3 Ways to Save on Website Costs

Roy McClean
Jun 22, 2013
3 Ways to Save on Website Costs

Want to save time, money and resources when working with a web development company? Think of web development like home construction or renovation. Follow these tips and get better, cheaper results.

I caught one of those home design shows on TV recently. It was on in the background. Interior designer Sarah Richardson was talking about the main things that cause home renovations to become more difficult and more expensive. When I heard Sarah speak I almost dropped my laptop. I ran to the PVR to replay what she had to say! That's when I realized Sara and I had more in common than just being native Torontonians. She knows a thing or two about keeping projects on-time and on-budget. 

So what did Sarah highlight as super important project considerations for home design?

1. Custom Work - More Expensive But Often Worth It

Whenever customization is required costs usually go up. The length of time to complete the project can as well. But this isn't necessarily a bad thing. Custom work can also provide a great return on investment.

Want custom mill work? Looking at fancy, specialty fabrics for your reupholstered furniture? That costs more than your Home Depot bought trim or your couch from Sears. It's the same in web development. You need custom design (vs. purchasing a website theme or template) or require special coding for your ecommerce application? Yes, it's going to cost more.

Custom work can deliver better results. You can always go for IKEA kitchen cabinets. You can also opt for a master interior designer and mill worker to squeeze out every inch of valuable cupboard space maximizing the functionality and beauty of your kitchen area. Creating a custom website design from scratch can create similar results. The design, layout and functionality is tailored specifically to your brand, design needs and user experience. But then again the box store bought kitchen or a purchased website "theme" might do you well enough. Project budgets most often drives these types of decisions.

2. Time Delays - Proper Preparation Pays Off

There often isn't much upside with time delays, whether you are talking about interior design or web development. If you don't have your trades, materials, and furniture lined up and available when renovating your home that's bad news. Anyone who has gone through a home renovation knows this big time.

If you really want your web development work to go well, get the materials required by your web team in order. Copy, images, logos (in digital format), examples of other websites you like, and your business strategy should all be available before the project starts.

I mean this respectfully, but both interior designers and web developers have more than just you as a client. If you don't have the components ready for your project and a designer or developer is waiting. They'll move onto the next client work. After all, in business keeping productive is a vital part of being profitable. Once your designer or developer gets working on another project moving back to your work can be difficult and very inefficient time-wise. I can tell you personally that working in code for a week, then having to wait another week for materials like images wrecks havoc with efficient web development. I'm sure it's exactly the same for interior designers.

3. Decision Making - Hums and Hahs Are Tough

You are paying for your product or service. And you deserve to have the final word on the final product whether it's a redesigned living room or a new content-management-system-driven website. But, if you have done your homework and due diligence you should be working with a solid professional. Sometimes it really is best to let the pros you have hired make more of the decisions on developing your final product. They are in it full-time (hopefully) and have a strong track record.

Regardless of the level that you are involved in the design and development process if you are making decisions you can help your interior designer or web developer stay on-track, on-task and on-budget by providing decisions in a timely, logical manner. As noted above, proper preparation and job scoping is critical here.

The one thing I have learned in over fifteen years of managing web projects is that proper job scoping is almost always the most critical step to ensuring a project goes smoothly. You should expect your design or development partner to be well prepared right from the start. In our case, we draw out sitemaps for website listing functionality, purpose, keyword structure and more for each section and page. It often takes a little more work at the beginning of the project but pays off significantly in the long run.

Follow these tips and save time, money and heartache, whether it be a new home renovation or your next website project.

Have Your Say

Have you had a web project go magnificently or terribly? What of the three steps I outlined worked or failed?

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