How do you know what to pay for web design? Do you go strictly on what you can afford or what you need? Web design is the creative presentation similar to the printed brochure, but that is where the similarity stops. Unlike a printed brochure, your web site is interactive. It is seen by millions of people. It is not limited to the hundred or even thousand that your sales people send and use as a leave behind after an in-person sales presentation. People visiting your website can respond instantly in ways other than a telephone call. Visitors can buy your products and services immediately. These are just a few of the differences.
Most people know about these differences. But when deciding what to pay for your website, these differences make a good yardstick. Another consideration is to weigh the outcome you want from your website.
1. Use your company brochure as a yardstick.
Let’s not make this comparison using an investment in the popular tri-fold brochure. That’s like comparing apples to oranges to use a tired old cliche. No, let’s use your company’s capabilities brochure. Say you ordered copywriting, graphic design and printing for a full-size 8 1/2 x 11 inch, 4-color brochure, 8 pages with a 4-page cover that weighs a bit more than the interior pages. This is a typical format. What do you suppose the cost is for your new capabilities brochure. $500? $800? $1200? If you own a capabilities brochure such as the one I just described, you know that the copy probably ran from $400-$800; graphic design $400 – $800; and 4-color printing and bindery $800 – $1200. Your total cost is from $1600 – $2800 and you haven’t distributed one brochure to a potential buyer. Also, you have not factored in in the envelope cost, cover letter cost, enclosed business card cost, and postage. Yikes! It is starting to be clear just what a printed brochure can cost. Now, ponder on the redo costs if you need to make any changes to the copy, such as your telephone number, address, new products. It is a big bite out of the old apple, isn’t it. You are going to need a complete redo and reprint. Ouch!
The investment in a website looks pretty good right now, doesn’t it?
2. Now, let’s look at the outcome you want from your website.
Sales! Most businesses have a website to support sales. Directly or indirectly. A standard brochure web design and development investment less than $2800 is going to have a higher outcome than that capabilities brochure. There’s no doubt about it. But if you want to enable your web site to accept payment online, you’re going to need a shopping cart. What about a way for people to signup for your mailing list. Do you want to add a newsletter to your site. Articles? Blog? RSS feed? Forum? Chat? Photo gallery?
These web enhancements turn your site into a unique landing place that people want to visit and buy from. Security features add credibility to further show visitors your business is real and can be trusted.
All these enhancements support your overall outcome to build sales revenue using the web as a new business channel. If that’s your planned outcome, spare no expense to create the web site you need to deliver results: Your full-featured web site – loaded with special enhancements – suited for your particular business pay for itself … easily. It is an investment, not a cost like your printed brochure.
When deciding on the funding you want to earmark for your website, keep in mind that it is a valuable business asset and profit center. Custom web design is an investment in future sales.
So how do you know what to pay for web design? Compare the investment to what you would pay for a capabilities brochure and then weigh the final outcome you want your web site to produce.