The second in the series to help visitors better understand the website development process, DuVall Designs from Phoenix, Arizona, is providing a look at the variety of topics new business owners must face. 

Most of us consider “budget” to be a dirty word.  But with website development, determining your budget will be one of the most important decisions you make.  You can find website designers that offer website creation costing anywhere from $500 to $500,000.  Chances are good that you do not want or need either of those two extremes.  So determining what you WILL need is important.

For a solid basic website from a good website developer, be wary of anyone charging less than $1000.  If your budget is less than that, you might consider some of the point-and-click website services where you create your own website by adding text and photos.  The options of these services are limited, but with a reputable company you should be able to produce a decent website.  The best strategy is to choose one of their templates and make it work without too many modifications (aim to make your site similar to the demo they provide).

For a more unique site and a slightly larger budget, consider working with a website developer that offers template customization, aka semi-custom web design.  There are literally 10s of thousands of templates to choose from, and a good web designer can help you narrow down the selection quickly.  With their programming expertise, web developers can make modifications to these pre-packaged templates to create a website that is truly yours.  By starting with a template, the amount of programming that they need to create is less, and this keeps the price more in the $2000-$12,000 range.  The more animation and features you require (such as shopping carts, galleries, and slideshows), the greater the price.

And, finally, with completely custom website design, the budget truly cannot be estimated until you meet with the web designers to discuss your ideas.  Make sure that you have thought out the purpose of your site in as much detail as possible, and be prepared to answer a long list of questions about target audience, services, payment options, number of products, and company branding.

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