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Drupal website specialists. Call us about your project on (02) 8006 3402

How to think like a web developer to get the best quote

Posted 12/December/2014 by vicky

If you are about to delve into building a custom website for your business and it has a little complexity to it, one of the biggest hurdles you face is how to make sure you know how to explain to web design companies exactly what you want so you get quick and effective website quotations.

In this post we help you to think about the steps in your website to get the best quotes!

First think like a designer. The obvious place to start when thinking about getting a website developed is the design. Your web designer will need to understand your ideas around design. Do you want a full width website design, parallax, animation, flat design, minimalistic etc. The clearer you are about the overall look and feel you would like your website to have the more accurately the web design company can quote you. Don’t be afraid to check out your competitors or even go to sites like http://www.awwwards.com/ to look at sites for inspiration. The more samples you can show of the type of style you like the closer your designer will be of matching your vision for the site straight off the mark. Think about slideshows, videos, galleries any graphic elements you want on your site.

What’s it all about? Believe it or not, one of the most common answers when I ask a client enquiring about a quote if they have their content ready is no.  Whilst content is not necessarily needed in the very beginning stages of scoping out a website, certainly understanding what the sitemap for the website is will be required. Make sure before you plan on obtaining web design quotes you have clearly mapped out the pages you will require on your site. To accurately quote a custom designed website a web design company needs to take into consideration how many custom page layouts need to be designed. For example you will obviously have a custom home page design, possibly some of the usual about us and contact us pages but what other pages do you require that would require their own unique layout. Perhaps you would want an accordion style faq’s page, a unique services page, if you sell subscriptions or membership a custom designed layout to showcase various levels of membership etc.  

The best way to map out your site map is to think about what the purpose of your site is. Do you only want to provide information or does your business rely heavily on visual elements. For example a construction company would reply heavily on custom styled pages to display various categories of their services and displaying galleries of their before and after work etc. Once you map out the purpose of the site and why your target market would be visiting your site – for information, to review your credentials etc you will find it much easier to decide on the content and pages your site will need.

What is considered extra functionality of features? Whilst the web designers will be working on the time it will take for the front facing look and feel of the site and how best to optimize the users experience, the web developer will be looking at any things your site will need that require custom development work. But what are those things?

Custom development work comes into play if you have anything that requires more than a standard informational text page. On a smaller scale are things like blogs and forums but in a more advanced state are sites that might require search facilities, login for members, members to  be able to have their own dashboard and profiles, payments for membership to be made at various intervals or annually, having recurring payments, perhaps you are after a directory of services, you need to map out how advanced the filters will be, how will people list their businesses, will there be advertising on your site. Imagine you are your own customer on your website and map out what would be on your site and how you would use it, what you would have access to do, how you get charged for it etc.

Use online tools. There are many sites online providing tools for creating your own wire frames for the site. The wire frame is like a blur print of the website. These tools allow you to easily construct the vision for your site technically – by showing this to your web designer and developer they will be able to look at this and understand what needs to be quoted for and advise you on things you may need that you have not yet considered.

Some wire frame software solutions available on line are:

https://moqups.com/
https://balsamiq.com/
http://www.mockflow.com/

Finally show your face. That’s right; wireframes are fantastic as is a complete scope of your project but even better is meeting a potential supplier face to face. So much more comes out of the process when we meet our clients face to face as the communication gates are open and we can pose all the questions and ideas for the most accurate quote.

If you’re looking for a quick quote and would like to meet us for a chat about your project call us on 02 8006 3402 today to arrange your free consultation.