Cheap but good quality web and software development is what every client wants, but it is hard to find, if not a complete myth, because at the end of the day you get what you pay for. However, there are a few ways you can work to reduce your web development and software development costs.
At 4mation, we pride ourselves on providing top quality results at the best possible price for the service we offer. Typically, we provide fixed quotes for projects so that clients know upfront how much they are investing and exactly what they’ll get for that investment.
Following are a few tips on how you can help keep your software development and web development costs down, based on our experience and the typical areas where additional cost can (sometimes) be incurred unnecessarily from a client perspective.
Follow a minimum viable product (MVP) model
All too often and sometimes understandably, clients feel that getting their website developed is a one off occasion and they need to cram in everything they feel their customers may ever need. The result is a huge scale, costly project, often based largely only on assumptions of what functionality is needed and required that can turn out to be less utilised than anticipated.
Websites are like bonsai trees and require nurturing and care on an on-going basis in order to grow and flourish.
Focus on building a website or piece of software that addresses core requirements, looks professional and engages users, leaving them hanging for more. Then, develop it over time based on what customers actually want and ask for.
Benefits of MVPs:
- Smaller initial outlay
- Results in a faster development turn-around and getting to market quicker
- Less risk of failure – blowing the budget on a site that doesn’t get used and requires extras that can’t be afforded, leaves little room for rescue
- Results in features actually called for by customers being added
4mation offer a variety of on-going maintenance packages that allow for future site expansion to be made incrementally, reducing initial spend and spreading future development costs accordingly. Speak to your project or account manager about the options we have.
Provide a Clear Brief
Know what you want from the start and get it written down. Tips for inclusion in a brief include:
- A summary of your software or website’s key users, both from an administrative and a customer perspective
- Details on the key goals you want your website to address or fulfil
- A list of core pages
- For pages that are more than just static text and images, at a high level explain their purpose and what you want people to be able to do
- Provide a high level overview of any back-office programs or systems you will need the website to integrate with
A clear brief will enable us to provide a better idea of costs from an early stage enabling you to make decisions sooner and will also help you to focus on what you really want. Remember, focus helps to reduce ambiguity and the likelihood of extras being needed once development is under-way.
Stay Focused and Keep Within Scope
Understandably, as a website starts to take shape, things get more exciting and the vision for its future grows exponentially. It’s easy when this happens to throw these ideas into the mix and convince yourself that they are needed as part of the first phase of development. Whilst we are always open to additional development, the result is potentially extra cost to the client, not just in terms of dollar spend, but quite often delivery time-frame too.
Stay focused on the proposed and scoped work and your project will stay on budget. Remember, websites require on-going nurturing, and new functionality and features can always be added in a subsequent development phase.