Website -or- Transformation

by T Taylor

I was catching up with a business colleague the other day. As so often the conversation goes, he asked: “How much do you guys charge for a website?” Really? That question again?

There’s a Grand Canyon-sized range for website costs. A company advertises on TV that you can buy a website for one cent. (I’ll go out on a limb and say that’s the lowest price.) And, as you know, the federal website had an initial price tag of around $500,000,000. That’s correct, $500 MILLION dollars. And from what I hear, it hasn’t worked very well so far, and the cost continues to climb. But for my point, it’ll have to do.

A website costs between one cent and $500,000,000. There. Satisfied?

Didn’t think so. Here’s an idea: The cost of a website is like a car. You can get a really cheap one for $500 bucks, or you can drive away in luxury (and a new car smell) for $100,000 or more. Get mixed reactions here, too.
So the questions arise: “What kind of website would you like? What do you need it to do for you? What kind of features do you (think you) need?” etc. The list goes on. Now we are getting somewhere. The more questions you ask and clearer answers you get, the closer you can get to develop an accurate estimate of overall “cost.”

To do this process right, it typically takes hours of time with the interested party, and then more hours for us to estimate and propose. Maybe that’s the price of doing business.

Surprise! A new website—one that’s well planned out strategically, creatively designed, expertly developed and optimized—is worth its weight in gold. In other words, it’s a great investment if it’s done right. If it’s done wrong or poorly, it can actually hurt you. Yes, like a car, you really get what you pay for.

I answer my colleague: “Based on how you’ve answered my questions, I think you have a tremendous opportunity to achieve your business goals—and your dreams—by having an expert, professional team like us transform your business.” You heard right: “Transform” and not just “Develop.” Leave that to developers. Leave the transformation to us. Your website is your most cost effective way to communicate your brand and messages to everyone you need to reach. It’s the epicenter of your business world.

A transformational website often includes a new or revitalized brand with strategies and messages to match. It includes an element of risk. It requires a measure of courage to present your business in a better, more creative way—in its best, most authentic light. Another way to say it might be: It presents the best version of your business. Where you see your business, not where it is.

You know because you see it yourself. You see it when a competitor did it right and went “big” and it shows. You also see it when someone did it wrong because they wanted to be perceived as a Porsche, but paid for a Pinto.

Don’t get me wrong, here. It’s not just about money—it’s about understanding the opportunity to transform your business by redoing your website, right.

“Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.”
– Anton Chekhov