The last step in your process to choose your agency is in most cases to analyze the quotes written by different providers. However, it is often difficult to find one’s way around these different offers.
The purpose of this article is to provide you with concrete elements, which you can use directly when comparing the website quotes received.
A crucial step that is being prepared
Know your needs
Creating a website is an ant’s job. Multiple talents will probably be sought to obtain a final product that meets your expectations. And precisely where is your own involvement limited? And what are your real needs?
- Is it a simple showcase site? If you want advanced features, it is important to list them.
- You want text on your pages? If so, who will do the writing?
- In terms of design and graphics, do you already have a precise idea of what you need or on the contrary, the help of a graphic designer is essential for you to achieve a responsive design?
- You think that adding photos would be a plus on your website. Do you have quality photos? It is up to you to decide if the services of a professional photographer could be profitable.
- Is this a redesign or a first website creation? Have you thought about the domain name?
If you have chosen to use a web agency, it is in the first place to have a tailor-made service. A personalized and careful estimate appears as a first criterion to elect your future provider. We are in the visual and digital world, so don’t be surprised by some fantasies, but beware of generic barbaric words. But, there again, there is the provider who will send you a proposal nicely illustrated, even animated while another will give a quote in PDF format that fits on 1 or more pages.
But whether it is compact or fanciful, judge the estimate on these important points instead:
- Do you have the impression that it is an unfortunate copy and paste barely touched up with your company name? If so, there will have to be many more exchanges and perhaps an increase in the initial amount!
- Is the quote detailed enough, intelligible and consistent with what you have requested? If so, say that this agency took the time to think about your needs and submit a personalized proposal.
However small it may be, this information must at least appear on your estimate:
- Information about the company: name and contact details, SIRET, Intracommunity VAT number
- The objective of the service: a brief description of the site and your expectations
An evaluation of the work: details of the stages of the creation, expected timeframe, etc.
- Cost and payment methods: basic service amount, maintenance price, deposit, etc.
The more ambitious the project, the more detailed the proposal should be, including:
- A complete presentation of the agency: its speciality, the collaborators, possibly its references, etc.
- The reformulation of your need. The provider is supposed to highlight the purpose of the website.
- Functional cutting. What are the future features of the website? The presentation must be neatly arranged.
- Visual aspect and ergonomics: graphic charter, logo, user experience, etc.
- Content organization and integration: your main pages and their tree structure.
- SEO and webmarketing to promote your new website
- Technical aspect: type of hosting, technologies used, etc.
- Specifications: process, schedule, deliverables, etc.
- Maintenance management and site evolution proposal
- The tariff offer: amount of the service, validity of the estimate, method of payment, etc.
How to interpret your quote?
You now have several quotes on hand, however, things are getting tough because obviously, each agency has presented its quote in its own way. Here are a few tips to help you break it all down.
At the price level
Creating a website has a cost, yes, but which one? 500 €, 10 000 € or 100 000 €? You’ve heard everything and it doesn’t reassure you. In fact, it all depends on the complexity of your needs and the type of service provider to whom you will entrust the project. Indeed, a web agency will take care of everything from A to Z while with freelancers, it will be necessary to find a good web developer/web designer team.
In order to see more clearly, the table below summarizes the price ranges according to the type of service provider as well as the service requested:
|Showcase site||Ecommerce website||Web portal|
Web developer + webdesigner
|500€-3.000€||1.000€ – 2.000€||5.000€-50.000€|
|1.000€-5.000€||3.000€ – 50.000€||10.000€-100.000€|
In terms of customer follow-up
The development of your website will take a few weeks or months.
Depending on your methodology and internal procedures, you will need different customer support. While some companies attach great importance to having a regular point of contact with a project manager, some are not too concerned about development and are simply looking forward to the project being completed.
If you already know that you would like to receive regular updates on the progress of your project, make sure that customer support and project management are included in the quote you have received. Conversely, if you do not attach much importance to this, tell your agency, which may be able to reduce some costs.
In terms of the technology used
If this has not been specified by the web agency, dare to ask. Indeed, the technology used to create your website will have an impact on the future, especially if you or your collaborators need to update the content. In addition, doing some research on the technology chosen by the provider allows you to know if it is a known, common, state-of-the-art system that will promote the evolution of your website.
At the level of the team mobilized
Creating your website is an investment, both financially and in terms of human resources. If these costs do not appear directly in the invoice of the web agencies, they can easily increase the cost of your project. Evaluate the tasks that you could assign to your own teams, taking care to select the competent profiles. But remember that doing these tasks in-house is also a cost, so take the time to do the profitability calculation. On the agency side, do not hesitate to ask about the availability and skills of the team that will be dedicated to your project, especially if you incur significant costs for a major project. Is it more of a junior profile? What experience do they have? Do they have a dedicated project manager? To what extent will they be available?
How to avoid traps?
Read between the lines of the estimate
Everything must start with a clear, understandable and detailed quote. Rough and superficial or, on the contrary, overloaded with information, lists, sub-lists, sub-lists, etc. should be excluded. At the end of the reading, everything must be clear to you. At the slightest frown, contact the agency and ask for an accessible and unambiguous explanation of the indigestible lines it has served you. In addition, make sure that each wish mentioned during your interview is included in the quote.
Beware of delivery times that are too optimistic. Whoever proposes a deadline much closer than his competitors is to be watched. Obviously, the creation of a website takes time, and in addition it is necessary to reserve a margin, because most of the time, it always exceeds the deadline planned.
Be careful, one prize can hide another!
The advertised price must reflect the promised result and the service that accompanies it. Look at the “Project Tracking” fees. The higher it is, the more you can expect top-of-the-range customer support: listening, available, responsive, etc., and a service tailored to your needs. As a general rule, excessively low prices close to the “discount” announce factory methods that reduce personalization and your intervention to the strict minimum.
On your estimate, there will be a flat-rate part, the creation of the site itself, and a part in the form of subscription. This mainly concerns maintenance, updates, referencing, hosting, etc. Read carefully what is included, and calculate what it represents over a year. Some have an interesting basic service and then make you pay a high price on so-called trifles. Moreover, it would be interesting to know how much the design of the site and its maintenance on line over 2 or 3 years really cost. There, you will know its true cost.
Be very careful with the “Monthly Subscription” and “All-inclusive Pack per month” rates that link you to this agency for one year or more. In these contracts, there are very few real commitments by the provider. A change in your needs may result in a higher bill if the subscription in question is not very flexible. In addition, many companies have often stated that they have been dissatisfied with those who use this very tempting method. In the end, in addition to their frustration, they had to pay other professionals. The economy will be a vague memory.
Who are you dealing with?
Detect deceptions and learn more about the agency in question. Is it reliable? Professional? Does she have experience or is she just starting out? An agency that has already made a name for itself in the industry inspires confidence. That’s pretty basic. She will know a priori better how to accompany you and assess with skill your real needs. On the other hand, you run the risk of suffering the youthful mistakes of a newcomer who can close shop at any time. However, experience and trust also come at a price. It’s up to you to judge how much you’re willing to pay for serenity.