One of the biggest challenges that comes with designer/developer collaborations is putting together an accurate quote to send the client.
It used to be more common to have a design stage and then pass those mockups on to the developer to quote and move forward with, but now clients tend to want a complete cost up front.
I do think this method is better, as the client knows what to expect right away, but it can be a challenge for all parties to put an accurate quote together from the start.
No one wants to have to email a client part-way through the project saying they under-quoted. So today we’ll go over 6 questions to ask potential clients before getting a quote from your developer.
1. What websites do they look at for inspiration?
First, you’ll want to ask what websites your client looks at for inspiration. When I’m guiding a project, I always ask for 2 to 3 sites and a description of what they like about each one. This gives you and your developer a good idea of what the structure of the site will be and how much work will be involved to get that structure in place. Since a very minimal website is easier to code than what more modern websites are becoming, having this idea in place is important to give the developer’s quote a starting point.
2. What pages will they need?
Next, ask your client to list out the specific pages they’ll need. You can guide them by listing examples like the homepage, about page, services page, landing page, and whatever else your clients typically need. Encourage them to take time thinking through this one so they don’t miss anything.
This is helpful because you’ll be able to think your design through and tell your developer how many custom page templates will be needed. Creating new page templates is a lot different than inserting content into an existing one. You definitely want to know how things will be laid out before the project begins.
3. What special features do they want?
You want to get your potential client thinking about any special features that will require premium plugins and extra setup.
A couple of the more common examples include eCommerce and membership capabilities. These are things your developer would definitely need some details on before a project got started. Things like event listings or job postings may also be something you want to ask about, depending on what kind of business your client is running.
And this last type of special feature I ask about is something that is missed more than anything else and that is sliders or image galleries.
These are definitely things your developer will need to know about ahead of time. As premium plugins can be required, extra formatting and styling is needed, and your client may need a large number of images loaded.
So be sure to really dig in with the special features question so nothing is missed. Break it down into different sections to ask about specific features. If one of these features is needed, ask additional questions so your developer will have all the details they need to give an accurate quote.
4. Do they need their email marketing platform set up?
You want to ask about whether your client needs their email marketing platform set up for them. Most developers will include integrating sign-up forms in their packages. But getting something like MailChimp, ConvertKit, or LeadPages set up from scratch is something that takes extra time.
If your client wants sign-up forms or pop-ups on their website, but isn’t set up with an email marketing platform, be sure to let your developer know before the project starts.
5. Do they need a domain or content transferred?
Next, be sure to ask whether your client needs a domain or content transferred. If they’re moving from a platform like Blogger to WordPress or WordPress to Squarespace, extra time will be needed to allow for a domain transfer and moving all the content over.
A lot of times your client will tell you this without being prompted, but to be safe, have a specific question ready for them before preparing a quote.
6. Anything else?
And last, ask an open-ended question about anything else they’re looking for in a website.
This will help to open their mind up and get them thinking about things that you may not have asked about in the more specific questions. They might even casually mention something in here that will prompt you to ask something else.
Create a quote that won’t budge
After asking all these questions, your developer should be able to come up with an accurate quote that doesn’t need to budge throughout the project. I recommend that you add these to an intake questionnaire or a list of topics to go over in a consult call so they can become part of your ongoing process. To make sure you don’t forget any, click here to grab a checklist of the questions to ask each client before going to your developer.
Of course, if your client thinks of something new, adjustments will have to be made. But as long as you’re clear and upfront about that process, you can expect that it won’t be a problem, making the project go more smoothly for everyone.
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