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Ready to launch a new website? Here are the most important things to consider before getting a web development quote.

When the time comes that you’re ready to kick things into high gear and begin the process of launching a new website, it’s tempting to start as quickly as possible. But, getting a realistic web development quote is not as simple as getting a quote for car repair. There are a few crucial steps brands should take early on to ensure the best possible outcome.

We asked our dev guys to share some of the most important things that businesses need to know before getting a web development quote. So, when the time comes, you can be ready to launch a new website or get a website redesign.

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5 Things To Consider Before Getting A Web Development Quote

1. Consider Your Timeline

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One of the first questions a web development agency will ask is whether you have a time frame in mind or if you’ve considered your project timeline goals. First, think about any milestones, events or promotions that the website should be completed in time for or if the time frame is lenient. For example: Are you celebrating a 5 year anniversary? Launching a new product? Under new ownership?

Then, make sure to factor in the number of revisions in the quote…and allow for these revisions on your timeline. While revisions are a normal part of the process, you can save a lot of time (and money) if you get all your ducks in a row before you begin.

So, keep reading.

The key is to be realistic. If you’re getting a web development quote for a custom website with beefy functionalities, don’t expect the moon. This will help you to receive the most accurate bid and avoid scope creep (more on that later).

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2. Set A (Realistic) Budget

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Talk about how much the web development project will cost and inevitably, someone in the room tends to get a little uncomfortable. It doesn’t have to be that way. Go in with a budget in mind, but remember there are a lot of elements that impact the cost of a website. The fact is, web development projects can be completed in a variety of different ways…which can change the range on the price tag quite a bit.

When you’ve made a strong connection with an agency, it eases the flow of communication, even when talking dollars and cents. Open communication allows for everyone to express concepts, concerns and challenges that could arise. Overall, creating a successful web development project.

You see, talking about your budget with an agency doesn’t have to feel uncomfortable. It should actually be the opposite. Sure, it might be initially difficult to determine what your budget should be, especially if this is your first website project, but it’s important to take the time on this so the web team can come up with the right solution for you that will work best within your budget.

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3. Do Your Homework

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Before heading in for a web development quote, do some research first. Check out your competition, draft up your concept, review any specific industry regulations that might need to be considered and, of course, do some research on professional website agencies.

Ask around. Does the agency impress you? Does their portfolio give you the confidence you need that they’ll do a good job on your own? Do your values and beliefs vibe with theirs? If you hesitate on any of these questions, you may need to drop them from your list, even if their quote is tempting.

It’s an investment, so you’ll want to ask a few questions first. Gather the ones that ring most relevant to you and your brand:

  1. Do you do all your development work in-house? (This will let you know if they’re a web development company in USA or push any of their work offshore).
  2. How long have you been working together? (This will give you a sense of their compatibility and ability to work quickly.)
  3. Do you use WordPress? (Or an expensive and risky proprietary software?)
  4. Can you tell me about your process? (This will help you understand the proven systems they use to achieve consistent, reliable and quality results.)
  5. How do you track the success of your projects? (While metrics may depend on your ultimate goal – conversions, sales, website traffic – data must be tracked. Make sure that this is included in your quote.)
  6. Who will own what after the project is complete? (It’s important to understand licensing, intellectual property and ownership guidelines before anything begins.)

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4. Know What You Want Before You Ask

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If you’re starting from scratch, think about what kind of website you’ll need. Does it need to be something that requires constant updates or something beefy with custom integrations and functionalities? Will you need a website refresh or a complete overhaul?

Determining these needs ahead of time can help you to prevent scope creep.

What’s scope creep?

Scope creep refers to any surprise elements added to a project after it has already started. This results in extra work, extra charges and extra frustrations. Scope creep not only throws your budget off course, but also your timeline for launch and stakeholder expectations.

Sure, revisions are expected. Change happens. But, the more you can define your project goals, objectives, timelines and budgets ahead of time, the more you can manage scope creep and even prevent roadblocks from happening in the first place.

Any good agency knows how to ask the necessary questions in their discovery process to avoid this slippery slope.

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5. Be Prepared to Answer

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A comprehensive discovery process includes a series of strategic questions and conversations designed to uncover the client’s needs, goals, USP, etc. for developing the right game plan for their project.

Some key questions you can bet the agency will ask you in the discovery process include (but are definitely not limited to):

  1. Who is your target audience?
  2. What is the goal of your website?
  3. Why do people choose you over your competitors?
  4. Do you have a certain style, color, functionality in mind for your website?
  5. What are your core values?
  6. Do you already have a website? If so, what are your top three frustrations with your current site?
  7. How many pages do you estimate for the finished site?
  8. Will you need new content or a refresh of your current copy?
  9. Do you have specific images you’re planning to use?
  10. What makes you different from your competition?
  11. Do you need a content management system?
  12. Does your site require a blog? If so, will you be providing the content or do you need this added to the quote?
  13. Will you require third-party applications to be integrated to your website?
  14. Do you have a Google Analytics account?
  15. Do you have a budget or timeline you’re trying to meet?

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Go In With A Game Plan

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Like with any big business decision, going in with a game plan is essential to your success. The more thoroughly you can outline your goals and expectations ahead of time, the better you’ll be able to create a clear line of communication with the developer – and be satisfied with the finished product.

At CMDS, we’re all about game plans. Our in-house team is ready to help you unveil your brand from back-end to front-end.

Give us a shout at (732) 706-5555 or fill out this handy contact form to learn more.

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