The Hidden Costs of Building a Website

When you’re getting ready to build a website, there are a few things you might not think about that can end up costing you. Let’s break down what these hidden costs are and how you can avoid them.

Don’t Forget the Time and Effort You Need to Put In

A lot of people think they can just hand over the job of building a website and get back exactly what they want. But it’s not that simple. You need to put in your own time and effort to make sure the website reflects your business the right way. If you don’t, you might end up with a website that looks nice but doesn’t really do anything for you. That’s a waste of money.

Give Your Website a Job

Another thing people forget is to make their website do something specific. It’s like hiring someone but not giving them any work to do. Your website should be more than just a pretty face; it should help your business in some way. If it’s not doing that, you’re just throwing money away.

Keep Track of the Important Stuff

The third hidden cost comes from not being organized. If you don’t know where your website’s domain name is, who’s hosting your site, or where your backups are, you could be in for a nasty surprise when something goes wrong. And it’s always more expensive to fix these problems when you’re scrambling at the last minute.

A Real-Life Example

Imagine your website suddenly goes offline because the domain name expired. If you don’t even know who originally bought the domain, you’re going to have a hard time getting your site back up. This kind of mix-up can cost you a lot of time and money.

The Bottom Line

Make sure you know who’s handling the important technical stuff. It’s better to have a professional IT company look after your domain names and hosting. Leaving it to your web designer or creative agency might not be the best idea.

In Short

Building a website comes with hidden costs that many people don’t think about. By putting in your own effort, making sure your website has a clear purpose, and keeping track of the technical details, you can avoid these pitfalls and make sure your website is a valuable part of your business.

How Much Should You Spend On Your Website?

In over 10 years as a web development agency, we’ve been asked this question countless of times, one that plagues every developer, every producer, and anyone involved in the service industry: How much should you spend on your website?

We have two answers for this ubiquitous question. Both are important in understanding the true value of a website to a business.

Your Website As A Function Of Your Goals

The first answer is that the cost of your website should be a function of what you hope to achieve. If you want your website to generate a million dollars of revenue every year, then a couple of hundred thousand dollars is a good estimate. You want to guarantee, as much as possible, that your website will achieve that desired outcome. If a website is instrumental in bringing you that million-dollar revenue, then the investment is well worth it.

A Minimum Investment For Serious Businesses

The second, more concrete answer pertains to businesses serious about their digital presence.

If you want a website that works properly, has few bugs, stays up-to-date, is easy to maintain, and will last a long time, then you want to be spending a minimum of $12,000 to $15,000 for production, and another $5,000 on top for writing, design, and other creative aspects.

The total budget could be around $20,000 to $25,000. This is the starting point for a robust, well-structured website for a serious business.

When Spending Little Makes Sense

However, if you don’t have a clear objective for your website, spending less might be a better strategy. If your website is just to mark your presence, without contributing significantly to your business, then spending any substantial amount on it would be a waste. In this case, the goal should be to have the website up and running at the lowest possible cost.

Have A Clear Outcome In Mind

The main takeaway here is the importance of having a clear outcome or objective for your website. If your website doesn’t serve a specific purpose or contribute to your business goals, any amount spent on it would be a waste. Know what you want your website to achieve for your business. That will give you a clearer picture of how much you should be willing to invest in it.

So, the next time you find yourself asking, “how much should I spend on my website?” remember that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. It all depends on what you want your website to do for your business and how much you’re willing to invest to achieve those goals.

Is ChatGPT Coming For Your Job?

AI: An Unlikely Ally In Disguise

Consider copywriting as an example. How often have you read a corporate mission statement that says something along the lines of, “At our company, we strive to bring the best 100% value to our customers”? They are important, yes, but they‘re also tedious and uninspiring. The reality is that some things need to be said, people need to hear them, but that doesn’t mean you have to write them. Rather than stealing jobs, ChatGPT can take over the mundane tasks, the boilerplate writing. It empowers copywriters to focus on what truly requires a human touch: creativity, storytelling, the connection with the audience that no AI can mimic. And it’s not just copywriting. Think about the repetitive tasks in your job. Those parts of your day that feel like going through the motions. What if a tool like ChatGPT could handle them, freeing you up for the work that truly matters?

An Opportunity For Creativity

Remember the saying, “If you can’t say anything different, say it differently”? In the era of ChatGPT, these words take on a whole new meaning. This technology is not just an aggregator of existing content. It’s a tool that can be shaped and directed. It’s an opportunity to say things differently, to bring a fresh perspective.

Changing The Game, Not The Player

So, is ChatGPT coming for your job? Not quite. It’s not here to replace you, but to empower you, to make your job more engaging and perhaps, even more fulfilling. It’s here to take on the mundane so you can focus on the meaningful. As we move forward into this brave new world of AI and machine learning, let’s flip the narrative. ChatGPT and similar technologies aren’t job-killers, but job-transformers. They offer us a chance to redefine our work, focus on our passions, and drive our industries forward. So rather than fear ChatGPT, let’s welcome it. It’s a reminder that our roles are evolving, and our jobs are being transformed, not replaced. And when it comes to boring, repetitive tasks? Don’t worry, we’ll let the AI handle that. We’ve got better things to do.

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Understanding Strategy And Tactic Through The Lens Of Social Media

The Big Picture And The Steps To Get There

In business, it’s easy to confuse strategy and tactic. But they’re different. A strategy is our big goal, our main plan. While a tactic is a step we take to make that plan happen.

Imagine wanting to become a leader in your field. That’s a strategy. To get there, you use social media to spread your message and connect with people — that’s a tactic.

Why Social Media Is Just A Step

Sometimes, companies make the mistake of thinking that a tool like TikTok is a strategy. But that’s not right. TikTok is just a tool, a step we can take to reach a bigger goal.

Say our big goal is to “update the ways our company talks to people.” In this case, TikTok could be one of the ways we do that. It’s just one of the steps we can take.

Changing Steps, Same Big Picture

The world is changing at a fast pace and we need to be ready to adapt. What if TikTok changes overnight and no longer suits our goal?

That’s why it’s important to remember that if TikTok was just a step, we can switch to another one. Our big goal — to update our communication — doesn’t change. We simply find another step, maybe Facebook or Instagram, or whatever works best for our big picture.

The Big Picture Should Guide The Steps

Steps should help us reach the big goal, not the other way around. They can and should change as needed. But the big picture, our strategy, is our guiding light.

Understanding this difference helps us make sure we don’t lose sight of our main goal with new trends. We have to stay focused on our big goal and change our steps as needed. That’s how we make sure we’re always moving in the right direction.

Unraveling Patterns In Web Design: Enhancing User Experience

At TBST Digital, we strive to demystify the sometimes complex, and often overlooked, aspects of website design and development. Today, let’s pull back the curtain on a fundamental concept — patterns. No, we’re not talking about the charming motifs on your grandmother’s couch. Instead, we’re referring to those crucial elements that guide user behavior, enhance functionality, and drive successful outcomes on a website.

What Exactly Is A Pattern In Web Design?

In an attempt to avoid sounding like a dictionary, let’s break down the concept of patterns in a more tangible, easy-to-understand way. Simply put, a pattern is a reusable and repeating sequence of events on a website. It’s the familiar set of interactions that help users navigate a site and achieve their goals.

Consider a button on a website. While it may seem straightforward, it’s not just a clickable object. A button, in fact, is a common web pattern with multiple states. It’s not just an object on a page, but an entity that behaves a certain way — it changes when hovered over, it reveals new information when clicked, and it directs user interaction in a predictable way.

Why Patterns Matter

Patterns are the building blocks of a seamless user experience. They represent familiar, predictable interactions, and when they are used consistently, users can navigate and interact with your website more efficiently.

Breaking these patterns, however, can disrupt the user experience, leading to confusion and potentially undermining a user’s visit. For instance, if something looks like a button and feels like it should behave like one, but it doesn’t, users might feel frustrated, disappointed, or simply unsure about how to proceed.

So, we encourage you to play detective — inspect your website for any potentially disruptive patterns, and make sure your design elements behave as users expect them to.

Persuasive Patterns: Unlocking Insight And Empathy

Beyond the basic interactive elements, there are also persuasive patterns, and these can significantly impact how users perceive your website, services, or products.

One of our favourite persuasive patterns is ‘insight’. When you share an insight that resonates with your target audience’s problem, you demonstrate understanding. This not only showcases your expertise but also helps build trust with your audience, making them more receptive to your proposed solutions.

Taking this a step further, acknowledging your audience’s feelings around these insights (a persuasive pattern of empathy) enhances connection, trust, and loyalty. As a result, whenever you’re speaking about a service or product, try to provide an insight that demonstrates your understanding, while also empathising with your audience’s challenges or desires.

Harnessing The Power Of Patterns

Patterns are not just a matter of aesthetic or design choice. They’re integral to the usability and success of a website. They influence how users interact with your site, how they feel during their visit, and ultimately, whether they accomplish what they set out to do.

At TBST Digital, we’re experts in identifying, implementing, and refining patterns to optimise your digital presence. We leverage insights and empathy to create persuasive patterns that resonate with your audience and align with your business goals.

Because, at the end of the day, great web design isn’t just about looking good — it’s about providing a seamless, enjoyable user experience that gets results.

Are AI Web Builders The Future Of Web Development?

What’s the Deal with AI Web Builders?

AI web builders are tools that use machine learning and other AI technologies to streamline the web design process. They promise to make web development quicker, cheaper, and accessible to even tech beginners.

So, the question lingers: Are AI web builders a threat or an opportunity?

AI Web Builders: Lots of Promise but Still New

AI web builders have loads of potential. Imagine computers designing websites, changing things up to keep with the latest trends, and maybe even getting to know what users like. The future with AI web builders is one filled with innovation and new ways of thinking about web development.

But let’s be honest. Right now, AI web builders are far from the finished product. They’re still learning, still growing, and not quite ready for prime time.

What AI Web Builders Can’t Do (Yet)

AI web builders can do some things, but they can’t do everything that human developers can. They might make a basic website, but they might miss the personal touch, the little details, and the creative ideas that a human developer can provide.

The Human Factor: Experience, Insight, and Creativity

There’s way more to building a website than just putting code together. It’s about making something that looks good, works well, and helps people. It’s about understanding what someone wants and making it happen. Right now, a real-life developer can do that better than an AI web builder. They can think, create, and understand in ways that computers can’t. The human touch still wins.

Keep an Eye on AI

That’s not to say AI web builders won’t get better. They probably will, and they might change web development in some fantastic ways. It’s exciting to become a part of and witness the revolution, but we’re not there yet. So, if you want a great website done today, talk to a human developer. They’ve got the skills, the creativity, and the understanding to make something remarkable.

Conclusion

Are AI web builders the future of web development? Maybe one day, but not just yet. It’s a thrilling time in the web development industry, and AI web builders are a part of that excitement. We’re looking forward to what the future may hold but recognizing that, for now, the human touch remains integral to building websites that truly make an impact.

Effective Website Briefing: Why Clarity Matters

The Unsatisfactory Answer

Recently, we were approached for a website quote, so we asked a fundamental question: “Why have you decided to rebuild your website now?” The response, while honest, lacked depth: a desire for a better look in the hopes of driving sales.

While a fair expectation, this broad reasoning makes the design and development journey ambiguous for both parties.

Navigating the Ambiguity

A vague brief is like navigating a ship without a compass. How do we know which direction to go? How can we measure success? When the goal post is simply “better aesthetics”, how do we, as web developers, optimise the site’s functional aspects?

Such ambiguity is especially challenging when it comes to pricing. When outcomes are unclear, how do we ensure that the cost reflects genuine value, rather than turning it into a guessing game?

Context is King

For everyone stepping into the world of website revamping – clarity is the key. Being able to contextualise the outcome removes guesswork, enhances collaboration, and ensures that both the client and the web agency are on the same page.

It’s not about asking, “How much can I be charged?” but rather, “What’s the investment needed to achieve my specific goals?”

Aim for Tangible Outcomes

A website, at its core, is more than just a digital presence. It’s a tool, a platform, and a brand ambassador. If the revamp becomes merely a vanity project without a clear direction, it might not yield the desired results. The price spectrum for website creation is vast: from $500 to $500,000. But the key lies not in the amount but in its justification.

To get a truly effective response and a website that serves its purpose, it’s crucial to be clear about the objectives. What are the tangible outcomes expected? Whether it’s more sales or sign-ups, or offering a seamless mobile experience, setting measurable goals ensures that every dollar spent is a dollar invested towards achieving those goals.

Next time you consider revamping your website, remember the importance of clarity and context. It not only helps in receiving an accurate quote but also ensures that the end result aligns with your vision. Here at TBST, we’re always ready to steer your digital ship in the right direction, but we rely on you to set the course. So, let’s go on this journey together, with clear goals and a shared vision.

Breaking Down Big Decisions On Your Website

Simplifying Complexity: Breaking Down the Decision

The Key: Breaking Down Big Decisions
Imagine you’re faced with a big decision on a website. Maybe it’s about spending a bunch of money or choosing a service that sounds like a puzzle. These choices can feel like lifting a heavy weight. But there’s a trick that can help: break them into smaller, simpler steps.

The Power of Progression

In the realm of sales, this approach is tried and tested. When you’re in a conversation, your goal isn’t to make the sale on the spot. Rather, it’s to move the prospect along the journey. The same principle applies to your website.

Let’s say your ultimate goal is to have someone engage your services. Instead of bombarding them with the grand finale, nudge them along the path. Maybe it starts with a quick chat, a coffee meeting, or an introductory webinar.

Your Website as a Guiding Light

Picture this: you visit a website, and boom! The homepage screams, “Work with Us!” While the enthusiasm is admirable, it can be daunting. But look at your own website with fresh eyes. Does it suffer from “big ask syndrome”? Are there ways to lead users through a more gradual decision-making journey?

Progression, Not Pressure

Remember, the goal is not to pressure users into an immediate decision, but to create an environment of progression. Offer them stepping stones that build understanding, trust, and confidence in your offering.

The Path Forward

Instead of dropping a huge decision on your users’ laps, lead them gently through the process. Think of your website as a friendly hand that’s there to help, one step at a time. So, next time you’re about to put a big decision on your site, remember – smaller steps lead to bigger success! In the end, it’s not about rushing the user, but about empowering them to take the leap when they’re ready.