How do you get good comparable offers for a website?

Make your request as comprehensive and clear as possible. What goals do you want to achieve, who do you want to address? Any undefined areas will lead to wiggle room.

If you ask five web design agencies for quotes, you'll probably get five barely comparable offers, starting with the agencies' services and work processes, each with different names for the same services: Some call it "concept", others "user experience design". This can mean the same thing or something completely different.

This actually happens. Source: revision6

Put yourself in the position of your web design service provider: A website is a complex product that takes months of intensive cooperation to develop properly. On receiving the question "How much does a website with ten sub-pages and a blog cost?" the service provider must estimate and assume any information you do not provide.

Some will set the bare minimum to meet your meagre specifications, while others may think sensibly and round off the offer as they see fit.

Here's a short checklist of the information you should include in your request:

  • What is the goal of your website, and who is your target audience?
  • Do you have a rough outline or any other conceptual documents? Provide anything that helps you imagine the desired result, even if it's just a rough sketch.
  • What do you expect from the visual design? Do you have any examples of other websites (not necessarily from your sector) that are benchmarks for you?
  • Do you want your website to provide certain additional functions? The connection of an eCommerce shop, for example, a newsletter function or CRM system?
  • How important is the topic of search engine optimisation (SEO) to you ? The question here is whether you want to actively pursue (possibly time- and cost-intensive) optimisation in the future.
  • To what extent are you able to deliver the website content yourself? Do you need help with this, for example from a photographer or a professional copywriter?
  • Do you have a particular deadline in mind (e.g., due to upcoming events)?

Give a very rough budget framework - plain text saves both parties a lot of effort because: You can build a decent site for 5,000 or even 30,000 euros - the result will still be different.