Defining the client investment for a website is a very important part of web development, and unfortunately few web developers spend the appropriate time to do it right. A request for a website proposal is a bit like a proposal to build a house. It’s easy to ask how much it costs to build a house, but the answer can’t be very accurate until the details like how many rooms, how many windows, which appliances etc have been selected. This analogy holds solid-true for website estimation as well. This article explains what to look for in an accurate WordPress website proposal.

A few years back it used to be that we could develop a website, post it and be successful, but times have changed with technology. In response, we’re currently advising our clients to assign about 60% of their overall web budget to the website itself, and the remaining 40% to website promotion like social media and SEO strategies. Because of this paradigm shift, web clients can easily be mislead by inaccurate or incomplete estimates if this 60/40 isn’t established up front for their long-term success.

1. The WordPress Theme

WordPress is a website development system that provides templates or “Themes” that a developer or client may select to build out a website with. They are cheap to buy, typically under $100, but it really matters which company the code is purchased from. Some theme are riddled with “code gremlins” that must be searched out and squashed. Others have problems adjusting to responsive environments like hand-held devices, there are other pitfalls that must be experienced to believe, and all of them can blow out even the most carefully planned budget. Once a theme is selected (and inspected), the estimation process may proceed.

2. The Target Audiences

Any website can be pretty, but not every pretty website can sell. An effective website is focussed completely on the target audiences, specifically providing imagery and text that they are personally attracted to. Websites that use brand elements also designed for the target audiences excell over those that don’t. It’s a tough balance creating a superior website without a superior logo and outstanding messaging, it’s all an integral part of the overall success.

3. The Sitemap

Once the theme and target audiences have been established, we build a sitemap outlining the hierarchy of the home page in relation to all the other pages that will be developed for the website. This is easy for some companies, but tricky for others because this process may even require the client to re-organize their business to the next level by establishing corporate divisions and even sub-divisions in order to most effectively communicate what they do. Everything needs to fit cleanly on specific service pages in the web environment, so for this important step, organization will set you free. So the number of pages and number of photographs need to be established first, then diagramming the internal and external links completes the picture well enough for approval.

4. The Estimate

When the theme has been selected, target audiences established, and sitemap completed, FINALLY an accurate time estimate to complete it can be worked out. Unfortunately, most web developers skip directly to this step and as you can now imagine, most frequently fall short in the accuracy of their proposals. So once all this is done and you’re ready to receive the proposal, how much does a WordPress website cost?

5. So, how much does a WordPress Website cost?

Now that you see what goes into an accurate WordPress Website proposal, you should know that it’s a tough thing to nail down without all the details in hand. The real answer is in the time involved. From our professional experience, a WordPress home page with a slider, 5 supporting pages and a contact us page (without e-commerce) typically takes from 40 to 60 hours to complete. This includes the above estimation process, contents and photo organization, website development, revision rounds, approvals, testing, migrating and posting to the world wide web. It’s a lot of steps and it’s a lot to do, even when provided the theme’s code.

Hourly rates change whether you’re hiring a single web person, a studio, or an agency. Increased capability requires increased investment because the potential for returns can be significantly greater with a creative company that knows more about how to make their clients successful.

Another factor is the way that WordPress is set up for each individual website, much of the time is in the first home page work, so a single pager can easily take almost as much time as a 5 pager. It’s a balance for sure.

So looking at the time involved, yes, WordPress themes make it much easier to design a fabulous responsive website, but having the design handed to you does not eliminate the need for professional coding experience and a mobile-ready mindset when developing out the website for the target audiences. WordPress is way worth it though, their themes are revolutionizing the web and the way that people process digital information worldwide. It’s a revolution that any company can be a successful part of, and now you know how much effort goes in to get the best results back out.

Do you have specific questions?

You can contact us at ID International today to start a dialog with us on this process. We’re here ready to answer the call, and intend to exceed your expectations.