Why a website will be more expensive than you might think

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Quality doesn't come quick nor does it come cheap. So why would you think a nicely designed website should?

You may experience this at your own profession. Customers wanting quality of an expensive restaurant at a McDonald's price. When it comes to web design, there are always ideal customers who comprehend fully our hard work, but more often than not people have trouble understanding just what it takes to produce a beautifully designed and well functioning website. It seems to be a persisting problem in the creative jobs – be it organizing the perfect wedding party or a gorgeous website.

It comes down to us to educate our clients and make them see the value in our work. I think the easiest method here would be to show, in detail, what types of tasks and how many hours per each goes into website design. Transparency and sincerity is everything!

So, what tasks are involved in making a website?

Let’s take a closer look now where time and your money will go when I'll make your website.

Most websites have a classic structure that looks like this:

  • Home
  • About
  • Services
  • Gallery
  • Blog
  • Another page for your needs like a calendar or testimonials
  • Contact

We always refer to a semi-custom solution, which means that your site will rely on a pre-existing structure where it will be "built" with design elements and texts to keep costs at a relatively low level, as opposed to a site that is created from scratch (and often costs a few thousand euros).

So here are the hours for a semi-custom website in detail:

DESIGN (10 hours)

It includes the design of a home page and a standard page that will be used on other pages as a "template" (such as About, or the Contact page).

INITIAL SETUP (5 hours)

  • Domain name setup (1 hour)
  • Upload a site with some demo/initial material, adjusting the structure and site menu (2 hours)
  • Checking the performance of the site on mobile and different browsers (2 hours)

CONTENT UPLOAD, STYLING AND EDITS (20-25 hours)

1. Customization of design and graphics on all pages. This is huuuge as Donald would also say, including CSS customizations, changes in colors and photos and more. It involves dozens and dozens of minor fixes to ensure that the site is in the desired format either by analyzing all of it (10-15 hours) or by examining each page separately:

  • Home page. It often has a different structure than the rest of the pages and needs some extra care as this is the page that will "sell" (5 hours)
  • About page. Assuming that this, like the rest of the pages, includes mainly text and a few photos that will not need separate treatment like the home page (1 hour)
  • Services (1 hour)
  • Gallery (1 hour)
  • Blog Categories setup and creation of two original blog posts (1 hour)
  • One more page like Calendar or Testimonials (1 hour)
  • Contact (1 hour)

2. Editing. A little here and a little there and it’ll be always more than originally thought! (5 hours)

PROJECT MANAGEMENT (10 hours)

To ensure the best results, there are different tasks – e-mail, phone exchanges -  that are more time-consuming than one might think. 10 hours is the minimum time and it is distributed on following tasks:

  • Consultation on related topics like what domain name to choose, website hosting, content, structure, design options etc.
  • Design research and sketching.
  • Client material analysis – be it texts, logo/s, photos, social media links etc. These are almost never sent in the correct format - format that can be used for the final version of the site - nor do they come finished ("can you search for some photos for me?" "what do you think about the text?").
  • Email or phone exchanges regarding necessary edits during the site's development phase and the final launch.

And so this is website design in a nutshell! Now, adding all the hours the different tasks require results in a minimum of 45 hours, even for the simplest website. The truth is that when trying for the best result, web & graphic design work usually takes even more time, as you might also do in respect to your own customers.

So, why don’t you let a professional designer do what he knows best and have a professionally looking, beautiful website as a result.

 

Panos Paraskevopoulos