Why you should re-think your website investment strategy

We see lots of variations in patterns of investment when it comes to evolving client’s web applications or websites. This article discusses the three most common investment approaches for website development: periodical, balanced, and linear.

1. Periodical


The least planned and reactive route sees an initial low-budget website build. This might be implemented at the startup stage or shortly after when budgets and cash flow are tight.

Low initial investment

Website is build is low cost, often using DIY platforms or with minimal development costs.

Reactive approach

Upgrades and improvements are made only when limitations become apparent.

Unplanned future costs

As limitations arise, larger investments are needed to fix or rebuild the website, leading to potentially higher costs than a planned approach.

May not meet long-term needs

These reactive fixes might not address the website’s long-term goals, necessitating even further investment down the line.

In simpler terms, the periodical approach prioritises a low cost and quick website initially, but this can lead to higher costs and potential shortcomings in the long run due to a lack of planning and future-proofing.

2. Balanced

A combination of recognising budget restrictions at early stages with a lower initial outlay but also making some residual ongoing investments to build progressively.

Acknowledges initial budget limitations

Similar to the periodical approach, it starts with a lower initial cost.

Progressive investment

Unlike the periodical approach, it avoids waiting for issues to arise. Instead, it involves ongoing, smaller investments to gradually improve the website.

Strategic upgrades

These investments are used for targeted improvements in functionality or overall impact, focusing on areas that offer the most value.

Mitigates risk and cost

By continuously improving and adapting the website, the balanced approach aims to avoid the need for complete rebuilds and the associated loss of previous investment.

The balanced approach balances the need for affordability with proactive improvements to avoid the pitfalls of the periodical approach. It focuses on ongoing, strategic investments to gradually build a better website while minimising wasted resources.

3. Linear

The most budget-efficient option for long-term planners.

Long-term focus

This approach is ideal for businesses with a clear vision for their website’s future development.

Higher initial investment

Unlike the previous two approaches, it requires a larger upfront cost to establish a solid foundation.

Phased implementation

Phases in features and functionalities over time, allowing for controlled growth.

Preserve investment

By building upon the initial foundation, the linear approach aims to avoid the need for major rebuilds, protecting previous investments.

Predictable finances

The planned nature of the approach allows for stable financial planning as future costs are more clearly defined.

The linear approach prioritises a well-planned website foundation with a higher initial investment. This upfront cost allows for a phased-in implementation of features, minimising waste and offering predictable financial planning for the long term.


Each approach suits different businesses at different stages of their journey. The Periodical approach is undoubtedly the most common for small businesses and startups with little capital for investment. The Linear approach offers a more predictable outcome with a better return on investment but relies on conviction. The balanced route is an obvious combination and of course, there are unlimited combinations in between.

Why wouldn’t every business opt for a more linear approach?

Successful web projects require a combined in-depth understanding of marketing strategy, effective design and technical implementation. Limitations of early builds taken on by internal teams using self-build platforms only reveal themselves after significant time outlay so businesses become obliged to settle for the outcome as a short-term measure born from necessity. A long-term strategic plan requires experience in multiple disciplines which can realistically only come from a team. A long-term linear investment pattern may sometimes seen as complex and intimidating at an early stage when a fairly immediate solution is required, but investing in a scalable minimum viable product can be streamlined.

At Rifle we’ve experienced these approaches several times over and have learned a great deal from this. If you would like to chat with us about how we can not only help to deliver an initially effective outcome but can work with you strategically to balance your investment and maximise the likelihood of success over time– then give us a call.