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The Biggest Hidden Website Cost

We generally work hard to minimize unpleasant surprises for our clients. We try to be clear about what different pieces of a project cost, and what trade-offs can be made to fit an ambitious project within a certain budget. So what piece has the highest risk of blowing the budget?

That piece is theming. This is the word we use to describe the look of the site: the graphic design, the branding, the visual identity. This piece of the website leaves such a strong impression, and can so easily consume more and more time to make more and more adjustments.

Of course, there are a range of options for how to approach theming for a site. A custom graphic design can be used, in which case there is cost for the time of the designer (either third party or our own) and also for the time for the web developer to then apply the design to the project. This is expensive but gives exactly the look you want. This process can be repeated for a mobile version of the site.

At the other end of the spectrum, we can buy cheaply (or find for free) an existing design that is already built for your chosen website framework (such as Wordpress or Drupal) and simply install it. Usually we then change the logo, header image, and primary colours, and we're done.

Where the difficulty comes in is knowing when to stop modifying the initial free design. We can budget for a given amount of work, but it's so tempting to keep changing piece after piece, until finally your budget explodes. The best advice we can give a client is: we know it's not perfect, but we are trading off cost versus customization. The theming can look great even if it doesn't quite look like what we were picturing at the start. The best analogy for a website is often a car. You may buy a car off the lot and get to choose the colour and some features, but think of how much it would cost you to change something that isn't part of the package, like changing the shape of the trunk. Then you realize that if you do that, you can't afford insurance or gas anymore.

Is that little visual change really worth the cost when it means your budget can no longer afford a calendar or photo gallery? In the end these trade-offs can make all the difference.
 

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At PeaceWorks, we know how to set up your organization with technology that drives your mission. Together, we define a technology vision for your organization and recommend the best ways to support that vision.

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We provide effective and affordable migrations, installations and upgrades that better manage your infrastructure. We focus on solutions that meet your needs, not solutions that are unnecessary or outside of your budget.

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We will design and create a new or enhanced on-line presence. We work with you through the entire process to ensure you get exactly what you need for the present, as well as the future. We build our websites with Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and accessibility practices, customizing as required.

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We collaborate with you to create solutions that turn ideas and data into information that you can use, analyze and distribute.  We build the technology solutions that equip you to better engage and manage your staff, your clients, your volunteers, and your donors.  We simplify data collection, intelligence and management.

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PeaceWorks provides the management and sale of hardware and software solutions. We always discuss your needs and provide you with the most preferable options.

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About PeaceWorks

PeaceWorks provides first-rate technology solutions that enable organizations to achieve their mission with increased ease and efficiency. We focus on genuine client-focused relationships, connecting client needs with sustainable and reliable technology solutions.
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Waterloo

101-554 Parkside Drive
Waterloo, Ontario
Canada
N2L 5Z4

Phone: 519.725.7875
Fax: 519.725.4220
Toll Free: 888.817.3048

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100-62 Hargrave Street
Winnipeg, Manitoba
Canada
R3C 1N1

Phone: 204.480.0314
Fax: 204.415.2051
Toll Free: 888.817.3048

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