How to Get the Best Web Development Quote

If you want a new website for your business, then it pays to shop around. Many companies offer website design and development services, but not all of them are reputable, and even the ones that are will give you far better service if you're able to make it clear what you want from them.

You should contact several companies, and ask them for quotes for a website, making it clear exactly what you want. Also, it is also important to
check the working characteristic of the web development company.

Some companies offer web development, but only do the backend work and will expect you to have the images/designs ready to go. Some web designers will do frontend work, but not the backend. Some will set up a CMS for you but will expect you to have a server ready to go. There are some that do the 'full service' - including hosting, installation, design, and development. 

If you want more than that - SEO, content marketing, content creation, and ongoing maintenance, then you will need to get that laid out as a part of your contract. Sometimes you can get an annual fee for those services - but again you will need to get it put in writing exactly what that fee will include.

Once you have the quotes, you can compare them. Don't simply chose the best price. Ask for examples of sites similar to yours that have already been created, so that you know what you will be getting. Take a look at those sites, and try using them as if you were an end user - are they easy to navigate, do they look good on mobile devices? Would you buy from those sites?

If you're happy, then read the quotes in detail. What are you getting for your money? Do the quotes cover potential issues? Do they include reworks if you're unhappy? If you're getting a dynamic site made does the quote include patches and security or will you get the site as is and have to care for it yourself?

In many cases, you can save money if you have some things ready for the web developer to work with. For example, if you're quite tech-savvy and know that you want to use WordPress and want a specific theme, you could have those installed then go to a web developer "I want a custom calendar plugin that has these specific features", and that could get you a better deal than buying an entirely new website.

You can expect to pay a lot of money if you ask for a quote for an entire custom website. If you're not sure what you need, beyond 'a website,' then don't ask for too much regarding technology - let the developers guide you when they give you quotes, and then call them and ask questions.

Most businesses don't need a custom website at this time - there's no need to spend a lot of money on something beyond WordPress or Magento. These two platforms will cover the majority of use-cases. For people who don't want dynamic content and just want an online business card, there are plenty of other options as well. Ask the web developers if they can give you a quick tour of the features of your site and explain how to update them.

Do negotiate the details of the quote, though - are you providing images or are they? If they're providing them, will they use stock, creative commons images that are on lots of other websites, or images that are purchased under an exclusive use deal and that belong to you and you alone?

Are you going to get control of the site once it's made, or will it be on their servers, with only them having access to the code? Make sure you understand exactly what you're getting, and that it is clear who will have the 'keys to the account.' The last thing you want is for the developer to hold your site hostage in the event of a dispute, or to find that the developer goes bust and you're locked out of your site with no way to update it. At the very least, get the domain name registered in your name so that if you do need to move the site away, it's a relatively easy thing to do. Any responsible and reliable developer will be happy to do this and will not take offense at the suggestion. Indeed, it should be automatic that they will take care of those things for you - or expect you to have a domain name and then simply point the nameservers to your web server.

Web development is a skill that takes time to learn, so pay your developers well. They will provide you with the cornerstone of your business.

Learn the five basics elements on web design here: