So you want a web site.

10 things you need to know...

How long's a piece of string?
The real cost
The real cost (2)
Can I have it by Monday?
Do it once, do it right
Be aware. Be very aware...
Do your homework
Get organised
What's in a name?
Where to from here?

How long's a piece of string?

One of the most common questions I get asked, when people find out I'm a web developer, is, "What does a website cost?"

I'm always tempted to ask them in turn whether they're talking dollars, or the anguish of stress-related disorders when their site doesn't work. And that could mean anything from, "...but my site was OK last night, and this morning I can't see it..." (grind...), to a severely affected balance sheet when the tens of thousands of dollars thrown at the site get swallowed by a monster that just flatly refuses to generate any revenue in return (gnash...).

Realistically? I'm confident that I can deliver a site that does everything you want it to, elegantly and efficiently, for somewhere between $500 and $5,000,000.

I'm not being deliberately obtuse; until I know what you need, I can't price it accurately. Good sites don't come in boxes. Talk to me first, tell me about your business, tell me what you want your site to achieve, and then I'll answer the question.

Then, of course, there's the approach of, "How can you charge so much? My neighbour's cousin's brother (14 year old son, retired uncle, dog...) can build web sites..." Fine. Get them to do it. But be prepared to spend even more to get it fixed than you would have to get it done right in the first place...

Next: The real cost

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