Many a Christmas morning have been ruined after a child gleefully tears open a present, finding their much anticipated toy inside, only to discover the batteries are not included. What ensues is a mad dash around the house as everyone searches for just the right battery, followed by a trip to the store which may or may not be open on Christmas morning.

Regardless of how the battery is ultimately found, the chaos in the time between opening the box and eventually turning on the toy diminishes the enjoyment of that first moment of play. The unfortunate part of this experience is how easily it could have been avoided if someone had simply checked to see if batteries were included in the box.

The same is true for many websites. The eagerly anticipated launch date arrives and suddenly there are questions. What about the SEO or social media links and profiles? Why is there still Greek text on some of the interior pages? Much like the batteries, these issues arise because there isn’t a clear understanding of what is included in the web design fee.

If you are getting ready for a web redesign, be sure to read the fine print to understand what is or isn’t included. Don’t assume because something was included last time that it will automatically come with this design too. Just like the floor mats in your car, which some auto manufacturers include at no cost and others charge for, different web design firms have different standard packages.

Carefully compare quote details. If one company has a price significantly lower than another, it may be a bargain, or they may be offering a stripped down version of what you really need. In the long run, you may end up paying more to have all the features you need added to a bare-bones package. Know what’s included and who will be responsible for each of the following:

Domain name and hosting: Who owns the domain name? Where will the website’s files be hosted?

Content production: Who will write the text for all the pages. Where will the images come from? If stock photography is required, who pays for the image?

Basic SEO services: This includes key word research, creation of unique titles, descriptions and meta data for each page.

Website marketing: You need a plan to drive traffic to your new website. Setup Google My Business, promote your site on social media, even plan a local blitz with your launch.

Website Training: Will you be taught how to make changes to your site?

Maintenance and updates: What are the charges for ongoing support and updates?

None of these questions are deal breakers. You just need to know what’s included in the box before you sign.

If you’re ready to take the next steps and jump into a new marketing strategy, download our marketing budget toolkit today: