Should you disclose your budget

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Following on from our previous blog article of How a website project is priced we'll explore how disclosing your budget may affect the price you are quoted. In this blog we'll assume the client is approaching a new web agencyweb agency where there is no previous relationship or past projects.

As a customer looking for a new website you will generally have a very good idea on what you want your website to do and how it will look. But do you know how much it will cost and have you budgeted enough?

At Way Fresh we always broach the subject of budget when we speak to our clients and we find that maybe a third will disclose their budget and others play their cards close to their chest just asking you to come back with the best price.

We totally appreciate both angles so let's explore the pros and cons of letting your web agency know your budget.

Disclosing your budget

If you do disclose your project then this will immediately tell the web agency if you have enough funds for all the design and functionality you are after. If you want a bespoke CMS and ecommerce site and disclose that you only have £150 to spend, then the conversation can end there saving everyone's time and effort.

In addition if you have say £3,000 to spend and the web agency calculates that what you're after will cost £2,500, then the web agency will know there is a little bit of scope in the project to suggest new ideas or can maybe look to spend more time on the brand.

However, beware of disclosing your budget to some unscrupulous web agencies may find that your website price is padded out to meet your budget without the added extras. So if you tell an unscrupulous web company that your budget is £3,000, but the site will really cost £2,500, then you may be quoted £3,000 for no extra work.

Keeping your budget to yourself

If you do keep your budget to yourself then you are forcing the web agency to come back with the best possible price and it will also weed out the unscrupulous companies from padding their costs to meet the budget.

From a web agency's perspective we're flying a little blind. Of course we'll work out the project based on the time we think it will take, but then do we dare suggest any new features that would improve the site, but at the risk of taking it outside of the budget.

We may also spend 2-3 hours coming up with the price, researching parts of the specification, making sure we have covered everything only to find that the site will cost £2,500, but the customer only has £150.


As a customer disclosing your budget is all about trust. If you have heard good things about this web agency or been recommended by them for their quality and value then being open and frank about your budget will speed up the process and will also provide you with the best possible solution. Once the budget is out in the open, then ideas can fly knowing that there is some wiggle room.

Play your cards close to your chest a little at the start and maybe ask for a rough ballpark initially to see if everyone is in the right price area. If they are then disclosing the budget will get things moving along.

Our next blog post will look into “when to provide a price” a little more.