1. Understand your biggest advantage with a new site is online marketing
I agree with you. Traditional marketing can suck. It can suck not only your ad spend but suck the life right out of your soul.
Radio ads, TV ads, postcards, billboards are all expensive. These marketing
mediums can range greatly, whereas your ad spend on most online traffic sources
can be a 1/8 of the cost with the same result (e.g. facebook, reddit, instagram).
This is why you need to understand that your biggest advantage online is advertising. It can truly save your business and separate you from your competitors.
2. Make sure to host your own website
This is a personal preference of mine. Over the years it’s been commonplace for some people to be scared of not owning or being able to access their website.
Or, they fear that if things go south with their designer for any reason then the their
designer could hold them ransom.
It’s a bit more common than you think.
The first thing you could absolutely do is ask to be hosted on your own platform with your own credentials.
We do this at LNB nearly every time with all our clients. It just makes things easier.
You may have a bit more investment up front by owning it, but it should be
minuscule, since most hosting plans are very affordable these days.
Most hosting plans range from $19-$90 bucks a month depending on the type of resources you get.
Of course if you plan to have your designer manage it over the year, than the designer should include maintenance of the hosting into their fee.
3. What is the proper range of budget and why?
For a decent website without you having to worry about re-doing the website, you
should spend no less than $1,000 (usually a one pager at this price point), and it
goes up from there. Why?
Time. It takes time to build a good solid website. Make no mistake, you can buy
someone from a third world country to make a site for $300.
“Hell, I bet you can find someone to build it for $100, but you will have to re-do it.”
Not only will you have lost the months/days of progress you could of had if you
invested from the beginning, but you may have lost out on clients because of the
misbranding of the site, no trust, little aesthetic, lack of credibility and poor
We all know first impressions do matter and the fact that your site is the online version of your business will say a lot to your customers, depending on what they feel after seeing/interacting with it.
4. Know your audience before hiring (or at least have an idea!)
If you haven’t heard of a customer persona yet, you need to have at least a
conceptual understanding of it for the digital advertising realm.
For one, you don’t want to completely 100% rely on anyone for advertising, especially digital.
Its good to have some knowledge of what’s going on. Digital Marketer has an
them.Personally, I think Ryan Deiss’s explanation is the best out there.
marketing realm, especially if you hire someone.
Don’t try to gobble it all up remember KISS (Keep it simple stupid).
You may be asking, why am I thinking of marketing before my site is even re-
designed/designed? Great question. The sooner you think of your customer’s
journey to the end goal (i.e. purchasing your product/service), the sooner it will
Some people get it right off the bat, especially if they already have traffic coming to
their site. If not, then you will need to do a traffic and conversion plan to test and
determine your product/market fit online, which may take a while.
So when it comes to researching your audience, the sooner the better. The more you
help out your designer the closer you will be to seeing a return.
Remember all the site needs to be is an online version of you and your business.
What’s your current sales process? What are your clients pains, challenges, values? Give that to your designer and help them create a great starting point.
5. Stop asking “how much do you charge” as the first thought or question
Everyone, especially web designers know that the price is going to be the ultimate
One thing you shouldn’t do is ask that within the first five minutes of the conversation. Why? For a number of reasons.
First, the designer is already worrying about money when he/she should be
worrying about the best way to help your project. They should be concerned with
the best way to service your business instead of how much they need to cut from
their profit to help you.
Second, when you ask about cost up front, you are looking at this as an expense.
Do you consider your storefront, products, or employees an expense? Or an
investment? For tax purposes then yes, of course, but for the vision of your
business, hell no.
Why would you ever want to throw your money at something you don’t expect to get a return on?
A website, even a brochure website, can pay itself off especially if it’s geared towards marketing or branding from the start.