While writing our instant website quote calculator, I thought about how to make our web design costs as transparent as possible. This helped me to think more generally about whether it's acceptable for web design costs to increase during a project.
Making web design costs transparent
The instant website quote calculator includes a list of what's included in the right hand column. It also has footnotes providing further information about each feature. These describe exactly what is included in the estimated web design cost.
Despite these things, I'd be lying if I said that the price was unlikely to increase before the end of the project.
How can web design costs increase if you've been honest upfront?
Realistically, web design costs may increase (or even decrease) as a project progresses. But this isn't due to 'hidden extras' or anything underhand. Instead, it's a perfectly normal part of any web design project and is entirely in the client's hands.
Many people don't decide exactly what they want until they see their draft website for the first time. At this point, they may feel inspired about their new website and have ideas on how it can be made even better. These ideas may not have been part of the original requirements.
The most common reasons for web design costs to increase during a project are:
- Additional features - It's not always easy to think of everything you want before a web design project commences. During the project, you may decide to start using social networks and to integrate these with your website. You may decide to start a customer newsletter which people can sign up to online. Or you may decide you'd like sell products online rather than just providing information about them.
- Changes to the draft website - To keep our web design quotes to a minimum, our estimated cost includes up to 3 hours of changes to the draft website. This is more than enough for most people, but there are inevitably some projects with more changes. This is more likely to happen if the original requirements weren't clear.
- Theme and plugin customisations - Our instant website quotes cover setting up a website using the standard features providing in the WordPress theme. This keeps costs to a minimum and means that we're not quoting for redesign work that might not be needed. We will build the website making full use of the styling features provided with the theme. We'll make sure it looks just as good as the theme demo, if not better. On seeing the draft website, some people will have specific ideas about how they'd like the website to look. We can customise themes as needed to meet a client's requirements. We can't include this in the initial quote because the customisations needed rarely become apparent until the draft website is built.
- Search engine optimisation - Ideally, planning your website marketing strategy and any search engine optimisation services should be an integral part of the project planning process. In practice, I often find that clients want to focus on the actual web design at this stage and prefer to discuss how the website will be marketed when it's ready to be launched. We're happy to talk about this whenever it's the right time for you.
It's perfectly natural for projects to evolve - that's the great thing about WordPress web design! The main thing for us to bear in mind is to keep the client up to date with the web design costs throughout the project. We let our clients know if they request any major changes that weren't in the original web design quote. We work with them to ensure the project stays within budget.