iCreate Website Pricing Q&A
Core Website Variables
Quantity of Pages
We don’t expect to know exactly how many pages will be required at quoting stage, but it is useful to have an approximate idea of size and workout a draft sitemap. The quantity of pages obviously affects time to develop, and while there is a vast difference between a simple page and a complex one, generally more pages = more time.
Page content is added to your website during a phase of production called content insertion. This happens after all the page templates, row bricks, and functionality is built. Content insertion is rarely as easy as copy and pasting blocks of text and clicking publish. Normally iCreates developer’s will play around with the layout bricks built for the site to present the content nicely. Often there are not images provided for every page, so we normally source at least one per page from Shutterstock.
Quantity of Unique Templates
Unique page templates are a big factor in the production of the timeline of a website, as each one requires custom design and coding to create. All sites will have a ‘standard page template’ a flexible template used for most content pages of the site. Pages of the site that do not use this ‘standard template’ are using unique templates. Just a few examples could be:
- Home Page Template
- Contact Us Page Template
- Meet the Team (list)
- Staff Member Bio
- Events Calendar
- Our work (portfolio)
- Interactive map
*Related and perhaps muddying the water in this area is Bricks. Bricks is our term for a customisation we make to WordPress websites. On most page templates we remove the default WordPress editor, and replace it with our brick system. Each brick is a row of content that encapsulates content, styling and functionality. Many bricks can be added to a page, and can be dragged and dropped into the correct position. Examples of bricks include ‘multi column content’, ‘important sections’, galleries and image sets.
Depending on the required functionality of the site, we might make some special bricks that can be added onto any page. For example, on your service pages we want to include a feed of case studies related to that service. Rather than creating a special template for service pages, we might create a brick that can be placed on any page that displays a feed of case studies filtered to the selected service.
Therefore we think of unique templates and bricks that needs to be both designed and developed created as a factor of price.
Scoped Special Functionality
To price a website we need to know all the things you want it to do. If it doesn’t need to do anything beyond display fantastically designed pages about your good and services then it’s possible you don’t have any special functionality. Examples of special functionality include:
- Events calendar or booking functionality
- Anything e-commerce related
- Logon areas
- Likely anything with the word interactive in it.
We’ll need to ensure we understand what you require when it comes to special functionality before we quote.
Absorbed Scope Changes
Often clients will come up with ideas during a website project. This is often natural as ideas will evolve as the project takes shape, and sometimes stake holders will become more engaged at later stages of the project. We are of course flexible and receptive to adaptations and change, but in many cases it will add time to the project. Either the variation is additional scope and time, in other cases a change might mean large amounts of recoding to enact the change.
Normally such changes will require a variation quote to cover the additional work or rework. However on Gold and Platinum website tiers we factor in a small amount of ‘included variations’ so we can have a reasonable amount of change during a project without having to discuss additional cost.
Quality (iCreate Hours)
Creating a website is not like digging a hole. If you wanted someone to dig out a 10x20m hole for a swimming pool then it wouldn’t really matter who did it. It wouldn’t matter if they used a shovel or a machine, regardless of how long they worked on it, the end result would be the same: one 10x20m hole in the ground as requested. In comparison web design is a craft, and like any other craft the quality of the end result is proportional to how much time we are able to put into that craft.
To illustrate the point, it took Michelangelo 54 months to paint the roof of the Sistine Chapel. Now while we’re not comparing iCreate to one of history’s greatest artists, it does show that it takes time to craft quality. I’m sure if the Pope’s brief was “a nice clean shade of white” it would have been painted in a week and for a tiny fraction of the cost.
It doesn’t matter if you are making a website, filming a documentary, preparing a legal defence, or designing an airport, the more time and effort that is put in the better the outcome.
So as you can see the question of ‘how much?’ isn’t a simple one, there just is no fixed amount. There is a vast scale that ranges between completing the scope of work, and producing the Sistine Chapel of websites.
iCreate is a company that wants to produce the highest quality creative in everything we do, and would therefore like nothing more than to factor in enough hours into each quote to allow us to produce a site that raises the bar for our client’s industry into the stratosphere each and every time we build a website. However we also understand that budgets don’t always allow for that much time and investment.
Because of this our approach is to provide a series of different price points, and allow our clients to evaluate this against their budget and decide what level of investment they would like to make.
At a base level we will build you a quality and functional website that ticks off the scope of work. Allow us more hours with the Gold or Platinum upgrades and we can add more bells, whistles, finesse and polish.
Give me an example
Unlike a car wash there is no static list of inclusions that vary between the different levels of price, and that’s because every site is different. The extra hours could be used on a range of items including more unique template designs, more custom illustration, more intricate or time consuming web techniques, additional copywriting, or more advanced functionality.
As a basic example please compare these 2 versions of iCreate’s Property Marketing web page.
Both pages provide the same content. The first isn’t bad – it uses a standard content page template and utilises the built in capabilities available in the WordPress CMS to layout the content. The second version is a custom designed and developed one -off page template which enhances the layout and provides better functionality. It naturally took longer to design and develop and is a good example of how we were able to apply additional time to create a higher quality outcome for this important conversion page. Basically the more time we have to work on your site the more intricate we can be.
Recommended Optional Extras
Professional Copy writing
Not everyone needs this, but it does make a difference when the text for your site is polished by a professional copywriter. Pages read smoothly and are manipulated to suit your target audience.
For those that cringe at the thought of writing website copy, don’t celebrate just yet. You’ll still need to draft content for each page, as the copywriter needs a foundation to work with and build upon. The good news is that you can stick to the key points, and the conveying the important aspects of your business without worrying about flowery language.
Professional Photo shoot
If you don’t have professional photography of your business, and you are about to build a new website… now is the time to invest in it. It really is a great investment and asset to have. It will not only be leveraged on your website, but in much of the marketing collateral you produce over the next few years.
While this will likely involve bio photos of either your whole team, owners or key staff – some of the most valuable shots can often be candid shots of your team working, at meetings, on site or interactive with clients. Professionally photos of this kind can convey the personality of the organisation so much better than stock photography ever could.
Video can be extremely effective. I don’t need to convince anyone of the power of video. We are all drawn to video on websites like a magnet. While some are disappointing and soon paused, we are all too happy to choose a 40s video to explain a concept or offering rather than scour pages of text any day.
Quality video is an extra investment, and not always feasible or appropriate depending on budget. However for many sites the opportunity for increased engagement or conversion can be well worth it.
iCreate has a great video production partner, and are often involved with story-boarding and creative direction. If you think video might be a good fit for you, then we can certainly help