while others, as we do, are rather specialized in corporate designs. The technology, design and layout for each one of those sectors is completely different and they rely on different expectations.
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Furthermore, you need to be sure that your designer is using clean and legit software to build your website and verify (by asking original purchase receipts) that the “paid” software your designer installed is a pirated version that runs malware and backdoors at your site. Best practices in this field, as stated above about domain names and hosting, is that the clients purchases himself any paid software that might be needed for his website and simply hands over the license code to the designer to use for his work. That way, the software always belongs to the client and is attached to his website, whoever the designer is in the future!
5 – What’s the process?
Understanding how the whole process will work will help you know what is expected of you. This means knowing the different steps the design process, as we clearly expose it here, will go through and why each step is necessary. Therefore, do not hesitate to ask detailed questions of what the whole process will be like, what exactly your own part of responsibility will be and how you are supposed to communicate with your designer. What sort of documents are you supposed to delivers, in which file formats and how.
6 – Plan for ongoing support
As perfect as your site maybe when it is first designed, you will need to maintain it and update it from time to time. Moreover, you could have a major disaster in your hands and your site fails after a couple of months. Your designer should have a plan for such scenarios and how maintenance should be carried out. Maintenance plans usually cover several aspects, like security and SEO monitoring, backups and regular updates of software installed.
Even if content updates are carried by yourself or your staff, someone has to be responsible for a regular technical maintenance, the same way a car needs to be maintained on a regular basis.
7 – Expectation of the agency from you (the client)
The designer should clarify the expectations they have of you. This is to avoid confusion about who is expected to do what, between the designer and the client. There should be a clear breakdown of what the client is expected to do; for instance, the client will be expected to provide website content and photos and also which file formats should be used for those. Usually, texts are sent via email in basic MS Word format, while images should be shared via online file sharing services because they are always in large files.
8 – Who exactly will do the designing?
Find out whether the work will be done in-house by the designed or whether it will be outsourced to someone else. Whoever is handling the project should have the capacity to do so but it’s not uncommon that designers outsource some parts, like special graphic designs or code programming. In such cases, those elements should clearly be specified in the quote, with corresponding expenses.
9 – What technology will they use to do the design?
The technology that will be used to build your site will determine how flexible or customizable your site will be in the future. For instance, whether the designer will use proprietary software that will be hard to change later on, or open source programs like WordPress that are well known to many designers and not only allow customizations to be made to meet your evolving needs but are also easy to use the client.
Also, if a paid software license is required for specific tasks the client should purchase it directly at the author’s website and simply provide the designer the license code to use at his website. Not the other way around!
10 – Be ready to answer questions and also to ask the right ones!
To better understand your project, the designer will ask you some questions. Be prepared to answer them but also prepare a list of questions you have for them, based on the above mentioned points.
Do you need a quote for designing or re-designing your website?
Ask for a free quote today!