You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint. So why do people insist on developing a website without first properly outlining what they are going to build? More importantly, they need to ask themselves why are they creating the website in the first place. Is it to attract organic SEO visitors? Are you handing potential clients a business card and the website’s focus is turning them into paying customers? What about your competition? Would you like to know about them? Knowing the why and the what is essential to know not only what the project is going to cost but hold long it is going to take.
Before we start any project we run through a Discovery phase. This is a paid phase and includes the following:
- Define project goals and criteria for success
- Competition research
- Keyword research
- Create a sitemap (pages of the website)
- Decide content to put on each page
- Research plugins we can use for custom functionality
- Review themes that can be used
And culminates in a formal proposal that includes
- Project timeline
- Cost estimate
So don’t waste $5,000 on a website that isn’t well thought out and has measurable criteria for success. Spend $500 (or so) on a discovery phase!