Need a new website for your company but you are not sure if it is worth to invest in custom website development? Keep in mind that having a business website is a part of the battle. Your website needs to look professional and attractive but the most important thing is that your website needs to work for your business.
Websites are business assets and they must achieve specific business goals which are also tied to revenue goals. That’s why website design is not just a set of beautiful images and nice fonts but a set of solutions that can ensure maximum conversion and help turn your visitors into buyers. Today, good design is more of science and analytics but not just art.
When you consider making a website, your goal is to make a tool that will bring you more conversions. And you need a tool that will integrate well within your current sales cycle. Standard template solutions may look beautiful, but they may not bring the results you need. That’s why custom website design is a much better option because you can get a website that looks great and drives sales with layouts that give your clients the information they’re looking for and help them make a purchase decision.
Read on to learn what custom web development process may look like and how much your business website may cost. You will also find some advice on how to choose the best custom website design company.
Custom Website Development Process: 7 Steps to Success
Let’s take a look at how the general custom website development process happens at Quandary CG. Although the overall number of web development stages may vary because every website development project is unique, the most basic steps remain the same.
1. Information gathering
Before we start any designing process, we gather information to understand a client’s business goals. The most important items that we discuss also include:
- Target audience
- Project size
- Necessary functionality
- Aesthetic preferences
We usually ask a lot of questions to determine the best way to build your website. We also inform potential clients about our custom web design process and suggest additional features that can help meet their business goals.
At this stage, we document all the information together to prepare the action plan. We typically focus on 3 main tasks: creating an SEO strategy, building a sitemap, and making a content production plan. We create a spreadsheet of words and phrases and map them to the content required. A sitemap includes all topics and subtopics and shows relations between the main areas of a website. A sitemap gives a good idea of the website’s information architecture and allows to design the most important pages, understand what content should be written, and efficiently plan the website navigation.
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3. Website design
Now we need to design how your future website will look like. We create a wireframe which is a visual interpretation of user interface. It typically includes such basic web page elements as header, widgets, navigation, and details out such things as functionality, layouts, user flow etc. Wireframes can help identify potential challenges and gaps with the sitemap.
We create a prototype which is the evolution of a wireframe and includes colors, logos, and images and gives a general idea of the future website. Prototypes can identify areas for improvement and saves a lot of time. Customers review prototypes and share their feedback.
This stage can be rather lengthy and depends on the scope of the project. It is necessary to build front end and back end of your future website. First, a home page is created and then, internal pages are added according to the hierarchy which was created in the form of a sitemap. We choose the CMS, design interactive contact forms, implement payment gateways etc.
After the website development is completed, we perform quality assurance testing to ensure that no functionality is missing, there are no broken links or scripts etc. Besides, every website is tested on multiple browsers and different types of devices to ensure an optimized experience for all users.
The site is uploaded to a server and a final check is completed to make sure that all files have been installed correctly and the website is fully functional. Then it’s time to go live and celebrate.
Website development project is not completed after launch. There needs to be promotion, analysis, and testing your website to a large group of users to get a better idea of what brings visitors to your site and which route performs best. Site optimization typically includes a lot of different activities such as A/B testing or multivariate testing. These tests are performed to understand what type of content and functionality is working. It’s important to understand what can be revised and updated to meet overall website goals. Besides, it is necessary to do routine checkups and reviews of functionality, content, and design decisions.
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How Much Does a Custom Website Cost?
A well-designed site can offer you more than just aesthetics. It attracts visitors and helps consumers understand your brand and products through a variety of indicators that include text, visuals, and interactions. Wondering if you can afford it? Let’s talk about custom website cost.
Unfortunately, there is no clear-cut answer to the question about the costs of custom web development. Every business has different needs, goals, and strategies so every custom-built website is unique. Actually, it comes down to the fact that you get what you pay for and options are endless.
If you do a research, you will find out that building a professional small business website in 2018 can typically cost $3,000-$6,000 but it could also be as much as $20-$40,000. The price depends on the number of pages and the amount of customization you need. A cheaper custom website will have less content and fewer features and a more expensive website will have more additional functionalities and features, include a lot of interactive elements and multimedia.
Thus, before you can get a price for your custom project, you need to identify certain things, taking into account your company needs and business objectives. These things include size, special functionalities and features, design elements, images, and motion graphics.
Many businesses often consider building a website from a template but your website needs to explain your unique brand’s value proposition and it’s impossible to do with a templated site. You need a custom website that produces results and the costs for a custom solution may vary greatly.
Let’s take a closer look at some specific factors that affect the price of building a custom website for a small business.
- Page volume. Typically, custom web design companies offer standard website packages for small businesses. For example, a price for a 10-page small business website is $3,000. If you need more than that, a good rule of thumb is to add on average $100 for every page over the amount included in a package.
- Custom website layout. You will need a website theme or a template as a starting point and that template will be customized to make it match your company’s brand and look the way you want it to. Expect to pay more if you need more customization.
- Custom graphics and images. They can give your business website a one-of-a-kind look but it’s rather expensive because non-stock image production can trigger significant costs.
- Custom programming. Often, you can get applications that will give all the functionality you need out-of-the-box but sometimes, significant testing is required for building your site and making it work.
- Creating content. You will need to invest in creating solid and thoughtful content that is the foundation of any good website. The content has to include the right keywords and convince your website’s visitors to take action. The more pages your company’s website will have, the more copywriting it will require.
- Responsive design. Now, this is a must. You need a website that will function equally well on desktops, tablets, and smartphones. Although the development price of websites with a responsive design is higher, they provide a better user experience for visitors on smartphones and tablets and increase conversion.
How to Choose the Right Custom Website Design Company: 6 Easy Tips
As you can see, investing in an effective custom website design may cost you a large amount of money, but it is worth it because it can generate a large profit for your business. Web design is one of the most important aspects of your online presence so you need to find a company with skilled web designers.
You should thoroughly search for agencies and vet them based on certain criteria. If you have never done that before, finding the perfect match can be a complicated process. Wondering how you can figure out which web design company is right for you? Here are tips on what you should look for when choosing a custom website development company.
- First of all, you should check their portfolio and pay attention to the brands and industries represented in it. Visit the websites they have created to see how they work. Check if the sites look great and work well across different screens and gadgets. You should also check if the websites are easy to navigate.
- It will be better if they have experience in a wide variety of industries. Then they are more likely to create a unique website for you. You need a website that will stand out among your competition and reach a bigger audience.
- Schedule a meeting and discuss your project. During the meeting, they should give you an opportunity to talk about business needs, customers, and pain points. A good agency will listen to your ideas because no one knows your business better than you do. After all, they will need to combine your industry knowledge with their expertise in design and put your ideas into action. But they should have their own exciting ideas as well.
- Make sure they will be able to design a website that will scale with your business. A good web design company which is worth dealing with should recommend you a web hosting that will sustain bandwidth as your website starts to get more traffic. They should also recommend you a flexible CMS platform which allows add-ons.
- When choosing a web design company, among other things, you need to consider the level of marketing expertise of the company’s team, the ability to analyze and the degree of their involvement in your business. These things are crucial if you want to have a website with a sales-driving design. You should look for an agency that offers more than just design. It would be better if they could offer you branding, content marketing services, and SEO. Then your website will be created with an integrative marketing approach.
- Web development typically doesn’t end when the site goes live – you may want to change something or add a new feature after you have seen the live version. That’s why it’s important to find out if the agency offers ongoing support. It’s better to choose a partner you will be able to work long term.
- Find out how much you will need to pay for your custom website. Keep in mind that an effective website is vital for your business so you have to be willing to invest in it. Consider ROI and focus on how your new website can help you grow a successful business.
If you are looking for a professional custom website design company, we’d love to help. At Quandary CG, our expert team of web designers has many years of experience in creating unique custom websites for businesses of all sizes. We can help you build a website that will differentiate your brand in the marketplace, target your customers with precision, and drive sales growth. Schedule a free consultation to learn how we can help you turn your website into an automated online sales representative.