We get asked this question all the time and unfortunately there isn’t an open and shut answer to this question.
One of the biggest challenges we find when quoting for work, is that many people don’t actually know what they need until they have something in front of them – and by that time its normally too late in the project to make certain changes – or they start requiring things outside of the original spec and you end up having to try and explain to the customer that the request they have put in is possible, but it would cost more – never a nice conversation to have with someone you have recently sold a website to!
Dijitul always try and ensure the customer gets what they want, so we have a list of questions that we get new customers to answer, and this normally allows us to see exactly what they want and quote accurately. However, on nearly every job our customers ask us for something that has never been part of any spec they’ve ever sent us – so we tend to create a secondary list of required features and try and address those afterwards as part of a “Stage 2”.
One of the biggest challenges is making people understand that many of the changes they require are not easy, 2 second, visual fixes, they are complex development tasks that can take a good few hours – and as we can only charge for our time this means either we lose out, or you get charged more – and we never like to increase a bill after we’ve quoted! So try and get all your thoughts and “wants” over to your chosen web company in the first meeting!
The best advice we can give anyone looking to have a website created, is do your homework first. Browse about, have a look at many websites and have a think about what you want from your new website. Once you’ve done the groundwork speak to us (or a company like us) and pass your groundwork over to us/them so we can create a spec from it and quote you for the work.
You dont need certain things because someone else has them, you don’t need to copy everything everyone does, you need to think about what you want, what you need the website to do in order for it to not be a waste of money and a wasted exercise, and that is the info you need to pass to your chosen web company as early in the process as possible.
Common things people forget to mention when “spec’ing” a website;
- Social Links – These get forgotten about, and then we get asked “Can we try and fit a Facebook logo in here?”
- Badges – Freeindex, Tripadvisor and more. If you’re a part of it, then tell us EARLY so we can design these badges into your site rather than butcher them in later.
- Live Chat – Zopim, ClickDesk, LivePerson, they are all very useful but tell us early on so we can take the placement of the widget into consideration.
- Alternative Contact Details – We had an instance recently where a customer wanted to show two phone numbers, not the one phone number we had used in the design of which they signed off.
- Mobile/Responsive Layouts – When planning out a website we always recommend people go with a mobile friendly layout, but often its sidelined due to cost but its so important and much cheaper to do from day 1.
- Hosting – Make sure you state as EARLY as possible if you wish to use your own hosting. We have to charge a little more if we’re building on hosting that isn’t our own as every hosting environment is set up differently and often things are much slower so they take longer and therefore cost more. We always recommend hosting with us.
So save yourself time, money and hassle and do as much research and “”groundwork” as possible before you ask someone to quote you for a website 🙂