“How much does a website cost?” It appears to be a straightforward enough question right? You ask the web developer how much you need to develop the website, and then you factor in hosting costs – is that the true cost of your website?
The truth is that a single ‘website quote’ is virtually impossible. Anyone who claims that they can offer the same price based on a number of pages is not looking at the specific needs of your website. The fact is that you get what you pay for. Some companies have generic websites that look the same as dozens, possibly hundreds of other websites. The only thing that those developers change is the text, the logo, color scheme, and name of the company.
Your website is part of your service – not a product
The first thing to remember is that your website is not a standalone product. This is part of your service. Your website cannot be something separate from everything else that you offer. As such, it is important that we look at it from this perspective. The continued time and effort spent on building a website is not working towards a finished product – it is about improving your service. As such, it needs to adapt, change, this can be difficult to bill.
It takes planning to build a website
You could have a website in 15 minutes for less than $100. This is true. That website would also likely drive customers away. If you want a website that is tailored to your specifications, that matches the needs of your customers, you need to give the developer the time it takes to do this.
You could rush the project, which usually leads to usability issues down the road. Again, go back to the initial assessment of your website – ‘it is a service, not a finished product’. You would not accept your customer service representatives not answering a question ten percent of the time – why would you accept this for your website?
Yes, it is possible to go with an affordable company that no one has heard of before. They may do a good job. However, there is a reason that some of the well-known companies charge a lot of money for website design. They not only provide quality products, but you are buying peace of mind with the knowledge that they cannot afford to deliver shoddy work.
Factors that determine cost
If you are going to think about your website, you have to remember that your website design budget is seriously impacted by a number of factors. If you want a ‘basic’ website, it would cost a lot less than having a website that is considered technologically advanced. Consider these following factors:
- Are you getting a brand new website or redesigning an existing one?
- What is your level of preparedness? Do you have the specific requirements for your website?
- Do you want to add content management functionality (CMS) or a blog?
- What about the graphics for the website? Are these from scratch or do you have them?
- Will your website use responsive design? (meaning it automatically resizes for mobile and tablets)
- Is it just the website design or does it include special features such as ecommerce, SEO, and social media channels?
- After launch, who is responsible for maintaining your website?
What you have to remember
If your website is going to be an important factor in getting people to buy your product or service, you cannot try to pinch pennies on the design and development portion of your website. You would not expect a completed brick and mortar store for $5,000 …you should not expect unreasonable rates for your website design.