You recognize that your company or organization could benefit from a new website, but it can be hard to know where to begin or how much to invest. The good news is that the process doesn’t need to be complicated, and you can avoid being surprised by hidden costs. To make sure you’re making the right decisions, start by understanding your options.
What to Expect
When you hire someone to create your website, you are paying for expertise in the areas of web design, web development and content creation. At Cassel Bear, we customize each of these services to ensure that your investment will deliver results that move you closer to your goals.
Behind the build
Here’s what you’ll need to create a website that attracts, engages and converts visitors.
Design is both about the appearance of your site and the overall user experience. This includes page layout, fonts, colors, choice of imagery and any other features.
Some services offer pre-built website templates for personal or small business use. However, organizations that want to use a website as a central part of their branding or growth strategy often opt for a professional custom design.
This involves the computer code and/or software that is used to implement your website design.
Based on how your site needs to function, it may require little custom coding or involve the expertise of a development team.
Content refers to the messaging, SEO strategy, photography, video and graphic elements that will be used on the site.
These needs will vary depending on the quality of existing content and your strategy for engaging visitors.
Setting a Budget
The amount you should spend on your website depends on your goals. Consider these three levels of website design.
Goal: Establish Your Online Presence
A website can simply be a place to post a product/company overview, photos and contact information. These sites can be created using “drag-and-drop” website platforms that provide standard templates and design elements.
Businesses at this level may rely on in-house resources or freelancers to produce simple designs. While these sites utilize templates, they still require an understanding of good design principles, user experience and clear messaging to be effective.
The low initial cost of standard template sites make them an attractive option, however, companies should consider their long-term goals. A basic site may meet immediate needs, but need rebuilt as the business matures.
- Takes less time/money to create.
- Does not require a web developer.
- Geared toward entry-level users.
- Limited options for customization.
- Templates may become outdated or unable to meet future needs.
- Other sites/businesses may use the same template. • Designs can feel bland or generic.
MAY BE A GOOD FIT FOR:
- Sole proprietors.
- Personal/hobby websites.
- Organizations with low budgets.
- Businesses for which a website is not a primary sales tool.
Goal: Showcase Your Product or Service
Custom designed websites highlight your unique value, elevate your brand and set you apart from competitors. By tailoring the user experience to the target audience, these sites become the foundation of a digital marketing strategy.
The cost of custom website design will depend on the number of pages and their complexity. The budget may also need to account for photography and artwork if it is not available. A benefit of custom design is that you’ll have multiple opportunities to influence the final product to ensure it meets your specific needs.
- Fully customized layouts that capture the latest design trends.
- Communicate your unique value.
- Establish professionalism & brand credibility.
- Larger upfront investment.
- Longer build timeline.
MAY BE A GOOD FIT FOR:
- Growth-oriented companies
- Organizational storytelling.
Goal: Offer Advanced Functionality
Whether it’s e-commerce, interactive features or database integrations, some businesses require websites with custom-built functionality. This may involve the support of web developers to write and implement the necessary computer code.
Custom development allows you to include features that make your website more effective and scale your engagement with customers. Having a clear goal will help ensure that the long term benefits far outweigh the initial development costs.
In addition, custom development can help give your website a longer shelf life. On a well-built site, future updates may simply require a new front-end design without the need to rebuild the back end.
- Custom features that drive sales.
- Offer next-level user experiences.
- Automate processes such as data collection.
- Create a custom back-end user interface.
- Additional development costs.
- May require developer support for future updates.
MAY BE A GOOD FIT FOR:
- E-commerce & catalog sites.
- Engaging online visitors.
- Complex forms and data management.
The Path to Success
There are many steps in the website design process to create a final product that meets your needs and expectations. Together, the time spent on these areas is what drives the overall cost of your project.
We examine how a website can advance your goals. This is the foundation of setting the right strategy, budget and scope.
A sitemap accounts for each page that will need to be built for your website as well as where it will fall within the navigation structure.
To establish the direction for the look and feel of your site, inspirational mood boards show photography styles, color palettes, font options and example page designs.
An outline or wireframe of individual pages ensures all of the necessary elements will be built into your site.
As a full-service marketing agency, Cassel Bear helps you: Know what works. Know what’s next. Alleviate confusion.
Cassel Bear can provide you with web maintenance and hosting services. This covers items such as standard server fees, domain name registration, security certificates and software updates.
Through the ongoing development of content, digital ads or other marketing assets, we can make sure your website continues to deliver results.
We work closely with you to create content that will engage your audience and rank in search engines.(Photography is typically offered as a separate project.)
Page designs and content are reviewed and revised based on your input.
The actual site is built and all content is uploaded in a development environment. This allows for testing of all design features and functionality.
If your organization will be managing the site, training sessions or materials may be offered to help you feel comfortable with the site features and user interface.