OK, I’ve written about this topic extensively for film and video. And you know what? The principles are the same for web design.
If you ask three web designers for a price, you get what? Well, three different ideas, three different prices.
How to get a great web site design and price?
How can you get your web designers to bid on apples and apples, not apples and oranges?
- You start with three web designers whose work you like.
- You send each the same specifications (specs).
- You choose the bid you prefer, whether it’s based solely on price or not.
So, how to come up with the right specs?
Follow this checklist:
- # of pages
- # of forms needed (e.g., sign-up)
- would you like to be able to make your own changes to the web site? (This will tell your designer whether to use a content management system, or CMS)
- ecommerce? (e.g., are you doing to be selling items on your web site? How many?)
- do you need a blog?
- do you need photography?
- do you need a logo design?
- what’s your style? clean and spare? elegant? simple or wordy?
- are you including video? Does the video exist yet, or is that part of the package?
- do you need writing? (This is highly recommended! and not all web designers provide writing.)
- Do you need search engine optimization? Search engine marketing? They’re two different things, and if you’re not sure what each means, then you need an expert to help you.
Of course, this list isn’t foolproof. You may have a logo made by your son-in-law that you think is spectacular, but doesn’t work on the web. Or in print. A good logo designer will make you a set of logos good for every reason and season.
Also, your designer may recommend a different number of pages or photos. No matter. You’ve asked each of three companies to bid on the same specs, which will tell you a lot.
However, please don’t judge your bidders solely on price. Take a look at what they can do. Meet with each one. Determine whether there’s “getalongability” … you’re going to be working with this person or company for at least a few months (maybe more), so make sure you’re comfortable. Some folks select web design companies on price alone … and I can’t tell you how many really bad web sites come of that.