Design is not a cheap commodity. It often feels expensive as you are buying a lot of someone’s time and expertise in one chunk, where other professional services might be spread over a 12 month period, such as accountancy.

However, unlike accountancy or other professional services, good design and branding often has a direct impact on your sales income. It is one of the most important elements in marketing your business.

The web design process

Websites don’t just happen. They are the result of a streamlined methodology, based on years of experience, in which there are usually six major milestones:

  1. Discovery – The goal of this phase is to gain a deep and intuitive sense of your goals, competitors, and business plan
  2. Planning – We take what we learned in the Discovery phase and transform it into an actionable plan. We also define the budget, timeline, technology, and deliverables (such as briefs, sitemaps, and content outlines) needed to complete the work
  3. Interface Design – Strategic plan in hand, we move to the drawing table — this is where the design and concept begin to take shape. We keep sifting and refining our ideas until we’ve found the best possible solution
  4. Integration – With our vision and solution nailed down, we start building the site. In this phase, all the pieces fall into place
  5. Testing
  6. Launch/Maintain – Once the project is launched, we establish a roadmap for constant improvement and future enhancements. We discover the true results of our work as we monitor the project’s growth over time.

The above process can be modified to fit a smaller project by reducing the amount of effort spent on different steps. For example, the Discovery process can involve just one simple phonecall with a client to learn about their requirements. It could also cover several all-day meetings if the project is particularly complex.

The Planning process can involve a short document that addresses the creative and technical requirements or it can involve days of research into the competition and building matrices of features and functionality.

You can see how each step in the website design methodology is flexible and can be modified to fit a target project budget and requirements.

So how much does a website cost?

It depends on what you are trying to build. When we estimate a project we try to get a good understanding of the project requirements and then estimate the number of hours required to arrive at a successful result. Once we have estimated the number of hours for each task we multiply that by our hourly rate. We then provide a final project estimate. During development, if there are any new requests, the budget is adjusted accordingly.

If you search for website design and development services you will find a wide range of fees. Keep in mind there is a world of difference between the experience of a £15 an hour developer (offshore companies/students) and a £200 per hour developer. Our rate is highly competitive and is based on what we believe is reasonable for the bulk of our clients which are small to mid-sized businesses. Our methodology has been tailored to deliver design and development services based on that cost.

Spending money on a well-run design project is an investment in your company. If you’re running a business which has never previously commissioned design it may be hard to see it that way. But it’s likely to make for a smoother, more productive (and possibly cheaper) project if everyone involved views the expenditure as an investment, with positive effects for your business. For some people, this may require a shift in mindset and it may fall to someone in your business to champion the design project to other members of staff and management.

For a free consultation and quotation, please contact us with your requirements.

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About Europa Studio

Europa Studio is an independent design and marketing consultancy based in Bournemouth, Dorset. Since 2004, we have helped a wide variety of businesses grow and be more innovative. We provide services primarily in the areas of web and graphic design, email marketing, search engine optimisation, photography and video production.