Website Design Quote: Finding Your Way Around the Numbers
The last step in the process of choosing your web design agency is in most cases, to analyze the quotes written by different providers. However, it is often difficult to find your way around these different offers.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with concrete elements, which you can use when comparing the website quotes received.
Table of contents
Know your web design needs
Web design can be described as the work of a colony of ants. Multiple talents from different kinds of services will probably be sought to obtain a final product that meets your business expectations. So ask yourself, which web design services are you limited in and what are your true needs?
- Is it a simple showcase site? If you want advanced features, it is important to list them.
- Do you want text on your pages? If so, who will create the content?
- In terms of design and graphics, do you need the help of a graphic designer to achieve a responsive web design?
- What kind of media would you like to add to your web design?
- How do you want your brand to be portrayed online?
- Is this a redesign or a first web design? Have you thought about the domain name?
Quote template format
If you have chosen to use a web agency, you have opted for a tailor-made service for your business. When choosing your future web designers, your main criteria of search should be a personalised service. Each client has the right to custom design services. The web agency must provide you with a proposal of what your website design will look like.
Some agencies prefer a digital copy of their quote template whilst others use old-fashioned pen and paper. They must present you with a portfolio before offering you a price or them charging you any costs.
But whether the proposal is compact or fanciful, before becoming each other’s clients, ask yourself these questions:
- Does the web design seem generic? Are you receiving a custom service? If yes, the website design quote you have received does not reflect the advantages of hiring an agency.
- Is the quote template detailed enough, intelligible, and consistent with what you have requested? If so, say that this agency took the time to think about your needs and submit a personalized proposal.
However small it may be, this information must at least appear on your quote template:
- Information about the company: name and contact details, SIRET, Intracommunity VAT number
- The objective of the service: a brief description of the site and your expectations
- An evaluation of the work: details of the stages of the web design, expected timeframe, etc.
- Cost and payment methods: basic service amount, maintenance price, deposit, etc.
The more ambitious the project, the more detailed the proposal should be. It may also have:
- A complete presentation of the agency – its specialties, the collaborators, references, etc.
- The reformulation of your need – The provider must highlight the purpose of the website.
- Functional cutting – What are the future features of the website?
- Additional visual aspect and ergonomics – graphic charter, logo, user experience, etc.
- Content organization and integration – your main pages and their tree structure.
- Additional SEO and web marketing services – to promote your new website
- Technical aspect – the type of hosting, technologies used, etc.
- Specifications – process, schedule, deliverables, etc.
- Maintenance management – site evolution proposal (like a guarantee)
- The final web design quotes – costs of the service, the validity of the estimate, method of payment, etc.
How to interpret your quote
You now have several quotes on hand from either the same web developers or varying ones, however, things are getting tough because obviously, each agency has presented its quote in its own way. Here are a few tips to help you break it all down.
At pricing level
Creating a website has a cost, yes, but which one? 500 €, 10 000 € or 100 000 €? You’ve heard everything and it doesn’t reassure you. In fact, it all depends on the complexity of your needs and the type of service provider to whom you will entrust the project. Indeed, a web agency will take care of everything while with freelancers, it will be necessary to find a good web developer/web designer team.
In order to see more clearly, the table below summarizes the price ranges according to the type of service provider as well as the service requested:
|Showcase site||Ecommerce website||Web portal|
Web developer + webdesigner
|500€-3.000€||1.000€ – 2.000€||5.000€-50.000€|
|1.000€-5.000€||3.000€ – 50.000€||10.000€-100.000€|
Website development usually takes a few weeks to a few months. Don’t be alarmed if your web page isn’t up and running tomorrow or for the start of next week. If you are looking for a complete service, web design projects take time.
Depending on your methodology and internal procedures, you will need different customer support. While one company may attach great importance to having a regular point of contact with a project manager, another may not be too concerned about development and is simply looking forward to projects being completed. Nevertheless, the web design will take time.
If you already know that you would like to receive regular updates on the progress of your project, make sure that customer support and project management are included in the website quote you have received. Conversely, if you do not attach much importance to this, tell your agency. This may reduce some costs.
If this has not been specified by the web agency, ask. Indeed, the technology used to create your website will have an impact on the future, especially if you or your collaborators need to update the digital content. In addition, doing some research on the technology chosen by the provider allows you to know if it is a known, common, state-of-the-art system that will promote the evolution of your website.
Website design is an investment, both financially and in terms of human resources (even more so if it is responsive web design). If these costs do not appear directly in the invoice of the web agencies, they can easily increase the cost of your project. Evaluate the tasks that you could assign to your own teams, taking care to select the competent profiles.
If you are lucky enough to have a web designer or in your business, they may be able to do some of the services themself. But remember that doing these tasks in-house isn’t free. They also come at a cost, so take the time to do the profitability calculation.
On the agency side, do not hesitate to ask about the availability and skills of the team that will be dedicated to your project, especially if you incur significant costs for a major project. Is it more of a junior profile? What experience do they have? Do they have a dedicated project manager? To what extent will they be available? What kinds of resources do they have available?
How to avoid traps?
Read the fine print
Everything must start with a clear, understandable, and detailed website quote. Rough and superficial or, on the contrary, overloaded with information, lists, sub-lists, sub-lists, etc. should be excluded from the quote template. At the end of the quote, everything must be clear to you.
At the slightest doubt, contact the agency and ask for an accessible and unambiguous explanation of the indigestible lines it has presented you. In addition, make sure that each of your requests has been met and answered in the quote template.
Side note: Beware of delivery times that are too optimistic. Whoever proposes a deadline much closer than their competitors is to be watched. As mentioned before, web design takes time, and in addition, just like any works, it is necessary to expect delays,
Agencies may be advertising an initial price before a proposal, but the end quote must reflect the promised result and the service that accompanies it.
Look at the “Project Tracking” fees. The higher it is, the more you can expect top-of-the-range customer support: listening, available, responsive, etc., and a service tailored to your needs. As a general rule, excessively low prices close to the “discount” are related to factory methods that reduce personalization and your intervention to the strict minimum.
On your website quote, there will be a flat rate, the website design itself, and a part in the form for the subscription. This mainly concerns maintenance, updates, referencing, hosting, etc. Read carefully what is included, and calculate what it represents over a year as a part of your marketing budget.
Some have an interesting basic service but that may be followed by high prices on so-called trifles. Moreover, it would be interesting to know how much web design and its maintenance online over 2 or 3 years really cost. From all this gathered information, you can make your own cost estimate of the website quote and what it should resemble.
Website design “superpacks”
Be very careful with the “Monthly Subscription” and “All-inclusive Pack per month” rates that link you to this agency for one year or more. In these contracts, there are very few real commitments by the provider.
A change in your needs may result in a higher bill if the subscription in question is not very flexible. In addition, many companies have often stated that they have been dissatisfied with those who use this very tempting method.
In the end, in addition to their frustration, they had to find another company and pay other professionals. The economy will be a vague memory.
Know your future collaborators
Read some recent reviews and learn more about the agency in question. Is their service reliable? Professional? Have previous customers been satisfied with their work in the past?
An agency that has already made a name for itself in the industry inspires confidence. They will know a priori better how to accompany you and assess with skill your real business needs. On the other hand, you run the risk of suffering the youthful mistakes of a newcomer who can close shop at any time. However, experience and trust also come at a price.
In accordance with your marketing budget, decide how much you are willing to spend on web designers based on their experience. Shall you go for the highly qualified company with the high prices and consequentially peace of mind, or will you gamble on the start-up with fewer clients but lower prices.
The final web design quote
Outsourcing any project requires a lot of time and effort for any business. There are many factors to take into consideration before conveying your wants and needs to someone else. On top of that, it can also be very stressful to decide who you wish to give your project to.
When it comes to a web design agency, just remember that your project is not that of any other companies and it should come with its own customisation. There may be options to receive a generic kind of service (which always costs less), but seeking outside help usually means that you are searching for something more.