Your Top 5 Website Development Questions Answered (Honestly!)
1. How Much Will My Project Cost?
This is usually the number one question we get asked. And the honest answer is that it depends – but on what? Cost depends entirely on the type of website you want to build. Are there a few pages of content or an entire encyclopedia? Will it require a custom design or use an existing theme? A few simple forms or a full ecommerce store? There are a LOT of variables that impact the scope of a web development project, which, in turn, impact cost.
We find it’s easiest to think of it in terms of a car. You can get the base model at the base price – it doesn’t have any frills, but it can get you from A to B. Need power windows? It costs a little extra.. A sunroof? It costs a little more. Add latest greatest in-dash navigation with lifetime updates? The price will continue to climb. And if you’d rather buy a truck, that’s includes a whole other set of variables.
If you want to build a website, we recommend creating a plan and establish a budget. You can use this worksheet to plan for your new site. You should also be aware of what you want to spend or what you have to spend, and share that number with the team building your site.
2. How Long Will It Take?
This one is usually right after ‘how much will it cost’. Again, it depends on the project. A simple WordPress site can be up and running in a few days. A custom, larger project can take months to plan before any creative or development has even started. So map out exactly what you want from your website – separate needs from wants so that you know what should get put on the back-burner if time or money is a constraint. And of course, it’s always good to have a deadline. Be sure to establish one with your team.
3. What is a CMS and how does it help me?
CMS stands for Content Management System – it gives websites a foundation that allows for easy and effective site management by your team. No development or coding experience? No problem! A CMS includes an easy-to-use admin dashboard that allows users to easily edit text, change images, add pages, and even modify layouts. So what are the top CMSs out there? They may sound familiar – WordPress, Drupal & Joomla.
4. I want to build a basic website – will I be able to update it?
See Question 3 – but if you know you’d like to update the website yourself, use CMS and be sure you understand how to use it!
5. How do I choose which web developer to use?
Whether you plan to hire a person or team to create your website, choosing who to use can be tough. The market is extremely fragmented – there are lots of folks out there creating websites, and not all websites (or teams) are created equally. Do your due diligence when making the decision – ask for recommendations from colleagues, family, and friends. Once you narrow it down to a few options, check out company websites for examples of work, client lists and testimonials. Then, give them a call! Talk to a human, share your project and get an estimate. Take all the pieces that matter to you into consideration and follow your gut!