I have been making websites now for 15 years. This post is about one of the hardest questions that I am asked in my work as a web designer. Can you work out what it is from these images?
If that’s too hard what about this one?
of course, it’s ‘How long is a piece of string?‘ or rather
How Much for a new Website?
I get several inquiries every month directly from google – if you want that too ….
The conversation usually goes something like this. Let’s call the caller ‘Bob’:
phone goes, normally when I am walking the dog
Me – bright, sing song voice: Hello This is Edward of ee-web design. Can I help you?
Bob : Hi. Is that ee-web design?
Edward wonders why it is that even if he carefully tells them who he is they still ask who he is?
Me: Yes. Edward speaking. How can I help?
Bob: I need some work on my website. Can you help?
Me: Yes, I am sure I can. What exactly do you need?
Bob: Well, I need a new website because I have started a brand new business/group/charity etc. The old one is no good so I want something new.
Me: Great. That’s exactly what I do. Can you give me some idea of what you want your site to do.
Edward knows that this is a probing question and the answer tells you a lot about the Bob who has called. Most often this is the answer…
Bob: Oh nothing complex. Its just a simple site.
Uh oh. Klaxons and sirens sound.
It’s at this point that Edward thinks he knows what’s coming… here it comes. Whizzing in from the out field. Bang.
Bob: Can you tell me how much it will be.
How long is a piece of string?
You know what? No one would go to a builder and say ‘Please Builder, can you make me a simple house, you know nothing complex. How much will it be?’ You would just have to have a conversation wouldn’t you? Ages ago we some quotes for a loft extension. All of the builders except one said ‘When can I come and look?’ The one who didn’t, eventually grudgingly agreed. Guess which one did not get our business? None of them would give us a price without getting stuck into the detail. And it’s the detail that makes the difference, and this is just as true in websites as anywhere else.
So at this point I have to gently and carefully suggest to ‘Bob’ that they give me a bit more information about what they really, really want. Several things can happen at this point. Most often a conversation happens regarding the spec for the new site, and most often Bob has some idea, but it’s not normally terribly clearly. Hopefully by the end of the conversation Bob has a clearer idea of the vision, and I have an idea of how much its going to cost.
And that of course opens a whole new conversation doesn’t it?
At ee-web I am really, really happy to just chat over your ideas. No obligation. No hassle