Gradpass Systems has created highly attractive sites for as little as a few hundred dollars and highly functional sites costing tens of thousands. In both cases they can be very effective tools for growing your business. Planning ahead is the best thing you can do to keep your project within your budget.
Even on a small budget you can still make a great website!
Here is a short list of things to consider when you're planning your site and how each one might help you to plan your budget.
As always, if you have questions, just get in touch using our contact page and I'd be happy to talk to you about any of this anytime. -- Denis.
- Domain Acquisition and Hosting - This can be done by you directly but it is usually better done by your Webmaster. They can make recommendations for domain names that can help in your site's performance. They'll also be able to recommend reputable hosting options.
- Graphic Design - This is a huge piece of the overall development in the early stages and continues to a lesser degree throughout development. You can keep your costs to a minimum by coming in with ideas or suggestion and letting us know what your "must have's" are. But you should also listen to the pro's. They'll have creative ideas that can help get your site noticed.
- Content Creation - We'll help but a lot of your content will be created by you. You know your business best and you know what you want to say. Providing clean copy and images is an excellent way for copywriters to trim and tweak if needed and will keep your costs down.
- Participate in the Planning - Let us know right up front what you're looking for. Creating a logo, selecting colours, including art and images, defining functionality and content and determining navigation all take time. But once your site is designed there are tools that developers can use to help reduce cost. We also need to know your future plans for the site if you have any. It will help us build the site to include these changes easily later on. You shouldn't be charged for this planning. It just comes with the territory.
- Programming - This is the part that brings your site to life. If you use a developer that has a good background and some experience in site development, they'll be able to create your site using tools, snippets and code and shortcuts that they have already developed. You might be able to save if the code is already in our basket of goodies.
- Late Changes - Once your site is partially up and a lot of the design is done, you may have second thoughts about what you had decided on earlier. That's ok. And in our experience it happens almost every time to some degree. In fact, we expect this to happen and build our sites so that a lot of these late changes can happen with a minimum of difficulty. But if you request a lot of changes or a lot of redesign you can expect that you will be charged for that. So plan early and plan well.
- Communicate - "Bad news is not like fine wine. It doesn't get better with age." Sometimes things change outside your control. Your new boss wants something different, your company adds a product line, your business is moving, your company changes its marketing strategy. All of these things can affect your website plans. We can help keep your costs low if you let us know as soon as you can.
- SEO - You must include Search Engine Optimization in your budget plan. It may be that your site is to be used for internal purposes only and SEO is not a critical factor. That's fine. But 100% of commercial sites need to include some level of optimization to get found. Plan for what you need now and build on it later.
- Rewrites - After a while, you'll probably want to revamp your site. And your should. But our suggestion is to let the site live for a while. Let your customers get used to it. They will be more likely to go there more often and you'll save money.