Building a New Website
What does a website cost?
Similar to the cost of your building lease, it depends on how big and what’s included, but at the end of the day the cost will come down to how many hours it takes to build it. All of our work is based on time and materials. If you’re a small business, we’ll make budget-friendly recommendations, and if you’re a publicly traded company, we’ll advise decisions which protect your various stakeholders.
What size of projects do you work on?
Our smaller websites range from $8K-$18K and our larger web applications often range from $90K-$150K. Some projects (like branding or print design) can be as low as $2K.
How do we get started?
Just send us an email. Our sales process will cover all the details:
- Overview meeting – a 30 minute meeting to see if we’re a good fit
- Discovery meeting – a 1 hour dive into your company, target market and project scope (sometimes we book two of these)
- Proposal meeting – a 1 hour meeting to run through the full scope, timeline and costs
If you like what you see, we draw up the contract and initial invoice.
What does a project entail?
Our process always follows the same steps:
- Baseline Report – Gather analytics from your current site and discuss opportunities to improve
- Written content – communicating the right information in the right order
- Design – creating a jaw-dropping visual experience
- Development – coding the website you’ve been needing
- Launch Report – Get measurements from the new site to compare
How long will this take?
The real story? A short project is 10 weeks and a long project can be 6+ months. So what’s the number one delay in projects? Client’s hitting their busy season and running out of time to send us information, or review what we’ve sent them. Long projects come from busy teams, and short projects come from responsive teams.
At the same time, we’ve always been able to build great solutions around tight deadlines. There’s always options.
How much time will this require for my team?
There are a few key tasks you should plan for:
- Before we meet – Creating a list of the pages and functionality you’ll need (2hrs)
- Once we begin – Providing logos, logins and company information we’ll need for our team to begin work (1 day)
- Once content is complete – Reviewing the new written copy and providing any change notes (15min per page)
- Once design is complete – Reviewing designs and providing any change notes (2hrs)
- Just before launch – Reviewing the website for any final changes (4hrs)
These times will vary depending on your project size and level of involvement (eg. if you’re setting up a business directory), but this should give you an idea of the areas you’ll be needed.
What are the ongoing costs after launch?
Every website needs to consider four post-launch costs:
- Domain renewal – about $20/yr for each URL you have
- Hosting – ranging from $20/mo to $160/mo, this will depend on your website’s needs
- Security & upkeep – maintaining the latest CMS and plugin versions, website backups, security scans and health checks (this can cost very little for simple sites, and be upward of $500/mo for enterprise web applications)
- Business growth – As your business changes, so will your website. Planning that you’ll need new pages, functionality and try new marketing campaigns will decrease your stress year over year.
What would you recommend before we start?
We’d recommend discussing with your team:
- Who is/are our target market(s) for this website? What %% of our pages/content should each of these targets get?
- For each target market, what action are we pushing them to? What do we want them to do after visiting our website?
- For each target market, what do they need to know/see before they’d be willing to take action? What content do we need to show them?
- Based on these lists, what pages or functionality will we need?
- Lastly, if you’re looking to take things to the next level, you can start planning your content and brand message with the book Building a Storybrand by Donald Miller.
We can also help you walk through this process, including brand message development.
Improving My Sales Funnel
Will this really make a difference?
Honestly, yes. No matter what business you’re in, if you have people who are deciding if you’re the right fit, and they’re googling your name, your website will either help convince them, or turn them away. Your website can be one more positive confirmation that you’re worth it, or it can be one more red flag that sends them looking for an alternative.
It’s important to get it right.
How does a new website increase sales?
One of the easiest ways to build a marketing strategy is around the traffic and conversion model. In this model you’ll have certain tactics (eg. online ads, SEO, social media posts) aimed at driving more traffic (people) to your website, and your website will be aimed at converting that traffic into actual emails, phone calls, form submissions, bookings, etc.
The basic truth is that if you don’t have any marketing to drive new traffic to your website, no one will find you, and if you don’t have a strong website to convert interest into action, no one will contact you. You need both, and your website is a critical point in any marketing funnel.
Does my website need to be replaced?
When we diagnose websites and if they’re doing their job, we look at:
- Content – Is it useful, engaging, and does it funnel users towards the goal?
- Design – Does it draw the user in, does it bring your attention to the important information, and is it consistent with the company brand and product?
- Functionality – Is the website easy to use, does it work on all devices and sizes, and does it do everything it’s designed to do?
There are more criteria which you can dig into (eg. website speed is a big one), but if you’re looking at rebuilding the content, and the design, and the organization of a website… well, there’s not much left to keep.
The biggest question you should ask yourself is, “is there anything we’d like to preserve?”
Are people looking at my website?
The quick answer is to look at your Google Analytics. If you need help, give us a shout. The second (longer) discussion is, “would you like there to be?” Above this we talked about traffic and conversion – the simple truth is that if you want more traffic to your website, there are many ways to do this. We can also introduce you to some great marketing firms if this is what you’re looking for.
We’re a B2B business. Does all this really apply?
Usually. B2B businesses use their websites in a number of ways. If you have a sales team, referral-based marketing, or other “they already know us” tactics, the website becomes a sales resource, a trust-builder, and a validation point for any prospective client looking to find out more.
B2B businesses also use their website for:
- Attracting the right talent – portraying a company people want to be a part of
- Industry news or disclosures – serving as a landing point for newsletters and updates
- Client resources – white papers, studies, documentation, and guides
- Attracting investors – displaying a company (and team) worth putting you money on
- Preparing for sale or IPO – creating a public-facing image which can live up to the people and processes you’ve spent years building up
We run online ads - any recommendations?
Lead-Capture Pages. Buyers are rarely looking for all your products or all your services – they’re looking for the perfect match to their current need. If you’re running ads, that means your widget ads should lead to a widgets page; your sprocket ads should lead to a sprockets page; your cog ads should lead to your cogs page. BUT this in turn means users need a bit of that “company overview” information when they land, a bit of the “here’s how we’re different”, and then they need the product-specific information and a really good call to action (phone / email / buy now / etc.).
This is what we call a Lead-Capture Page – it’s everything a prospective buyer needs for a single product/service on a single page. If you’re rebuilding your website, make these part of the plan.
All About True Market
Q. What platforms do you work with?
Depending on your needs, we may use SquareSpace (simple & budget conscious), WordPress (coded from scratch), or Laravel (advanced web applications).
Q. How long have you been in business?
We founded the company in 2015.
Q. How big is your team?
Last count was 12, including part-timers.
Q. What skill sets can you offer?
We offer content writing, graphic design, coding (HTML, CSS, JS, PHP), server administration, and strategic planning. And we can refer you over to some great companies for email, IT, video and marketing.
Q. Where are you located?
90% of our team is in Calgary, but we have worked with contractors as far out as Toronto or Vancouver. Everyone on our team lives in Canada.
Q. Do you have an office?
Our office was sold September 2021 and our team has worked fully remote ever since.
Q. Can I trust you?
Integrity is at the top of the list for Greg and Matt (the owners) and the entire team. At the end of the day doing right by our clients is more important for us than making an extra dollar. At the same time we work very hard to make sure we work with good clients as well. Trust goes both ways and contracts are only as good as the people who sign them.