I want a new website that does feature a, b, c, x, y, z…. and my budget is a and b.

The problem with most website builds and projects is that they are often feature packed with a wish list that doesn’t match the timeline or budget resulting in a lot of risks, missed deadlines, and bugs or incomplete functionality.

Even worse, some of the wishlist functionality is never used or ends up being too much for the business because you still need manpower behind some functionality such a blog (someone has to write blogs).

Therefore to minimize the risk of a new project, focusing on the minimum viable product for launch as to what you really need and then building the wish list into post-launch work is a much more strategic and cost effective move.

This will allow you to get off the ground faster with less cost and headache of adding a lot of new features that you never even had before.

For instance, if you are moving to a new platform, you might want to focus on simply rebuilding or slightly enhancing what you have on the new platform to get that platform working soundly. Then from there, you can add new features and improvements on a weekly or monthly basis depending on your budget.

In a new website or project launch, ask yourself:

  • Did you have it before?
  • If no do you really need it?
  • How much risk is there adding this new feature? Cost, Timeline, etc.
  • Can we budget for this new feature and even spill over risk costs associated?
  • Can you support the new functionality such as a Livechat or something that requires manpower?

What is the detailed MVP?

  • How many page templates do you need to have designed and developed?
  • How much frontend development will go into building those designs?
  • What default functionality of the software do you need configured if you are using a CMS like WordPress or Magento?
  • What apps or modules do you need installed and configured?
  • What data needs to be transferred over?
  • Do you need any integrations? How are you going to execute those?
  • How are you handling shipping or any payments that need to be done through your website or web application?
  • How are you managing the server and setting up a staging site for future development?
  • What custom features need to be built?
  • Do you have to set up email templates and email workflows to send out to customers via transactions etc?

Having very specific requirements will allow you to better gauge the cost of your MVP, especially if you are relying on a third party quote. I highly recommend getting multiple quotes and don’t think that a lower price means it will get done or be of any quality.

Why an MVP approach is typically best:

  • Faster time to launch
  • Lower risk
  • Ability to gain value of new project faster
  • Lower cost
  • Can measure future incremental changes to see what is working and what is not

The advantage of an MVP is that you can get to market quickly at a lower cost. From there you can test out your wishlist one by one adding new features and seeing the effects in real time. If you launch everything at once, how can you really know what feature moved the needle?

If you need help building an RFP document please contact me at hello@trellis.co.

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