Trekking Into Uncharted Territory: How Site Complexity Affects Cost

In our previous blog post, we identified some of the elements of website design and development that affect the cost - project management, design, content, and development. Today, we're taking a walk into the deep woods to explain how the complexity of your website affects the overall cost.

Design - Designers come up with cool ideas; developers are in charge of bringing those cool ideas to life through coding. The fewer special design elements you have on your site, the less time spent developing those elements, but this doesn't mean to have a bare-bones no-frills site. It just means to choose wisely and consider what will appeal most to your customers and site visitors.

Development - The only time you don't need development is if you choose a template and never make changes to it. However, after choosing a template most people then choose colors and typefaces and upload a logo, but that's not development. If you want anything more custom for your website - a video that plays in the background of the homepage, sliding content sections, logo animations - those count as complexity and require a web developer.

For example, say that you choose a slider module for your site that cycles through a photo and content. Something's not quite right, though - the font size is too big and you want a different font. The picture you want isn't aligned properly in the section. You'll have to hire a web developer, unless you know about code and have the time to make the changes yourself, of course. Most people would rather pay an expert to do the job correctly instead of poking away for hours.

Content – If your site has more than just a few pages, you may want to hire a web copywriter to help make sure your messaging is focused and appropriate. You may also want to have a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) review your site to make sure your copywriter is using the right keywords to achieve a high page ranking on search engine results pages.

Project Management - The more complex your site is, the more you'll need a project manager to guide the process and track development time as it relates to budget. If the developer is nearing the budget cap and there are some elements that still aren't implemented, the project manager can raise a flag to alert you and discuss which elements you want to keep and which can wait for a later site update.

Hopefully we've now led you out of the woods and you can see clearly how adding complexity to your site affects how much it will cost. Working with an agency with a good track record and happy clients can help avoid surprises, as they will likely have a handle on scoping projects properly. Download our eBook "How Much Should You Expect To Pay For A Website?" for an in-depth look at these and other issues that affect cost.

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