A quick Google search will tell you that a small website to market your business could cost you anywhere from $1,000 to $50,000. That’s quite the range and not exactly what most people would find helpful, especially if you have a small business you’re trying to get online. So, what is it that really determines the cost of a website and why is there such a huge price range?
What Determines the Cost of a Website?
The cost really boils down to the amount of work that goes into designing and building the site. Things like the size, complexity, and customization, as well as the overall quality and attention to detail on the part of the web designer all add to the cost of a website.
Which means a small site is going to cost less than a large site, an informational site is going to cost less than an ecommerce site, a cookie-cutter site is going to cost less than a customized site, building the site yourself is going to cost less than a professionally designed and developed site. But let’s break it down a little bit further and look at the factors that really determine the cost of a new website.
Design & Themes
Most websites these days are built off a theme or template instead of being coded 100% from scratch. Some web companies will start with a theme and shoehorn your content into it whether it ends up fitting or not. Which can create issues with customization, functionality, user experience and future buildouts. Others, like us, choose to start in photoshop to create a custom design that fits the needs of your business and considers your customers’ user experience. Then we build a customized theme that we know will look and function just the way you want. The more customization and coding needed the more you’ll end up paying, but in the end you’ll have a better looking and functioning website.
Content Management System
A content management system or CMS, like WordPress, allows you to manage and update your website content, and in some cases even create a website, without needing to know how to code. Which means for simple copy changes and updates, whether you make them yourself or have someone do it for you, it’s relatively easy and will cost much less than if you needed to hire a developer every time a product or service changed.
Custom Functionality & Plugins
Things like contact forms, scheduling software, image animations, payment calculators and member login portals, etc., all add a little more custom functionality to your site but for a price. Basically, the more you want your site to be able to do, the more it’s going to cost. These plugins (sometimes called extensions) can come with their own price tag. Then on top of that, they often require a little additional coding, tinkering, and testing to get it to function exactly the way you want.
This seems fairly obvious, but the more pages your website has, the more time it’s going to take for the web developer to create, the more money it’s going to cost to build.
Of course, you want a stylish website that looks modern and inviting, but what really makes the sale are the words on your site. Which is why people often say, “Content is King.” If you are launching a brand-new site, you’ll need to have content written. And if you are updating an old site, you’ll want to go through it to make sure it still packs a punch. Creating solid, thoughtful, persuasive content isn’t always easy and can extremely time consuming. Which is why many web developers offer professional copy writing services. The more content you need created, the more you can expect to pay for the service.
Photography & Graphics
The photos and graphics are an additional web cost that is often overlooked. The price will vary depending on whether you’ll be supplying all your own photos and graphics, relying on stock photography, or want a photographer, videographer, or graphic designer to create custom images and visuals for your site.
Search engine optimization, SEO, is another add-on web development service many companies offer. And while it is not necessary to optimize your site in order to build it, it can be useful in getting your website found and boosting traffic. You can go through the process of a new website design or rebuild but if no one ever sees it, than it certainly wasn’t worth the time nor expense. There are different levels of SEO that we offer from basic keyword research and meta tags to coordinating your web copy to align with pay-per-click (PPC) campaigns. The cost SEO will depend on the depth of the service.
One more thing to consider when figuring out your budget for a new website is some of the ongoing cost. Things like maintenance, hosting, your domain name and a SSL certificate aren’t exactly part of the design or development, but will affect the end price tag of what you pay for your website.
Cheaper isn’t Always Better
We all like to save a few bucks now and then but especially when it comes to things like web design, you get what you pay for and high-quality doesn’t come cheap. Be wary of unusually low prices. It might seem like a bargain but what you might be left with is shoddy workmanship, an unpleasant experience or finding out that every little thing is going to cost you extra. Your website is going to be the first impression potential new customers get of your company, your products, or your services, so it should be the last thing you want to skimp on. If it looks pieced together, if it doesn’t function properly, if it’s not laid out well or is difficult to navigate, it will reflect poorly on your company and the quality of your goods and services. Instead of exclusively looking at the price tag, consider the whole package the web design company is offering. We believe in creating lasting partnerships by considering what’s in our client’s best interest, seeking out their needs and exceeding them in every possible way. If you are looking for a web company that goes the extra mile, contact us online or calling (414) 232-7862.