4 min read

The importance of a website budget

Website Budget
Updated on 07 Mar 2024

We understand not every client knows their website budget, and some clients don't want to let the web design agency know what their budget is. This blog post touches on some of the benefits ( and negatives ) a web budget can have for both the agency and the client.

New Client. New Project. New Budget. New Timescale.... New, New New.

Here at Shape we don't offer template websites, we don't have set prices for websites, so when we receive enquiries asking "How much is it for a website?", it's difficult to answer with a set price the client wants to hear. We understand some clients have never built a new website before, or never had to go through the process previously, so this is new to them. Some clients 'phish' around for quotes and send general enquiries to multiple agencies to get a feel for a ballpark figure... which is understandable, but the client needs to have some information to back this process up.

A ( bespoke ) agency cannot provide an accurate quotation without a project brief.... so....

What is a project brief?

Don't waste your own time, or the agencies time just sending enquiries asking for a price without any information about your project, because you generally won't get a reply that answers your question straight away. A project brief is a good start for any job. It can be as basic as you like, informal, a formal document or as in depth as you wish. In short, this website project brief should answer as many as you can relating to the bullet points below:

  • Overview of your business
  • Current website overview pros and cons
  • Who are your competitors?
  • What do you want the new website to achieve?
  • Do you know specific web features you need/want?
  • What websites do you like and why?
  • Project Start Date
  • Project End Date
  • Project Budget

I understand you can't answer all of the above but the more information you give to the agency in the enquiry will benefit you as a client. Why? Because the agencies response will be relevant to your enquiry and not a 'guesstimate' price that may alter further down the line as you discuss more about the project. Leaving you annoyed as a client as the budget seems to be increasing and increasing, because the agency didn't know your needs in the first place.

How do you know what your budget is?

If you've never had to build a website before because it's a new business, or it wasn't your job role to undertake a new website project... you might be asking, well how much do they cost? The simple answer to that is, every website is a different price because you will have different features and functions to other clients. However, if you want a cheap website that is template based, then more or less, agencies will be able to say - for what you need, the price will be £ or they will tell you a minimum starting budget of £.

Evaluating what your budget is can be as easy as looking at any of the following:

  • Has your boss given you a budget to work with for Marketing on the whole?
  • What can you afford?
  • How important will the website be to your business?
  • If it's eCommerce, how many products do you need to sell to get your proposed budget back?
  • Do you have an overall budget that you can split over monthly payments to make cash flow easier?

Why does telling a web agency your budget benefit them?

It saves both you as the client, and the agency a lot of time in the first stages. For example, if you enquired about a project and didn't know your budget - the agency may be willing to provide an in depth proposal, after conducting relevant research and theories, propose to you what they think you need and what should be achieved..... for you as the client to respond.... "That's way out of my budget!!!"

The agency has wasted time doing a proposal. The client is back to square one.

If you provide your budget to the client, along with a project brief, the agency will instantly be able to tell you that A) this budget is unrealistic for what you want to achieve and we can't work with you or B) this sounds great, we'll provide a proposal for you to review. Which puts you as a client in a much better situation moving forward either way.

How do I know I'm not being ripped off?

If you're thinking that telling the agency will make them get more money out of you, then there's a few responses to that. Most decent agencies who have a good web design portfolio, respectful clientele and previous testimonials will give you an honest answer and either tell you that your budget is more than you need, or advise on the best way of spending that budget. So they may recommend other services such as Search Engine Optimisation ( SEO ) to improve your ranking in Google which in turn will get you more enquiries or more online purchases. Or the web design agency may offer more technical aspects to the website that you hadn't thought about that either improve the customers journey, the UI / UX, or improve you business internally. For example, they may integrate certain features that takes away any labour manually, so you as a client can run your business more smoothly and effectively.

What next?

If you're looking to start a new project and like what you have read, you like our portfolio and what digital services we can offer. Head on over to our project planner, where you can insert all the information I have discussed and we will be able to provide you with more information in response.

Start a project now.

I handle the accounts and finances here at MadeByShape.