Typical Website Quote and What It Includes

Business Owners

websiteQuotesFirst, let me just say, there is no typical website quote. There are tons of different ways of creating a website, and quite a few “moving” parts. So there isn’t really a “typical” website quote that you can rely on.

However, there are basic aspects of the website that you can check to confirm are included in the quote.

Platform

This is the first question you should ask the web developer: what platform are you building my website on?

A platform is like the software used to create the website. A few common ones are WordPress, Joomla, Business Catalyst and Drupal. I’m sure you’ve all heard of WordPress; it’s fairly easy for anyone to use. Drupal is better security-wise, but much harder to learn how to use. Business Catalyst and Joomla both have their own positives and negatives that I won’t get into here. Personally, I use WordPress for almost all of my sites.

Whatever platform they’re using for your website, the web developer needs to explain if you will be able to edit the website or whether they will have to.

Just a note, developers can also create websites from scratch. So if that’s their plan, make sure you figure out if they are creating a “back end” that will allow you to log in and edit.

Design

You’d think that design is an easy one right? Well, not exactly. You’ve got two options here: Custom Design or Premade Design. If you’re using a platform, there are always premade designs out there. You can look or they can forward design ideas to you that they think will look good.

Usually, premade designs will cost less because the developer isn’t making them from scratch: they just download and install the files. A custom design is much better if you can handle the extra cost. Check with the developer on the specific cost differences.

Social Media

This is a big one! Nowadays it is just as important to have social media connections as it is to have a website. Each developer is different when it comes to implementing this. Find out if their quote includes creating the social media pages you need (if you don’t already have them – facebook, twitter, etc.) and where they are planning to put them and how.

For example, some clients want a live twitter feed on their website, and some just want a link to their twitter page. Talk it out with the developer and find out what will work best for you.

Most importantly, a website quote almost never includes customizing your social media pages. So even if they include creating a Facebook page for your business, that doesn’t mean they’ll do anything more then add your logo to the page. If you want the social media pages customized, tell them up front.

Enter Website in Online Databases

Online databases are basically places like Yahoo Local, Google Local, Manta, etc. It’s like entering your website into multiple types of yellow pages online. This may or may not be included, so make sure you mention if you want it. Make sure you list any specific ones you want your website in. For example, one of my recent clients wanted their business in Manta – which I had previously never heard of. Not a problem, but I would never had put it in had they not mentioned that database specifically.

Note: adding your website to databases is usually classified under “SEO” (Search Engine Optimization) packages, not under website development.

Coding

Obviously coding is included. If you have anything other then text and pictures you want on the website, though, make sure you talk about it. Usually a contact form is included, but not always. A few examples of extras can be a slideshow, social media integration, user sign-in, paypal or shopping cart – see next.

Shopping Cart

Unless specifically stated, shopping carts on not a part of a website quote. Most clients don’t realize this, but it actually takes quite a bit of work to add a shopping cart. If you use the Google cart or Paypal cart, it’s easier, but still takes a bit of time.

If you’re looking for a shopping cart, discuss with the Web Developer about who you’re using for a gateway, a cart, and the actual banking. Who you use makes a huge difference to the quote.

SEO – Search Engine Optimization

Basic Search Engine Optimization should always be included – creating the headers correctly, adding meta tags, etc. BUT, even if it includes basic Search Engine Optimization in the coding, it rarely (unless you buy a separate package) includes the research for keywords.

Content is also a huge part of SEO and most quotes do not include creating content (although it might). The best thing is to confirm what type of SEO is being including in the creation of the website.

Summary

The most important part of hiring a web developer is discussing beforehand what specifically you’re buying. If you’re unsure about anything, ask.

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