If you have ever dealt with a designer, you would know that the website design cost can exceed your budget pretty quickly. Being charged for minor adjustments, consultations and search engine optimization certainly adds up. These are all legitimate costs, but you can do a number of things to keep them as low as possible.
Use a fixed price designer
Using a good, fixed price designer eliminates the majority of extra costs associated with using an hourly rate designer. A fixed price designer will give you the price up front and explain exactly what you will get for your money. Working with an hourly rate designer, the costs can add up pretty quickly when you don’t plan your website accordingly.
Bare in mind, fixed price designers usually include a set number of revisions in their price but will need to charge for additional revisions you request. Just make sure you ask them about the number of revisions included and what the cost is for additional revisions.
If you choose to use an hourly rate designer, the remaining steps should be followed to reduce the number of hours you will be billed for.
Research other websites
If you generally know how your website layout should look, it reduces the hours needed by designers for idea generation. Leave the actual designing to your designer but have a look at other websites online and get an idea of the way their pages are laid out. Do you want a horizontal or vertical menu bar? Maybe you want both. Do you want a contact box in the right sidebar or should it rest in the website header?
See what works well for other websites and write them down. Discuss them with your designer who may agree or recommend other alternatives. Just remember, you do not want to copy another website, you want to use them for ideas to help plan your own website layout.
Reduce your website design cost by planning
Knowing exactly what you want your site to do will reduce the number of billed consulting hours. Come to your designer with specific actions visitors should take on your site. Should they purchase a shippable product, send a quote request, purchase a membership to your site, purchase tickets to events, sign up to your newsletter, join your forum?
Your designer needs to know what your end game is so they can design your website to effectively direct viewers attention. The more information you provide about the plan of your website, the cheaper your consultation and idea development costs will be.
Bring your own imagery and information
Bringing professional images and written information to your designer means that you will not be over charged for photography, stock photo or ghost writing costs. If you leave these up to the designer, chances are you will pay a premium on top of the regular costs.
It is strongly advised that you get a professional photographer to take photographs of your business products and services. However if this is out of your budget, you can often find cheap images on iStockphoto or other image selling sites.
Be precise with revision recommendations
This is a big one to reduce your website design cost. Most design budgets are blown out because communication between client and designer isn’t clear. When you are presented with your initial design proof, go over it with a fine tooth comb and determine what things don’t look right. Then for every element, ask yourself what needs to be changed, how it should look different, where it could be moved and why it currently doesn’t work well.