Consider our expert custom CMS web design budget tips when requesting a quote on a new custom CMS website or redesigning an existing site. A custom CMS, content management system, is a good choice to keep down future costs because you or a staff member may manage new site content without technical skills or pay each time for changes.
Web Design Price, Quality, and Value Compared
Our CMS Design Tip #1: Budget funds for as much quality as you can afford for the initial development and launch of your custom CMS web design.
Like any consumer product, paying more for lasting quality provides value for money spent. This is true for a custom CMS web design, also. To establish a design budget, our advice for analyzing web design prices may help you avoid others’ mistakes.
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Value depends on quality, so a high price for a nice-looking website could be misleading. A low price, even though nice-looking, could also be a mistake. If you look for the lowest price and lack the technical skills to analyze quality, you may have a clunker that doesn’t perform. Websites and knock-off consumer products can appear like the real deal until they fall apart.
A quick test of quality for any website is to validate the code, so Google the phrase “validate HTML” to locate the free W3C online tool. Check out a potential designer’s work by testing their design. If the site is in XHTML and complies with W3C without errors, that’s a good indicator the designer cares about quality. The next tip provides more advice for evaluating a CMS web designer.
Choices When Selecting a CMS Web Designer
Our CMS Design Tip #2: Evaluate your options for a source to create the custom CMS web design based on their quality and experience.
An amateur CMS web designer who states, “I can do web design,” is probably correct. Children 10 or younger at the grade school level can design websites. Creating an attractive custom CMS web design may seem easy, yet creating a website that performs well and attracts business and search engines is different.
If you lack experience, the first four free or nearly free web design options involve climbing a steep learning curve to have a quality CMS website that performs well. With zero experience, it may take 200 or more hours to research, evaluate, and select a good CMS software package and modify it to your unique look in preparation for installation and launch.
Hiring a freelance web designer may be the best choice, yet use due diligence to verify their quality and experience. Have them provide performance evidence for their website. Ask for links to customer CMS design projects that demonstrate quality and performance for their clients, too.
Inexperienced designers may exaggerate or overpromise. Many prefer to discuss what they will do for you without real evidence. This has been proven by catching the lies of firms begging for web design work as subcontractors, yet they cannot prove results for their site or customers. They will have evidence if a person or company can provide a quality custom design solution that performs well.
Another test asks if the designer can create a custom CMS in XHTML in a tableless design with valid code to W3C and the ability to add new pages in plain text without learning advanced technical skills. A custom design meeting that sentence should display well now and on new computing inventions for years to come. You may want to ask for evidence that their designs are cross-browser compatible and will also display well in all major browsers.
Plan Details of Your Site Launch and Growth
Our CMS Design Tip #3: Plan to add original, quality content often to your new custom CMS web design to attract repeat visitors. A website launch and forget-it strategy cannot succeed unless your product or service is one-of-a-kind or extremely unique. If you have competition and a one-shot web design budget, your competitor may outperform your website by constantly adding fresh content that gives visitors a reason to return. That site traffic will include repeat shoppers and search engines eager to access that new content.
A CMS content management system’s purpose is to add original quality content often. Before a single line of code is written, our advice is to map out the site navigation of the initial launch and pencil in future site growth. The navigation outline will allow you to envision where to add content in the future while keeping a logical site structure so visitors don’t get lost.
During the custom design planning phase, avoid the temptation of having just something or anything online, like an under-construction one-pager, as a placeholder. A more developed site with very general information is nearly as bad. Think of a brick-and-mortar store having a grand opening while half their shelves are empty. It would help if you made a positive first impression, so do not launch until you have provided sufficient product or service details to convince visitors to consider you.
In summary, when choosing a custom CMS web design, budget as much quality as you can afford, use due diligence in selecting your design team, and invest ongoing time or money for future design development. The online success of your website depends on planning and implementing our “add original content often” strategy along with these custom CMS web design budget tips.