Your website has a short window to make the right impression for your business. It takes website visitors about 0.2 seconds to form an opinion on a specific website. 75% of consumers report that they will judge a business’ credibility by how its website looks. To maximize your revenue-generating opportunities, your website needs to look amazing and operate smoothly.
Unfortunately, web development projects are often harder and costlier than they look. They require the right level of planning, ample end-user research, and the right expert assistance. If you aren’t careful with your plans, it can be easy for costs to pile up. Luckily for you, you can use the tips in this blog to reduce your web development budget.
Here’s how to control your web development costs:
Conduct End-User Research
Why do you want to build a new website or redesign your old one? Maybe you want to market your brand better, launch an ecommerce site, or even eliminate parts of your previous website that didn’t meet your expectations. You need to create a list of the intended purpose of all your web development projects. You will be surprised at how much you can shave off your development costs if you target the project exactly to achieve your desired goals.
Starting the web development journey without a clear definition of your goals can be a slippery slope. First of all, it can be easy for your team to design elements that don’t deliver the desired results if they don’t understand the purpose of the project. You could also miss design elements that could improve the lives of the end-users and generate more revenue for you. Both of these issues could result in you revisiting the project, which will increase costs.
Here’s how to conduct end-user research on web development projects:
- Start by interviewing the target audience — this can be customers or staff members. Ask what they want from the website and research how best to deliver it.
- If the scope of the project doesn’t include time for interviews, look at other websites that serve a similar purpose. Be sure to note everything that makes them stand out. You should create a list of the benefits they offer the end-user to include in your own site.
- Create personas for the end-users before beginning web development projects. This will simplify the details of the target user, from which you can start choosing features. It might also be a necessary step if you already had created such personas earlier that are no longer a great representation of the current user.
Outsource the Project
Designing your website in-house offers you a lot of control — you can decide on the time to work on it and pick the exact design elements you want. Unfortunately, this can be an expensive option. First, you need to have the right tools for your web development projects to run smoothly. Second, you might need to hire a web developer in-house, which calls for a consistent salary and benefits. If the job is seasonal (i.e., you will not always have a web development project for them to work on), this may not be an efficient option. Creating a stunning website also takes time. It might take you a few weeks or months to launch the final result. This is time you could be spending on other demanding core business tasks.
On the flip side, outsourcing web design is a less expensive and time-consuming alternative. You will only need to talk to a contractor about your ideal website features and design elements before waiting for the final products. Even better, web development prices differ around the world, which means you can outsource your web development projects to companies offering their services at costs that are in line with your web development budget. The trick lies in picking the ideal web developer for your project. You also need to choose whether you would rather nearshore or offshore your web development project. Both options have benefits and drawbacks.
Don’t Cut Costs on Your Website’s Security
Think that the security of your website is something you can compromise for cheaper web development? These statistics from CNBC ought to change your mind:
- Cyber attack incidents cost businesses of all sizes around $200,000 on average to overcome
- While 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses, only 14% are ready to defend themselves
For many business owners creating or redesigning their sites, security may not be the first thing on their minds. It might even feel like a great place to cut costs, but that can be a mistake long-term — especially if you run an ecommerce store. The kind of information your website stores or handles every day could easily make you an enticing target for threat actors. Using an unsecured website could also make your website a no-go-zone for security-conscious visitors. It can be among the reasons why your website isn’t making you any money.
The worst part about skimping on website security in web development projects is the cost associated with a successful cyber attack. You could easily have to pay fines and legal fees from ensuing lawsuits, fines that will go beyond your initial web development budget. An attack could also affect your revenue-generating capacity, especially if the threat actor targets portions of your website that draw income for you. Lastly, a successful breach could result in you losing valued customers, regardless of whether they were affected or not. Among the best ways to improve your business’ security include:
- Complying with common cybersecurity regulation like the PCI DSS
- Adding HTTPS and SSL certifications
- Being careful with password management
- Updating software and plugins
- Working with a secure web hosting company
- Embracing strong user access control measure
- Backing up your website
Use Existing Design Themes
If building your design elements from scratch isn’t an important part of your web development projects, then you should consider using existing themes. Designing your site from the ground up can be costly. Many aspects of web design are readily available on existing themes.
Even better, some of these themes tend to be free while offering premium qualities. Those that are premium come at a quite affordable subscription fee. If you wish to customize the themes to your liking, almost all of them come with a customization option.
Prioritize Quality Over Cost
The quality of your web development projects should be a priority. You should never shave costs while compromising essential features. The benefit of options like outsourcing and using pre-existing themes is that you can maintain a high level of quality without going beyond your web development budget. Use the tips above and give your business the first impression it deserves online.