Once again, as I have done on many occasions, I will reference todays Marketing Profs e-newsletter that addresses the concerns of big business when looking into creating a web presence. Normally, I really respect their excellent marketing perspectives and insight, while praising their due diligence when presenting great references and resources, but not this time…
They report, as written by Tina Ferguson of the True You Marketing blog, that there are three ways to eliminate spending too much on too little regarding a new corporate web presence:
– Get to know the technology.
– Know your position in the marketplace.
– Ask to see working clients’ sites.
Now, I will agree with the first because I believe that every consumer should be less trusting and more informed. And knowing “enough to be dangerous” only means you know enough to get skirted with jargon you may not have brushed over. Certainly, having an educated IT professional you trust with you during professional meetings to discuss web development will prove helpful.
However, knowing your position in your marketplace only proves one thing: your position in your market place. Discounts are never in order unless you expect discounted work, but I have never and will never base my pricing or any form of marketing costs on the size or dominance of a company. To think that their are professional companies potentially engaging in this sort of unethical practice is discouraging and unsettling.
As for asking for “working” sites, I agree that it is far more comforting to access a served website with an active web address from your internet connection, but do not for a minute discredit successfully created websites that are off line, for whatever reason. Sometimes clients will take websites down, go out of business, or change a brand with a subsequent site redesign, which will remove the former site from internet accessibility. But since said site is still actively present on an in house server, you can view it in it’s entirety and still experience the site just the same.
Why should Web Development companies be held at the mercy of the choices made by their clients?
If you are looking for a specific or similar design or level of functionality, and the designer wishes to showcase it to you from a site that has been built in-house but removed from the web, should that downgrade the worth of the design or coded application?
I should hope that whoever wrote this article does their due diligence next time before writing such unfounded material.
In response, I believe the best way to avoid paying too much for too little is to ask the company is question for references, portfolio excerpts, a description of the companies management interface, meet the individuals that you will be working with multiple times, and fully understand the company, their process, their work and their pricing structure before solidifying a relationship. And beyond that, make comparisons with the competitors in question.
But again, as I have written several times, web development pricing is not arbitrary but is also not standardized. You will pay much more for the same work with one company than you will another if they are more experienced, creative and properly managed. What will take a freelance designer $10k to create may take a professional firm $50k to create.
It’s logistics and you will get what you pay for. In addition, time line, size of team necessary to create your web application, level of custom coding or design, amount of and type of software, if any, necessary to implement, level of customer service and response turnaround (based on references) and much more should all be taken into account when comparing pricing.
After reading many other blogs by Tina, I found her material to be intelligent, insightful and useful… but the post in question was a definite miss.