A better way to control dev budgets for complex web projects
Website budgets and complexity
Nobody likes surprises. And if you are working with a web development firm on a complicated website, you may get some unwelcome requests for budget increases once you are well into the project.
Dev firms are often asked to quote a fixed costs for a project based on your specs. Sounds reasonable, right? But, often, what seem like small details can make a huge difference in cost
A blog, for example, can be as simple as the ability to add a series of entries with a title, summary and body that are listed one one page and that each have a detail page. But a blog can also be as complex as having categories, tags, detail images, unique meta data for SEO, related stories, social shares, pagination between entries and comments, to name a few.
To avoid budget increases during a project, dev firms may add additional cost to their quote to cover the unknowns in a web project. So you might end up paying more than you need to.
A better way to control website budgets
There is better way to control website budgets for a complex project. It may involve some money up front, but can save you time, stress and money later. We suggest partnering with your dev firm on an in-depth discovery process.
A typical discovery process will include time to discuss and define strategy and desirable outcomes for the site. Next you explore content and features as they relate to your strategic outcomes. For example, are having comments and all the bells and whistles of a robust blog strategic or does something simpler serve you better?
A web development firm will help produce site maps and explore the unique features of the site with you. They will help to define the requirements of the site that make the most sense and that help you keep your technology as simple as possible.
The key to a more accurate budget
Discovery is the foundation of a building a website transparently so you and your partner firm share the same understandings and eliminate dangerous and costly assumptions.
By using a target budget and a discovery process to define the specs in depth and detail, it’s likely you will end up saving money because you’ll end up with an accurate quote – with no requests later for budget increases.
And you have a much better chance of getting exactly what you need and want.
About the writer
Seth Giammanco writes about building engaging websites on the MOD-Lab Blog and shares/connects on Twitter as @sethgiammanco and @mindsondesign. Seth is a Principal at MOD-Lab, an agency that specializes in working collaboratively with nonprofits to enhance their communications through website design, website development, and print design