Budget time is coming up and if a major upgrade to your Web operations is in the stars for you, figuring out where to begin can be a challenge. Website redesigns are one of those items that most organizations don’t do often. And with changes in the industry and in consumers’ expectations, what’s gotten you by in the past doesn’t necessarily provide you with a path for future success.
The question of what a major site redesign really costs has a very simple answer: it depends. This all comes down to the classic project management triangle. There are three factors that are interdependent – scope, cost and time. Increase the scope and costs go up. Cut the budget and functionality suffers. Set a tight timeline, and you’ll feel pressure on the scope and costs along the way.
To help sort this out, clearly separate your “must have” and “nice to have” items. If you absolutely must have a new site in place by June 30, 2013 because your current vendor will pull the plug on your existing site that day, then that’s a must have. When it comes to scope, you should attempt to budget for the items you want, but it’s useful to understand what you’re willing to give up if you don’t receive all of the funds you’ve requested.
In addition to the items you can’t live without, there are some items that are easy to overlook but can make a huge difference in the final deliverable:
- Software licensing: You don’t want to build your site using Microsoft Word®. Hospital Web properties require robust enterprise content management systems. Keep in mind, very little enterprise software is purchased. Instead, it’s licensed on a monthly or yearly basis, making the up-front costs much less than they were in the past, and this structure allows you to receive regular upgrades. Just don’t forget to plan for license fees in subsequent budget years.
- Hosting: Hospital websites don’t belong on a $19.95/year Web hosting solution. You want something with security, redundancy and high performance. Setting up such an environment from scratch is a six-figure investment. External hosting is a steal at prices around a thousand dollars a month and is typically more redundant than what you would create internally.
- Project management: Nothing is more important to managing a website redesign than the project management expertise that keeps everyone on track. Despite this, too many organizations attempt to short change this area, preferring to invest in “doing” over “planning.” They inevitably pay the price through timing conflicts, rework and schedule overruns.
There are many questions to answer and factors to consider when determining what you’ll need to budget to make your new website a reality. Fortunately, Geonetric is here to help. We have two resources that you’ll find invaluable as you go down this road. First is our latest white paper Top 10 Cost Considerations When Approaching a Redesign and the second is our upcoming June webinar, Budgeting for a Successful Website Redesign, that will walk you through the process.