Okay, so you’ve finally decided to finally, finally build your website, and you’ve chosen the web developer you want to work with, YAY! Those are two huge obstacles you’ve already overcome.
But your business is small (or nonexistent- yet!), so you want to make sure that you get the best value for your money when it comes to building your website.
I’ve built dozens of websites for people just like you. I’ve worked with clients who have me spinning in circles for so much time that their super expensive website has the same level of design and quality as a client who’s been more efficient and paid a fraction of that.
I’ll let you in on the secrets of the clients who get the best websites for their money:
- Have a rough idea of what you want, and be able to show/ explain it. This way you won’t waste time trying to get your web developer to understand what you see in your head, and your web developer won’t be charging you for hours spent building designs you hate.
- Get the design right first. I’ve sent rough drafts of a designs to clients, who tell me, ‘Yep, perfect,’ only to find out after I’ve build 5 more pages that they actually want a different font, different shade of green, and come to think of it, they don’t like this design at all… Obviously, I’m happy to start over because I want my clients to love their websites, but they just wasted a ton of money building a site they didn’t actually want. It would have been so much easier to take a minute and make sure the design is what you really want in the first place, before moving forward. It’s the web developer equivalent of painting an entire house, only to have the owner decide they don’t like the color.
- Understand that there are things that are easy in web development, and things that are super complicated. For example, most websites are meant to be mobile responsive, meaning that everything resizes to fit different screen sizes. Some things, like making sure the text lines break exactly where you want them, can be very difficult or impossible if you want your site to work on all kinds of screen sizes. Other things, like copying a section from one page to another, take only a few seconds. What’s simple or complex isn’t always intuitive, either… pulling your Instagram feed to display on your site is easy because there’s a free plug in for that. Changing image sizes or spacing is complicated because you have to consider different screen sizes and when you change spacing to one thing, it changes the spacing of all the things around it.
- Tell your web developer upfront what you want your site to be able to do- now and in the future. Sometimes things look the same on the front (like an email opt in section), but are built differently on the backend. Make sure your web developer knows what you want to be able to do, so that they don’t have to take apart and rebuild something to change the functionality.
- Make sure you answer your web developer’s questions. It doesn’t make sense to pay someone to ask you the same question over and over again, and the vast majority of the time, we’re asking because we can’t move forward without that information. Or, we can, but it’ll take us twice as long to find the information or a work around. Also, do you really want to pay someone to Google things for you?
- Only be picky on the things that really matter. I’ve had clients pay me hundreds of dollars to spend time checking and rechecking minute details (the number of pixels spacing out a divider line, for example). Some things are super important to have exactly right. Some things are kind of a waste of time. Make sure to prioritize the things that will really matter to people who visit your website.
- Don’t just pick the person with the cheapest hourly rate. When I started, my rate was $25/ hour. It’s now almost double that. But, I’ve raised my rates because I’ve become much more efficient. I can do in one hour what it used to take me at least two to finish, which actually saves my clients money.