In today’s current economic climate, justifying expenditure is critical. This is particularly true when it comes to a large business expense such as building a website. Just how is a website meant to be paid for? In this post I hope to tackle the following questions:
- Whose budget pays for a website?
- How much should you spend?
- How is it best to spend your budget?
- How do you plan for future expenditure?
- Is there an alternative to fixed price projects?
Whose budget pays for a website?
A website is too often seen as a marketing expense and so comes out of the marketing budget. In reality, it is so, so much more. The Voltronik site for example, is also a portfolio of web design work, a contact method, recruitment aid and public outreach tool. Most departments in almost any business can, in fact, be supported by a website. Why then does the budget automatically get assigned to just one? It makes little sense which is why websites need their own budget, spread across the year, in order to act as a suitable ‘department’ within your business. This can work for businesses as small as one person, right up to large teams. Voltronik often deals with small businesses between 1 and 10 persons and so far, the suggestions made to them outlined in this article, have made a big difference.
How much should you spend?
Often when shelling out on something that is good in quality, you follow a simple rule: spend as much as you can afford. Many people know that buying a £100 mountain bike is nothing compared to buying a £3000 mountain bike. Sure, it might get you from A to B but it’s all in the detail: the smoothness of the ride, the ease of changing gears, the quality of the parts. A £3000 mountain bike then will naturally have a higher resale value over a £100 mountain bike giving you a better return on your investment. What I’m saying here is the more you pay, the all-round better experience you will get.
This is exactly the same for web design. The more you invest = the more you get + a higher return on investment + a better experience (for both you and the visitor).
If you have the funds available, the ability to invest and the tools to track your returns, you should continue to spend on your website – it’s all about getting the most for your money.
How best to spend your budget?
When it does come to spending your budget, here are some things to bear in mind:
- What to spend the budget on
- When to spend your budget
- How to spend your budget with Voltronik
The first point is website specific. Each website will have it’s own goals and so is a little tricky to tackle here however, the second two points can be addressed to a degree.
When to spend your budget
Prior to this article, most businesses wouldn’t have a separate web design budget and so would blast everything they could afford every few years at a failing website that was looking outdated. The new re-design looks great but then slowly falls into disrepair. Rinse and repeat the cycle.
The problem is that this is not very cost-effective or particularly optimal in terms of a return especially when compared to trickling your investment into the development of a new website over a long period of time. Also whenever a re-design takes place, the slate is completely wiped clean and all previous investment is lost.
Clearly, a developmental process is the way forward.
How to spend your budget with Voltronik
For the initial project such as building a website from scratch or re-designing an old one, a competitive quote can be produced and we can work together in order to produce something great for you. From then on, just a few hours of development time every month or two can be all that’s required to keep your website feeling fresh and integrated with new features to really make your website have an ever expanding and enjoyable experience. Alternatively, quotes can be produced for the slightly larger ‘phases’ of development when adding in entire modules of functionality such as incorporating a shop or a blog. The possibilities for your website are endless and are only bound by your budget and ability to invest.
An alternative to fixed price projects
Often, clients require a fixed price for web design projects. That’s fine and is understandable – they want to be able to keep control over the cost and ensure it is within their budget. This in itself however, comes with a number of issues:
- It isn’t always the most cost effective route to take as web designers have to incorporate contingency into the price. The client therefore won’t benefit from quickly completed or smoothly running projects.
- Fixed price usually means a fixed project brief which means the web design team cannot mould the project or emphasise their skills in any particular area.
- This can encourage a rinse and repeat cycle of re-designs and fixed brief projects over the course of months or years and does not encourage a continuous working relationship between web designer and client for the on-going development and possible success of their website.
The approach to this then might be to work on a non-fixed price basis similar to many other industries, charging an hourly rate until project completion. This requires a large amount of trust from the client and without a previous working relationship, might be difficult to forge initially.
Is there an alternative method of payment for clients who want to go down this route?
An alternative method of payment
The answer is a resounding, yes! Voltronik offers an interest free payment plan for larger projects totalling to over £3,000. We hope this option makes it easier and more affordable for businesses that don’t have the total initial outlay for the project but have good intentions and interests in the on-going development of their website.
Currently, part of the problem with paying for a website is cultural in that businesses expect it to be a fixed project with a fixed time and budget attached which makes on-going development a challenge. Compare this to smartphone apps or software where users understand that they pay for upgrades.
Whether contributed by the client or the web designer though, a website’s development is crucial to it’s return and possible success.
We hope you enjoyed this article and that it inspires you to work with Voltronik on the development of your website, now and in the future.
As always, comments are welcome, below.