Call. Email. IM. Visit in person. Just please do it EARLY.
Website development takes time and requires proper budgeting. Getting our group involved early expands your options and helps us all deliver the best possible solutions to our sponsors.
Website development time will vary greatly. In general, it is
recommended to allow 12-16 weeks for a flat, static brochureware site, and 16-24 weeks for more engaging, robust sites that include the use of Flash, user
interaction and any data collection.
To give you a rough idea, basic websites cost between $40,000-$100,000. Multi-functioning sites with deeper content and interactivity go up from there. Based on new standards for engagement and interactivity, sites can cost between $80,000- $200,000. However, there are many factors that influence a website budget, and we are here to help with the budgeting process. Just ask. EARLY.
It is always recommended to leave a small percentage of the budget aside for unforeseen costs and updates.
Items to budget for include:
b) Hosting (in the case that Ad Council hosts)
c) Ongoing site maintenance and updates
d) Usability testing
The Interactive group manages site development from start to finish, and ongoing maintenance and tracking throughout a campaign's life. The following is a brief outline of the major steps involved.
- Discovery - Scope, Objectives, Goals and Deliverables. This ideally requires reviewing all campaign background information and current online presence, and an in-person meeting with the sponsor to discuss.
- Prepare Request for Proposals (RFP). We will provide a short list of partners to be considered for the project. Campaign manager and sponsor have input on both. It is mandatory to send the RFP to at least three developers for government campaigns, and we prefer to do the same for private sponsors.
- Proposal Review, Recommendation, and Award. Proposals are reviewed internally and a recommendation is made to the sponsor. Often, we schedule interviews with the potential developer to meet the team and hear their thoughts and ideas.
- Website Discovery and Design. The actual development process varies from web firm to web firm. We will always prepare a detailed scope of work and timeline, that the sponsor will approve. It is highly recommended that the sponsor identify one point of contact that has some authority to make decisions regarding the website who our team can contact as needed, which is often.
- Website Build. Following the previous steps, development moves on to the production phase. At this point, all approvals will have been given on design, content, images, functionality, etc. After the build starts, it is much more difficult (affects timing and budget) to make changes to what has already been approved.
- Quality Assurance and Launch. The completed site is then pushed "live" to a non-public URL for final review and testing. Once any changes have been made and the site is approved, we go live to the public.
- Maintenance, Tracking, and Updates. Depending on the hosting arrangement, we will be responsible for maintaining the site and keeping it "up." We will also track and report on website statistics. When appropriate, we work with campaign management and sponsors to refresh a site's content.
- And Beyond. Budgeting money for subsequent years' updates and additional functionality and features is always a good idea. Be sure to ask us what we recommend. Early.
Have we mentioned that you should contact us early?