Why Every Web Project Needs a Budget

So you want a new website. Great! You have probably spent a lot of time envisioning what it will look like, and how awesome it will be. But…have you created a budget?

As boring as budgets may be, this is one of the most important steps in setting up your web project for success.

Consider this: You need to get from Cape Canaveral, Forida to Lancaster, California. (These happen to be space shuttle launching and landing sites.) There are countless ways to make the trip: you could walk, drive, take a bus, get on an airplane, or even take a space shuttle. But without a budget and a timeline, it’s tough to choose the mode of transportation.

If you can’t spend more than $50, you will most likely be walking (or hitchhiking) to your destination. If you have $600 to spend, you can probably book yourself a flight. If you happen to have an unlimited amount of money, heck, why not take the space shuttle?

Creating a website is similar in that there are so many options—too many options—if you don’t know what you can afford. That’s why it’s best to walk into any new web project with a firm budget in hand, and go from there.

A budget will ease the process of working with a web developer, and will help you avoid the frustration and disappointment that arises when you have unrealistic expectations and are forced to compromise.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when setting a realistic budget for your project:

Visual design
How much design customization will you want? Do you need a custom design from the ground up, or will a standard WordPress theme suit your needs?

Do you have high-quality images for your new site, or will photos need to be taken?

How many pages of unique content will your site need? Do you have existing content that you can reuse for your website, or does it need to be written from scratch? If it needs to be written, do you and/or your coworkers have the ability and bandwidth to write the content, or will you need to outsource copywriting?

Will your website need more than a basic contact form? Do you want leads from various forms to be tracked? Will you be soliciting users to sign up for a newsletter? Will you need e-commerce functionality? Are there any other functional requirements, like integration with internal or third-party systems?

Do you have a required launch date?

Once you’ve come up with your site specifications and created a solid budget, the next step is to solicit proposals from web developers. Check out our latest ebook for tips on hiring a web developer.

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