(If you prefer video, my folksy nature, bad hair, and rocking chairs, feel free to watch the video above. Below is the edited transcript of the video if you just want the meat and want it fast!)
I spoke Tuesday to the Coalition of Independent Education Associations, and I got a really interesting question. A really smart guy from one of the state education associations came up to me and asked:
“Well, so how much does it cost to build a new website?”
*That’s a really dangerous question.
You should be really uncomfortable with anybody who can just drop a number on you without knowing anything about you. Be very wary of someone who’s willing to answer your question with a number and not additional questions. Why? Because he doesn’t yet know what it is you’re trying to do with your website!
Before you get a quote or what a website’s going to cost—for either redevelopment or developing from scratch—the person who develops it, the person who designs it, the person who helps to architect it has to know what it is you’re trying to make happen with that site.
Start working on a job description for your website.
Even if you’re not planning on redoing your website for another couple years, start now on a job description for your website just like you would a job description for a service technician or a CEO.
What is it you expect your website to do for you and how will you measure it and what will you budget for it in terms of the salary?
I want you to think about your website as your very best employee on their very best day being the very best advocate possible for your company and for the benefits of your organization.
Isn’t that worth paying for and investing in?
But just like any good employee they have to know what it is you expect of them.
I implore you to make sure that you don’t just go into a firm and ask “so what’s a new website going to cost us?”
Anybody who’s willing to be short-sighted enough to give you an answer to that question isn’t qualified to answer that question properly and professionally.
You deserve better than that.
Oh, and PS, here are a couple resources for you as you prepare: