Website projects are notorious for consistently going over budget, but they don’t have to be. Working with an agency can ensure you get your dream site, but it may mean doing a little work on your own before you start. Below are the seven most common reasons we’ve encountered that cause websites to go over budget.
You Haven’t Clarified Your Business
Can you describe your business in 10 words or less? The deeper the understanding you have of your business, and the more concisely you can articulate it, the smoother the discovery phase of project planning will go.
If you don’t have that deep understanding, don’t worry. A good agency will execute branding exercises to discover it, but it will take extra time, so budget accordingly.
You Don’t Know Your Audience
Knowing your target market ahead of time helps your agency get your new site in front of the right people in the right way. Consider taking time to analyze demographic information such as the age, location, and job type of your ideal customer.
Like a clear business description, an agency will work with you to create customer profiles during the planning stages of your site, but again, will lengthen the project and add to the cost.
You Don’t Know What You Like
Not every company has a robust visual identity and that’s okay. Agencies will work with you to discover what you like in a site and many have design exercises they take you through to discover your tastes. But we can only do so much, and decisiveness on your end means less work on ours.
Avoid extended deadlines and additional proof meetings by brainstorming ideas about fonts, colours, and even layouts you like before going into the project. Your agency wants you to love the designs they present and having some ideas to begin with can really set up the design planning process for success.
If your company has an established visual identity, consider compiling the pieces into a single branding document to present to your chosen agency.
You Don’t Know Your Buyers’ Journey
How do customers progress from learning about your company to purchasing your products? Understanding the path prospects take through your website, from the homepage to clicking “Buy Now” helps put the right pieces of your site in the right places.
Elements of your site, from copy to buttons and links, lead customers on a path through the site. If you understand this journey ahead of the development, your agency is better able to craft the flow of your new site with content.
You Want Every Page to be Unique
When every page of your site is unique, a developer must take time to create each page individually resulting in a longer timeline and a much higher cost.
Consider using templates for similar pages on your site. Templated pages not only reduce development costs, they also create a consistent experience for your visitors. Many templates can consist of modular parts, making it easy to create new pages, and alter existing ones.
You Don’t Know What Actions Visitors Should Take
When your site’s structure follows a clear Buyers’ Journey, it’s important to be clear what actions visitors should take while on your site. The strategic placement of buttons, forms, and links used with strong calls-to-action will guide visitors on the journey and create more qualified leads for your organization.
You Want Your Site to Have Everything
Over-design is a website killer. The most effective websites are clean, concise, and easy to navigate. Too many buttons and links are distracting.
Be thoughtful of your Buyers’ Journey, and where you’re placing information and conversion points. Over-design is especially detrimental to mobile or mobile-friendly sites because your working space is much more limited.
The best website projects come together when businesses and agencies work closely together. Keeping these seven points in mind can help you keep your new site at or under budget. The clearer the information you provide your agency, the better your website will turn out in the end.
If you’re in the market for a new website, contact Paper Sword today to access our team of creative minds.