Questions I hear far too often…
- How much will it cost to get a website?
- What’s the cheapest possible way for me to have a website?
- I only have this much to spend, can you build me a website for that amount?
For some people, the biggest emotional hurdle to overcome is the view that their website is a cost. That is, something they spend money on, and then it’s done. In reality, a website is an investment: something which will continue to return benefit, long after the check has been written. Those benefits might include more customers, more spending by existing customers, more event attendees, more donations, more volunteers, and so on.
In order to reap those benefits, you have to carefully strategize around how the money spent helps you achieve those benefits. So instead of focusing on how the cost can be minimized, it would be much more useful to focus on how the investment can be optimized. Focusing only on minimizing the cost completely removes from the equation any return you hope to get from the investment.
Reducing features, skimping on content, sacrificing quality, forgoing testing, ignoring advertising of the new website: all of these choices reduce the cost of the project, but they also reduce the value of the website, and that reduces the return on the investment.
In addition, if you skimp on spending money, you run the very real risk of wasting whatever you do spend, because the end product provides so little value, it was not worth the effort. Then you’re faced with the very real possibility of having to start over, throwing away the initial investment.
Taking this a step further… once you have a website, every time you want or need to spend money to add new features or content, you should consider it to be an investment, and know what return you expect that investment to bring. If you can’t identify a return associated with the additional work, you may need to ask why that work is being done.