Build a Website: Getting Site Design Help
As websites become more technically sophisticated, you may find yourself requiring help to get your site up and running and to add new features. Before bringing in Web professionals, determine your goals and budget. Then assess the skills and available time of you and your staff. Although you may have an interest in learning the skills required to develop a website, you will acquire them faster and come out with a more professional site if you hire professionals at the appropriate steps in the process.Tips for Working with Consultants
Do yourself a favor: Put everything in writing. Get a written quote. Write up a contract or ask the consultant to provide a detailed work order. Describe the scope of the work, the timeframe, the hourly or project rate, expense reimbursement arrangement, frequency of billing, payment schedules, and any guarantees. If you want to retain ownership of materials or software and hold all copyrights, clearly state that this is a "work for hire" agreement.
Hold regular meetings with the people working on your project to make sure things remain on schedule. Bear in mind that as the project progresses, your thinking may change. Adding new features to a website may improve it, but it usually increases the development cost. As with most projects, everything will take longer than you think, so stay on top of the details. Establish milestones against which team members can measure progress.Some Typical Prices
Bear in mind that these are ballpark figures. Prices vary considerably, depending on geographic location and complexity of the site. For instance, sophisticated e-commerce sites can cost millions of dollars to develop.
- A basic website with a few graphics and no forms: $200 to $1,000 USD
- More advanced site with custom graphics: $1,000 to $5,000 USD
- Complex site with custom graphics, image maps, forms, search capabilities: $5,000 USD and up
- Site Planning: $75 to $200 USD per hour
- Programming: $75 to $200 USD per hour
- Graphic Design: $25 to $75 USD per hour
- Site Maintenance: $75 to $300 USD per month and up
The best way to find consultants is by referral from a friend or colleague who has had a positive experience. Another way is by seeking out the developer of a site you particularly like. You can then contact the company to discuss your project and get a quote. Start with PC Magazine's Top 101 Web Sites.
Last update: Jan 13, 2010