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How do I compare website packages from multiple website developers?

For many business owners trying to choose between website developers in Brisbane is too overwhelming and far too complicated, so they take the easy way out and just focus on price. At first glance, this might seem like a workable solution, however if you only focus on the costs, you can end up with a poor quality website that doesn’t suit your needs in the long term.

As we can all appreciate, sometimes in life we have to pay more for a quality product and this has never been truer than when you are selecting a website developer in Brisbane. For the vast majority of business owners however, cost will always be a serious consideration, but you should also consider and compare other factors as well. This helps you to make not only an informed decision, but a decision that is cost effective over the long term.

Comparing website developers in Brisbane

There are a number of factors you need to consider when you want a website that is value for money in Brisbane. Website developers will tell you all sorts of things, hoping to get your business, but savvy business owners know that there are three key questions they need answered.

  1. What are the key limitations of the package? For example, limitations can include the number of pages included in the package (many developers only include 5 pages), the number of revision rounds, whether training is included in the package, whether features for speed and security are included, and they may not offer suitable management and support options.
  2. What is their approach to content? Do they offer the services of a professional copywriter and can they provide stock images for your content? These are very valuable services and will pay for themselves time and time again in both return on investment and in saving you a serious amount of time. Many website developers in Brisbane present their clients with a website that is empty of content or has ‘place holding’ generic content – requiring the business owner to write and upload all of their own content.
  3. What is their experience? How long have they been a web developer in Brisbane? How much experience do they have? Do they have client testimonials and examples of their work? What is their turnaround time? Do they create high quality websites?

Another tactic is to ask the website developer to tell you how their packages compare to others that you are considering in Brisbane. Website developers should have no problem making these comparisons, in fact good developers will be more than willing to show you their work and discuss your options.

Why do business owners choose website developers based solely on price?

When businesses are looking for a new website, they’ll of course source quotes from multiple website developers. In Brisbane, and right across the country, there are countless web development companies who offer standardised website packages. But these packages can be difficult to compare, and often the way the information is presented is vastly different, so businesses will fall back on looking mainly at the costs.

Normally a website developer will offer a few tiers of packages, too, so even selecting the right package once you’ve decided on the company can be hard.

On top of that, the language used by each developer will often vary. While one company might refer to a feature as “SEO tools”, another might say “Manage your Google presence” or “Search engine configuration options”. For the layperson, this just adds an extra layer of complexity to the decision over which website developer to choose.

Is price the best way to compare website developers in Brisbane?

So at this point, the business has to consider:

  • The developer’s folio of work, industries served, and clients
  • Other project factors such as timeframes, or payment options available from the developer
  • The website package that best suits their needs, including all of the features and benefits, across potentially 10 or 12 website packages
  • The total and ongoing costs

While it’s fairly easily to work through the first couple of items above, if you can’t make sense of the website packages then ultimately the buck stops at the price.

Price is definitely a serious consideration for most business owners and it is understandable that comparing prices seems to simplify the decision. The problem is that the cheapest website developer in Brisbane isn’t always the best option (in fact, that’s very rarely the case), so it’s important that you have a solid understanding of what you are comparing, so you can make an informed decision.

While keeping one eye on the costs, gut instinct is often used by many business owners to select the best person for the job, based on whether they feel comfortable with them, which can be important too. There is nothing wrong with using your gut instinct and being aware of prices, but to make the best decision for your business, you need to compare the different packages offered by each website developer. In Brisbane there are literally thousands of developers who could be the right fit.

So how do you compare the options?

Don’t get caught up looking at the features presented. Think about the benefits to your business. For example, do you actually care if the website package includes “speed optimisations”, or are you more interested in hearing that the website will load faster for your visitors, increasing your conversion rates?

Websites aren’t just something to tick off your To Do list. They should offer a return on your investment, so it’s important to find out more from each developer about any relevant case studies they can show you, and the expected results from the new website. While no one has a crystal ball, if the developer has done their homework they’ll usually be able to give you some guidelines around that. You want to be confident that the website will actually improve your business in some way.

If you have trouble comparing the packages from different website developers, in Brisbane or anywhere else for that matter, it’s not unreasonable to ask a developer to compare their packages with a competitor of your choice. Apart from helping you to make clear comparisons between two or more developers, asking a developer to make these comparisons for you will give you some idea of their character, which will feed back into your gut feeling about them.

In the end, there are many factors here. Focusing only on costs might be the easy solution, but it’s likely not the best solution.

How do quality website developers in Brisbane justify their hourly rates?

A quick Google search will turn up the minimum rates for website developers in Brisbane, ranging from $20/hr to $200+ per hour. Overseas freelancers can charge as little as $10/hr or even less, so how do you know if the price you have been quoted is going to get you the results you’re looking for?

The problem is that there are many ways to use custom coding to achieve the same results on websites, but essentially, you will pay more for an experienced website developer in Brisbane, than for a young junior who is wet behind the ears. Without a doubt, not all Brisbane website developers are equal, and you need to spend some time comparing their prices and their experience.

Experienced vs inexperienced web developers

Experienced web developers know how to achieve the best results quickly and efficiently. A young and inexperienced web developer in Brisbane is more likely to make mistakes that you may not ever notice, and overlook important considerations that are not picked up until it’s too late. They also have a habit of not planning ahead which can cause long delays, not knowing what questions to ask to ensure that all of your features are included in your website, writing inefficient code causing your site to run slowly, and so on. Some of this is purely due to inexperience, but that doesn’t help you if you are on the receiving end.

Comparing apples to apples

When you receive website quotes, and some web developers seem high compared to other quotes, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re paying more for the same thing. There are so many factors involved in developing high quality websites, so the packages offered will vary considerably. It’s not as straightforward as comparing quotes from, say, a concreter. With websites, there are many different software packages and configurations available, and many ways to achieve the same thing. There are also considerations about training, support, warranties, location, and other factors outside of simply providing you with a website.

Always do your research and investigate who will be working on your website, and whether they are experienced or not. After all, there is little point in paying $10/hr for a poorly constructed and inefficient website, even if it looks great, because in the end, your website needs to convert visitors into paying customers. And first, they need to find the website!

How is website pricing structured?

The majority of quality website developers in Brisbane charge by the project, which can be much more cost-effective if the project overruns its deadline. Websites with higher price tags are generally built by more experienced website developers, because they need to be reimbursed for their time, skills and experience. There may also be overheads associated with larger web design agencies, compared to freelancers. But you’re essentially paying for reliability too. It’s incredible how often we hear about web developers who have simply dropped off the face of the earth.

Checking that your chosen website developer is indeed experienced and warrants the higher costs is something that comes down to opening a dialogue and asking some pointed questions. In the end, you need to match your budget with the best web developer you can find, so don’t opt for the cheapest, as you might regret this decision sooner rather than later.