Building a website is a complex process with many moving parts. From the initial planning stages to the launch of your finished product, As a small business owner, you are always looking for ways to keep your costs down, but If you’re in the process of having a website built, you may be wondering why the cost seems to be creeping up.
This doesn’t happen often. But it does happen.
Most of the time, the project cost may change from what we initially agreed.
It doesn’t seem fair, does it?
We understand you, and we don’t like it either but occasionally, we simply HAVE to
Truth be told, most projects go as expected, and 90% of the time, the price we quote at the start of the project, is the final price.
But that still leaves 10% of our clients who end up paying more.
In this post, I want to explain why this might happen and how you can prevent it.
How Much does a website cost?
At Dephlex , we’re very transparent with our prices, and aside from having it on our website, we also provide clients with pdf if requested just to prevent any confusion.
Remember every web designer and what they charge for a website so you can compare prices and work before you decide on whom you would want to work with.
To give you an idea of how much we charge at Dephlex Creatives, most of the websites we build cost between $950 – 3k, but some websites cost upwards of $ 5K–15K.
It depends entirely on what you need and how much time it will take.
Before we start working on the project, we do our best to gather as much information as possible to understand your requirements before we give you a quote.
We’ll ask you about:
- The website features you want
- Your design preferences
- What pages do you want on the site
- How much advice will you need
- How many people will be working on the project
- What you want to accomplish with your new website
- And much more
The reason we spend time asking these questions at the start of the website project is that each answer you give can dramatically change the amount of work involved.
The more we know, the more accurate the proposal.
Now that you understand a little more about how we price website projects, let’s discuss the elephant in the room.
If we spend so much time working out a specific price for your individual needs, why should this change?
Below, I’ve broken down the main reasons why this might happen.
1. Unexpected scope creep.
One of the most common reasons for cost overruns during website builds is scope creep. This is when the scope of your project expands beyond what was initially agreed upon, resulting in additional work (and costs) for your web development team. Scope creep can be caused by many factors, including changes in your business goals or simple misunderstandings between you and your development team.
To avoid scope creep and the associated cost overruns, it’s important to be as clear and specific as possible when communicating your vision for your website to your development team. Make sure you have a detailed project roadmap that outlines all of the features and functionality you want to include in your finished product. And finally, don’t be afraid to ask questions if anything is unclear – it’s better to get clarification upfront than to make changes (and pay for them) down the line.
2. Extra features & services
This one is to be expected. Adding extra features or services to the original package will increase the price.
Obviously, things will alter slightly throughout the build, and you may change your mind and want to tweak some bits. That’s ok. We always try to be as flexible as we can be.
However, we will have to charge for some things. Let’s say you start the web design process wanting a standard website to advertise your freelance services. But later down the line, you also want an online shopping page to sell some physical products. This will need to be charged separately as it’s something we didn’t include in the original package, and it takes more time.
Or let’s say you want us to set up a booking calendar so you can take online appointments, we may need additional tools for this, and it will take more time for us to configure. If this is the case, we’ll have to charge more.
The same also goes for:
- Additional pages you want to design
- Landing pages installing
- Email integration
- Changes to page layouts
- Extra support, e.g., online coaching from us
Essentially, anything you didn’t agree with at the start of the project could increase the final price.
3. Poor communication with your development team.
Poor communication is often at the root of many other problems during website builds, including scope creep and changes in plans or specifications (as we’ve already seen). It can also lead to delays in getting important feedback or approvals from stakeholders, which can add significant time and costs to a project.
To avoid communication problems, make sure you have a clear understanding of who is responsible for what on your project team, and establish channels for communication that everyone is comfortable with (email, slack, phone calls, etc.). Ensure you provide timely feedback on progress reports and deliverables. Keep an open mind if recommendations are made that could improve the final result – even if it means increasing the budget slightly. In the end, good communication will save you time (and money) in the long run!
4. Changing the schedule
Before we build your website, we try to establish how long the process might take. Most of our projects take between 12-16 weeks from start to finish, but this isn’t set in stone.
Every project is different, and based on your requirements, it might be sooner than this, or it may take longer. Either way, we’ll give you a good indication of the time scale at the start of the process.
Once we’ve started the project, we’ll work with you to set a launch date for your new website. We’ll book it in the calendar, and we’ll schedule our other projects around yours. This way, we can ensure we have a reasonable amount of time to complete your website and get everything finished and ready for launch day.
However, if we agree on a launch date and you decide to change it, it may alter the final price.
Let’s just say you want to bring the launch date forward and go live sooner than we initially agreed. We’ll have to rearrange our calendar and block some extra time to complete your website. If this is the case, we’ll generally have to charge more.
Alternatively, if we set a date to go live and then we have to move the date back due to delays on your end, this can sometimes change the final price of the project. In our experience, when a project is delayed, we’ve found that this leads to more amendments later down the line and more work on our part.
5. Design Changes after approval
Before we build your website, we try to take every precaution to get your website exactly how you want it.
After our initial research and discovery phase, we’ll move on to the design stage. This means we’ll design all of your core pages in Adobe XD before we build them.
Once we’re happy with the designs, we’ll send them to you so you can see them too. You can then tell us what you like, what you don’t like, and what you want to change, delete or add.
We’ll make another round of changes based on your suggestions. Once you’re happy and you approve the designs, we move on and get those pages built.
This design stage is your opportunity to tell us if you want to make any changes so that we can make them before we code anything.
If you change your mind AFTER we’ve started building your site, we may have to charge extra as this will take more time to rebuild some elements.
This doesn’t mean you can’t make some changes. Understandably, there will be some tweaks you might want to make, and if they’re small, that’s usually ok.
However, it’s always best to ensure you’re happy before we build anything to avoid any extra fees later down the line.
6. Unforeseen technical difficulties
Finally, another reason why the cost of your website might increase during the build is if there are any unforeseen technical difficulties. This could be anything from hosting issues to problems with integrating third-party applications. These kinds of problems can sometimes be easily resolved, but depending on how significant they are, they might require additional work from the web development team, which could end up costing you more money.
As you can see, there are many reasons why the cost of your website might start to increase during the build process. The best way to avoid unexpected expenses is to have clear communication with your web designer from the start and make sure that both you and they are on the same page about what’s included in the project scope. If changes need to be made along the way, be upfront about what those changes are and how much they’ll cost so there are no surprises when it comes time to pay the bill.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of why the price might change throughout the website build.
No, we don’t charge for every little thing, but others do charge for extremely small amendments. We are pretty fair and understanding. But, we may have to charge if it takes us a lot more time.