The problem - you don't know how reliable their quote is.
In this post, we're going to take a look at the 5 questions you need to ask when reviewing a website design quote, so you can work out what you're getting. We'll look at the ways you can avoid being ripped off, but also how you can avoid misquotes from someone who is inexperienced.
When you're done reading, you'll be able to look a website quote and judge in a split second, whether it is to be trusted or not.
1. How Long Have They Been Designing Websites?
The first thing you need to work out is how long the web design firm has been designing websites.
This question is important because it will let you work out how experienced they are in quoting web design work. If they have not been in business that long, they might be underquoting you.
This might sound like a good thing, but it can actually be quite bad. That is because they may have underestimated how long the project is going to take. As a result, they may provide you with deadlines they're not going to be able to meet.
Experienced web design firms have been burned in the past by this problem. Following this, they're well aware of the risks of underquoting and so will work extra hard to provide an accurate quote.
If you want to get a sense of how long a web design firm has been in business, look at past examples of their work. If they have produced a lot of websites similar to yours in the past, they've likely been in business some time. As a result, it becomes a lot easier to take their website design quote at face value.
2. Have I Been Clear about my Needs?
In some cases, it is not the fault of the web design firm if a quote is inaccurate.
If you are not clear about what you want from your website before the project commences, it can lead to misquoting. Unclear demands can mean the web design team might have to do work outside of your initial brief. This will naturally lead to the price of the website going up, costing you more than you might've budgeted.
To avoid this problem, you need to be absolutely sure about how you want your website to look and what you want it to do. You then have to accept that your website is going to cost you more money, if you add requirements to the project once work has already begun.
3. What Happens If I Don't like the Design?
People have different opinions on what constitutes a great design. Yes, you can judge the style of web design firm based on examples of past work. However, you'll never truly know how your website will turn out, until you have the finished product.
There is the chance you might not like the design your chosen firm has produced. To prepare for such a scenario, you need to be clear about what the policies are when it comes to redesigns.
Some firms will charge extra for each round of redesigns. Some will do the redesigns for free. And some will perform a set number of redesigns before they start charging you.
Keep in mind, you get what you pay for. If you are working with a mid-range firm, don't expect a website that looks like it comes from a high-end firm.
If you keep pushing a web design firm to do work outside their skill set, there will likely be a breakdown in the relationship. You want to avoid this scenario as it will waste time and money and leave you with nothing to show for your efforts.
4. Do They Offer Any Other Services?
Once your website has been designed, you might need some help promoting it.
Some web design firms will be able to help you with digital marketing services such as Search Engine Optimization or Pay Per Click marketing. If you ask ahead of time, the web design firm might include these services at a discount, within the initial quote.
To benefit from such a discount, you need to decide ahead of time if the firm in question is also going to help you with marketing. As with the web design side of things, look at examples of their marketing portfolio to see how good the firm is at digital marketing.
If they have no evidence that shows they're good at marketing, it might be a better seek marketing help from an agency dedicated to marketing instead.
5. Is Ongoing Support Included in the Website Design Quote?
As your business changes, you'll need to make adjustments to your website to reflect these changes. If you have little to no experience with editing a website and adjusting code, you will need to hire a professional to help you get the job done.
However, in some cases, this can be avoided as a web design firm might include future adjustments as part of their initial website design quote. If you don't see 'maintenance' included in the initial quote, ask the firm in question what they'll charge if you need adjustments made to the website.
Some firms might offer a monthly subscription plan which allows for you to reach out and ask for changes as and when you need them. Others might just offer a discounted rate for past customers.
Facing Web Design Woes?
Hiring a web designer can be a challenge if you have no experience of working with one in the past.
Perhaps the hardest part of working with a web designer is reviewing the quote they've given you. It can be hard to work out what this quote will include and just how likely it is that the quote will go up as the project gains momentum.
By asking a few specific questions, though, you can remove a lot of the uncertainty that comes with judging the accuracy of a website design quote. As long as you're able to obtain clear and precise answers from your chosen web design firm, you should be on the right track.
Want to learn more about working with a web design firm? Reach out to see how we can help you!