3 questions to ask before requesting a new website quote

January 29, 2024
tl;dr: this article covers related services your new website depends on, like branding and copywriting, to better prepare you for requesting a new website quote.
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As a freelance web designer and developer, I contract with a lot of my clients through referral marketing: word of mouth, but I also get a fair share of public inquiries through my website contact form. Over the years, many emails have arrived in my inbox with only four words: “I need a website.” That’s it. When I reach out to learn more, I usually end up asking the same initial questions so I thought – heck! That’s a blog post, y’all.

What you need to know before requesting a new website quote

  1. Do you already have a logo and/or branding strategy, or existing social media profiles? 
  2. Do you require a full website experience with multiple pages, or a single landing page?
  3. Are you prepared to supply the website content (copy/text, images)?

1. Do you already have a logo and/or branding strategy, or existing social media profiles?

Basically, this question helps determine whether you are coming into this new website project as a “brand new” business versus an existing one. Chances are, if you’ve been in business for some time you already have brand material – either in a logo, business card, or online profile. And unless you’re doing a complete re-brand, you probably want to re-utilize these materials for brand consistency and cohesiveness.

Logos and existing brand materials are very helpful to a web designer. While you wouldn’t be expected to provide any of these files until the project was confirmed, knowing the extent of source documents and deliverables you are responsible for supplying to a website build can impact the scope and budget of the project.

While you don’t have to have a logo or brand strategy in order to have a website created, it is absolutely beneficial to you and anyone you hire to work with, for, or represent you, to have one.

A women's hands holds up a blank business card while sitting at a desk.
I’m sure that most people using this stock photo by Angela Roma are photoshopping something onto the blank business card shown, but I am rebelling. To show you what having no brand looks like, visually.

What to do if you don’t have a logo or branding strategy

You can ask your web designer if they can supply a style guide or refer you to a graphic designer who can quote you on a logo. Many logo designers also offer branding frameworks or packages that can include multiple file formats of your logo for use in print or social media and provide print collateral like business cards or brochures.

Sometimes though, budgetary constraints happen, and making an initial website is a better use of your starting funds.

You may end up loving your website and choose to use the same colours and fonts moving forward as part of your brand strategy. If so, your web designer can help you put together a style guide to maintain your brand cross-platform and supply it to graphic designers as source material when you’re ready to have a professional brand package made.

💡 Tip: Text can be used as a temporary placeholder for a logo on a website, but you’ll truly need to invest in this part of your brand, sooner rather than later.

Your brand is sort of your business identity.

Creating your logo and brand is typically done before you start a website because the same branding guidelines can be drawn from for the design of your website and online profiles. 

What do you need for your brand?

  • Logo
  • Colour palettes
  • Fonts
  • Usage guidelines
  • Brand personality or voice
Screenshot of BE3Designs web style guide outlining logo, font, and colour usage on website and marketing documents.
A screenshot of a brief style guide I created for BE3Designs’ website using Notion, Coolors, Google Fonts, and Color Contrast Checker.

Why is brand cohesiveness important?

Your brand is the face of your business and it should be well thought out if you plan on delivering content or engaging with customers on multiple platforms. What someone sees on your business card should also be reflected on your social media, which should also be reflected on your website, etc. You get the point. Brand identity builds trust, makes you memorable, and strengthens your overall marketing efforts.

What about when you grow? Will you eventually hire someone to update your website, answer emails or post on social media? If you have a brand personality and voice plan put in place, you’ll know what requirements are needed to ensure that your brand, across all platforms, reads and acts the same.

2. Do you require a full website experience with multiple pages, or a single landing page?

Remember those budgetary constraints that I mentioned earlier? This question helps your web designer and developer determine the scope of work involved – and the time it will take to complete the end product. The bread and butter of requesting a new website quote, if you will.

When I quote my website projects, I try to break things down into phases based on the needs of each client – which can be determined by their budget but also by their website requirements. Often, people who have said they need a website, really only need a landing page. Or, are only prepared to have a landing page.

When having a landing page comes in handy

Right out the gate I think it’s safe to say that the most obvious benefit to having a single landing page made is the smaller budget. But having a landing page might not just be the cost-effective way to go, it might actually be the logical or even best-case-scenario way to go, for now.

A landing page is a great way to focus on one topic, one product, or one service. Think of it like omitting the header navigation from a website (no more “About”, “Services”, “Contact” links at the top) and having all of your website content on one page. That doesn’t mean you stuff the entire page with as much information as possible – it means you’re more strategic about what you put on the page.

Storefront businesses may want to have their location and contact information at the forefront of their web page. Restaurants often have a single page with their menu, a button to make a reservation, and directions. 

Authors may want to focus on their new book release, a new business or startup is creating an initial buzz, a trades-person may do all their contracts and customer service over the phone and simply needs to direct traffic to that number. A landing page can do a lot for you.

Screenshot of list of services that can be selected from when requesting a new website quote.
In my requesting a new website quote form, you can select from a list of services, what you require in addition to a new website, or outline which ones you will supply yourself.

A landing page can turn into a full website later down the line

If your web developer anticipates that your single landing page will eventually grow into a full website (or more marketing landing pages) they may change what tool they use to build your site. For example, if you know you don’t really need a lot on your website and just want a simple web presence on your domain, you may be suited to a simple, static HTML web page.

However, if you are starting slow but eventually want to build on that initial landing page, your web developer may choose to start you on a content management system (CMS) knowing that your website will grow into it. I often build landing pages in WordPress for clients I know will eventually want more pages, or plan to start blogging.

The idea here is that by quoting my website projects in possible phases, I give you options that you can select based on your budget – but breaking it down this way also helps put your own goals and deliverables into perspective.

What do you need when you say you need a website? What is the point of your website? Drive phone calls? Send people to your location? Link to a product sale? Or, is it simply to provide information to your audience?

3. Are you prepared to supply the website content (copy/text, images)?

One of my favourite memories (and lessons) was very early in my freelancing days. I had put together a test site for a butcher shop and because I hadn’t received any copy I used pre-generated text in place of what would eventually be the headlines, paragraphs, buttons, etc. Without communicating this little fact, I completely confused my client but we also laughed – because I used Bacon Ipsum. (Ahhh, thank you 🥁) 

Screenshot of Bacon Ipsum text generator tool that inserts random meat words in place of Lorem Ipsum latin text.
I thought I was hilarious when I used Bacon Ipsum: A Meatier Lorem Ipsum Generator to generate temporary placeholder copy on a new butcher shop website.

The lessons for me here: 

  • learning to communicate what placeholder text is and what to expect by it being there, 
  • writing it in readable English, instead of porkchop latin, is probably a better experience for everyone that isn’t me
  • realizing that I have to make either content procurement, content creation, or content population a part of both my quoting and working processes

You will either be responsible for providing copy or acquiring copywriting services

Revisiting my early freelancing days, I was once asked to scrape content from other sites after building my client’s website and requested they send me the final text to populate on the page before launching. (Note, dear reader: I did not scrape content. I requested payment and delivered a Lorem Ipsum, latin-infused working website ready for copy population.) 

This isn’t to say that your web designer or developer isn’t also available for copywriting services, they may be, or they may be able to refer you to a freelance copywriter. But you should both be aware of where the website content is coming from, and what to expect, before requesting a new website quote. 

💡 Tip: If you are planning to supply your own website copy to your developer, it may be worth getting a quote for a SEO keyword audit to check that your website content is optimized for search engines.

If you want to garner any amount of lead generation from your website, you can’t expect to throw just any text on there and perform well. When I am working on website copywriting there is research (both industry and competitor), keyword planning, accounting for on-site optimization, inbound and outbound links – then there’s the writing of the copy. And editing. Usually more than once. 

💡 Tip: If writing an entire website is too much to chew on now, consider starting with a landing page. See what I did there?

Woman browses through photos on her mobile phone sitting at a table.
Check for the licensing restrictions when browsing stock photos online. I found this stock photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels, where attribution isn’t required but typically appreciated!

Acquire the appropriate licensing for your stock imagery

We can’t all afford a brilliant and professional photographer right out of the gate, (I know I aspire to use one or become one myself), so if using stock images is in your social media, blog, print, or website plan you must acquire the appropriate license agreements to use said imagery to avoid copyright issues. 

If your web developer ends up using placeholder stock photos in lieu of supplied photography, be aware of those rights prior to launch and replace them as needed.

Working within a budget

As a freelancer, sole-proprietor, business owner type myself, I know what it’s like to want all the things but have little budget to work with. I have a list of subscriptions or product licenses that I would LOVE to purchase for my business but can’t afford the expense – yet. Checking absolutely everything off that you want in a website can get costly, so consider prioritizing your wants and needs.

The inside parts and hard drive of an Apple desktop computer with the screen removed.
Note: This is not how you start building a website. If this is you, please ask for help.
Stock photo by phiraphon srithakae.

A lot of people choose to save money by DIY-ing some of the work themselves. I think this is a beautiful thing. If you choose to go this way, start by considering the time it will take you and be honest with yourself about your skills and efforts. We all want to do a good job and put out the best product we can but there is a reason why we hire lawyers, accountants, writers, videographers, etc. – we don’t always have the time or the knowledge to finalize our contracts, do bookkeeping, and curate content on top of running our businesses and providing the services we’re actually getting paid to do. (Which is also why we can network with similar businesses to refer with or partner on projects for, but that’s being filed under ‘marketing blog post ideas’ – for later!)

Having a small budget doesn’t mean that you can’t afford a web presence at all, you may just need to start small. Instead of a full-fledged website, start with a landing page. Instead of requesting a custom design phase, ask for a selection of editable templates to choose from.

By having an idea of your website requirements and outlining deliverables you can manage in-house versus outsourcing, you’ll be better equipped to request and compare services and quotes.

Welp! You’ve finished reading (thanks so much), you are now better prepared leading into your new website project!

Work with me, by filling out my form. I can write, design, develop, and optimize your website for you! I’ll email you back to get the process started.

If you’re looking for more of a collaborative approach, I offer managed website services which allows me to support you as you need. I also have a few remaining monthly WordPress maintenance spots if you’re looking for someone to manage your website long-term.

Requesting a new website quote and all that comes with it can be a lot. If you still don’t know where to start – let’s chat for 15 minutes. I am available as a 1:1 website coach, to help you brainstorm and strategize what to do next. Send an email and introduce yourself – tell me what you’re planning to work on, I’d love to see how I can help!

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Are you interested in starting or refreshing your website to reach and grow your audience? My name is Bree and I’m a website designer and developer who helps with the before, during, and after processes of launching and managing a website. If you’d like support with your website or business, reach out and let's chat!

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