Jake Intel

Leigh Rossi

What’s in a Website?: The Bottom Line & The Finish Line 

  • By Leigh Rossi
  • October 14, 2019
  • General

How much does this cost?

When can we launch?

These are the two most common questions website development teams receive from prospective clients ahead of a project kick-off. Sometimes providing a simple, straightforward answer is not really possible, as every client and website has varying needs, budgets and timelines across the board. It is up to you to help explain what factors can contribute to increased time and money, and how clients can achieve their needs based on their bottom line and finish line. 

Content: What Stays & What Goes?

The largest bottleneck of any website project’s timeline is Content. Content evaluation, migration, creation, and everything in between takes time, and that’s often time that is needed on the client side of the project. While project managers can assist clients in reviewing the content on the old site to determine what is needed for the new site, it us up to the client to make those updates and approvals. Additionally, the larger the website, the more content there is for the teams to sift through, increasing both time and budget needed to implement on the new website.  

Design & Functionality: Toyota or Rolls Royce?

When it comes to designing and building your website, there are a few factors that also come into play to define the full scope of the project. First, how fancy are we talking? If your website needs all the bells & whistles and an impactful design to boot, you are probably in need of something custom built from the ground up. Are you more concerned about timing and budget, than intense design and expansive functionality? Then an off-the-shelf template might be your speed. Utilizing a pre-existing website template can be great for content-lite clients, who simply need a web presence ASAP, but the future costs to add functionalities and design elements can creep up in price.  

Approvals & Stakeholders: Who Calls the Shots?

As a client, creating your dedicated website team can make or break your budgets and deadlines. It is important to establish the day-to-day points of contact, as well as the key stakeholders who will need to have the final sign-off. Having too many cooks in the kitchen on day-to-day tasks often delays content, design, and development approvals, as more sets of eyes need to review every step on the process. These delays can often cause more costly hours for the website development team, as change-orders and scope-creeps happen when there are several voices in the room. Additionally, knowing when to bring in key stakeholders at the right time can also impact scope and launch dates. We recommend keeping key stakeholders out of the everyday back-and-forth and bring them in during big milestones that require their approval, such as Site-mapping, Homepage Design, and Website Beta Approval. This way, we can make timely (and cost-efficient) changes based on milestones, and not changes with every step to get to that milestone. 

Conclusion: What’s the Final Answer?

Sadly, there is no magic date or dollar sign to place on every single website project. While we can provide general estimates for your website needs, it really is a collaborative process between the firm and the client to get to a happy medium. A key thing we tell clients is that time is money—meaning, the more delays in the project, the more the costs can creep up. It benefits everyone to stay on track, and the result is a beautiful, functional website that crosses the finish line. 

Next Steps: What Do We Do Now?

We are always available to answer any and all website design and development questions, and are more than happy to create a personal budget and timeline to fit your firm’s needs. Please feel free to Contact Us and get this process started.