You might be wondering why the cost of a web site varies so much? Your IT guy tells you he can build it for a few hundred dollars. The freelancer down the street wants a few thousand. The design firm wants $15,000 to build your site. How do you choose?
I believe that web sites require a team because there are several distinct areas of expertise necessary to build a great web site:
- Web strategy (marketing, design and technical expertise)
- Web writing (copywriting and marketing expertise)
- Web design (design expertise, UX, and technical expertise)
- Web development (high-level technical expertise)
- Web implementation (detail-oriented low-level technical expertise with knowledge of organization)
First off, a good web strategy aims to tell the world an engaging story, and why this story truly matters. The goal of the strategy is typically to build awareness, inform the interested, and engage those who can help to fulfill missions, whether they be funders, strategic partners, volunteers, or new team members. Once a strategy is set, all decisions can be measured against it, to keep internal teams on track. A great web team will provide you with the tools you need to present the results of the web investment to the Board of Directors.
Once initial web content has been drafted, a professional writer can focus on informing and persuading the audience, and skilled writers comprehend the wide range of requirements needed to successfully tell a story in an engaging and informative manner.
A professional visual design will speak to credibility. Does the visual presentation enhance understanding of your mission and vision? Is the navigation clearly labeled and is the site easy to navigate? Does it compel people to champion your cause? How does the site look on a smart phone? iPad? Is the site design modern and fresh? Does it reflect the culture and professionalism of an organization. While anyone can “design” a site, an experienced designer has the tools and expertise to bring a story to life in a fresh and engaging visual manner.
Once a site is created, the tactical implementation work remains. Who will offer technical support as your team moves the content from the old site to the new site? It’s helpful to have a team continue to support your site once it goes live. Site requirements evolve, and technology changes. Backups are critical and software updates are released regularly that need attention..
Teams can be local or virtual. A web producer or strategist can manage the process and the team to make sure your next site is a worthwhile investment.