What Should A Website Cost

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What Should A Website Cost

  1. 1. How Much Should a Website Cost? December 17, 2009 Audio is only available by calling this number: Conference Call: 866-740-1260; Access Code: 6339392 Sponsored by
  2. 2. Using ReadyTalk <ul><li>Chat & raise hand </li></ul><ul><li>Mute = *6, Unmute = *7 </li></ul><ul><li>If you lose your internet connection, reconnect using the link emailed to you. </li></ul><ul><li>If you lose your phone connection, re-dial the phone number and re-join. </li></ul><ul><li>ReadyTalk support: 800-843-9166 </li></ul>
  3. 3. You are being recorded… <ul><li>This seminar will be available on the TechSoup website along with past webinar presentations: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>www.techsoup.org/go/webinars </li></ul></ul><ul><li>You will receive a link to this presentation, material and links. </li></ul><ul><li>After the webinar, you can ask follow-up questions in the Web Building Forum: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>tinyurl.com/ ycsb7nx </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Twitter hashtags: #techsoup </li></ul>
  4. 4. How Much Should a Website Cost? Presenter: Allen Gunn, Executive Director Aspiration Sponsored by
  5. 5. Today’s Speakers Kami Griffiths TechSoup Assisting with chat questions: Becky Wiegand, TechSoup & Suzi Grishpul, Radical Designs All presentation content is Creative Commons licensed :) Allen Gunn (Gunner) Aspiration
  6. 6. Agenda <ul><li>What are you trying to accomplish? </li></ul><ul><li>Who do you include in the process? </li></ul><ul><li>Where to start and what to do? </li></ul><ul><li>How to engage implementors? </li></ul><ul><li>What are the relevant technologies? </li></ul><ul><li>What should you expect to pay? </li></ul><ul><li>What is the staff time commitment? </li></ul>
  7. 7. About Aspiration <ul><li>Mission: Better software for nonprofits </li></ul><ul><ul><li>We work with all stakeholders in the nonprofit software ecosystem </li></ul></ul><ul><li>In our work, we: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide strategic consulting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Coach orgs on sustainable processes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Train and mentor in effective use of tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Run user-driven collaborative tech events </li></ul></ul><ul><li>www.aspirationtech.org </li></ul>
  8. 8. What are You Trying to Get Done? <ul><li>Creating and redesigning web sites are different tasks; do you want to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Build a site from scratch? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Layer new look onto existing content? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Completely overhaul existing site? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Costing will depend on the task </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphic design is a large determinant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Overhauls can be more expensive than whole new sites </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Who Do You Include in the Process? <ul><li>Web projects are organizational development opportunities in disguise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow transparent process for whole org </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Have an internal communication strategy </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Include all stakeholders from the start </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Don't “leave it to the techies” - ever </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interview each stakeholder to understand how the site should support their work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Think in terms of “publishing workflows” </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. What to Discuss? <ul><li>Answer fundamental questions first </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we describe our organization? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How do we explain our work? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Who is empowered to speak on behalf of the organization? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What is the process for approving externally published content? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Addressing these before starting a web project drives down costs </li></ul>
  11. 11. What to Discuss? <ul><li>Answer external questions next </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Who are primary and secondary audiences for the intended site? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What value/benefit will you provide each audience to draw them to the site? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are your goals for what they do on the site and take away from the site? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What content needs to exist to support answers to all the above? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Engage external audience members! </li></ul>
  12. 12. Where to Start? <ul><li>Idealized web site pre-process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Answer internal and external questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Know your overall goals for the site </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sketch out “information architecture” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Marshall content to support that vision </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Draft “user stories” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Describe how audiences and staff will use site </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sketch out “wireframes” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Approximate how pages might look </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>At some point above you need help </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. What to Do Next <ul><li>When you reach the extent of your organizational capacity, write an RFP </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide essential information : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Background on organization and work </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Explicit definition of project goal(s) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Distillation of “what we know so far” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Explicit enumeration of desired deliverables and needed services </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Keep it short and clean </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. Where Should the RFP Go? <ul><li>Seek review by peers with experience </li></ul><ul><li>Ask allies for suggested vendors </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask the same on relevant mailing lists and social networks </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Select 2-4 vendors to engage </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ask for short clean responses </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Good vendors respond first with questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look for experience with “orgs like you” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Pick a relationship, not a platform </li></ul></ul></ul>
  15. 15. What Does the Process Look Like? <ul><li>Project milestones </li></ul><ul><ul><li>System architecture </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Not needed for “typical” nonprofit sites </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Creative design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Largest cost variant at low end </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Site design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Implementation and deployment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Content placement and/or migration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Training and support </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. How to Manage the Relationship? <ul><li>Follow a well-defined change process </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“Verbal” is not such a one </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get time, cost estimates on new features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Get immediate notification on overruns </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Do Ask, Do Tell </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Talk it before walking it </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Request granular billing and invoicing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Know what you're getting charged for as it is happening, not at the end </li></ul></ul>
  17. 17. What are Appropriate Technologies? <ul><li>Nonprofits should “ALWAYS” use an open source CMS </li></ul><ul><ul><li>WordPress, Drupal, Joomla!, Plone are state-of-the-art publishing tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Correctly used, they maximize flexibility </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Plan for breakup or divorce </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Minimize custom code creation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Avoid technologies with lock-in contracts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Know your migration options in advance </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. What Should You Expect to Pay? <ul><li>What kind of site are we talkin' about? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Let's say: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>25-50 pages of content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Email sign-up feature </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Online donation support </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Minimal additional interactivity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Maintainable by staff using web browsers </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Site traffic statistics produced </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Brochure-ware with a growth path” </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. What Should You Expect to Pay? <ul><li>Costs vary widely, BUT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Rudimentary (non-ugly) Wordpress sites can be had for $500-1000 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Excellent state-of-the-art sites can be had for $2K - $10K </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Above $10K, make sure you know why </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Above $20K, raise red flags </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphic design is biggest cost variant </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. What Should You Expect to Pay? <ul><li>Cost escalators </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration, integration, integration </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>3rd party and custom applications </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Legacy databases </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Older sites and systems </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Additional features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>CRM (connect to DIA, Salesforce, CiviCRM) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Forums, chat, events calendar, Google, ... </li></ul></ul></ul>
  21. 21. What Should You Expect to Pay? <ul><li>Consultant hourly rates vary widely but </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Plenty of great shops in $75-$120/hr range </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Good shops have multi-tiered rates </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Above $150, usually paying for reputation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strategy services are an exception </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Check references, check references, ... </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Costing models </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Graphic design can often be flat-rated </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Approach flat-rated sites with caution </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. What Are the Ongoing Costs? <ul><li>Fixed hosting costs </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Monthly hosting for most orgs is $10-20/mo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>For high-volume sites, $100-$200/mo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Domain name no more than $10/year </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Hosted tools (CRM, newsletters, action, ...) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Variable maintenance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Budget to upgrade CMS in timely fashion </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Anticipate need to add features </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New graphic assets can be expensive </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. What is the Staff Time Commitment? <ul><li>What is your communication strategy? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regular site updates can be done in just a few hours per week </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Frequency, complexity of updates correlates to required staff time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Content development is larger cost </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Interactive community features up costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Responding to comments </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Managing discussion boards </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Allowing other user participation </li></ul></ul></ul>
  24. 24. Resources <ul><li>Aspiration provides coaching on all nonprofit technology processes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Web site planning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>RFP design </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Proposal review </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Join us for “Managing Nonprofit Technology Projects – DC” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Two days of collaborative learning </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>February 8-9, 2010 </li></ul></ul>
  25. 25. Resources <ul><li>Implementors we (heart) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Radical Designs (radicaldesigns.org) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best-of-breed campaign, event, social media </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SF Bay Area </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FloatLeft (floatleft.org) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Consummate Drupal professionals </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Washington, DC </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PICNet (picnet.net) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Best Joomla! sites, Nonprofit Soapbox </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SF and DC </li></ul></ul></ul>
  26. 26. Resources <ul><li>Implementors we (heart) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Happy Snowman (happysnowmantech.com) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Excellent Drupal shop </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>SF Bay Area </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OpenFlows (www.openflows.org) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Drupal and CiviCRM </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>NYC </li></ul></ul></ul>
  27. 27. Resources <ul><li>Design shops we (heart) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Design Action (designaction.org) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Excellent activist art and design collective </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Values-driven and passionate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Oakland-based </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quilted (quilted.coop) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Innovative and creative design cooperative </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Values-driven and passionate </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Bi-coastal </li></ul></ul></ul>
  28. 28. Summary <ul><li>You CAN control your web destiny, and web site costs </li></ul><ul><li>Know what you want before building </li></ul><ul><li>Process, process, process: have a plan </li></ul><ul><li>Less is more: when in doubt, leave it out </li></ul><ul><li>Avoid moving targets </li></ul><ul><li>Use existing code, avoid writing new </li></ul><ul><li>Talk to folks about what you're doing </li></ul>
  29. 29. Questions? Submit your questions using the chat box.
  30. 30. Continue the Discussion… <ul><li>Additional questions can be answered by posting in the Web Building Forum: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>tinyurl.com/ ycsb7nx </li></ul></ul>
  31. 31. Get the Most Out of TechSoup <ul><li>At TechSoup, you’ll find a range of technology services to help your nonprofit: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Read helpful articles in our Learning Center </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Request donated software , hardware, and online services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Join our community forums to learn from your colleagues </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Browse upcoming events and conferences </li></ul></ul>
  32. 32. Thank you to our Webinar Sponsor! ReadyTalk offers dedicated product demos for TechSoup organizations 4 times per week. For more information: pages.readytalk.com/techsoup.html
  33. 33. Thank you! Please complete the post event survey! Kami Griffiths, kami@techsoup.org, 415-633-9392

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