How much does a website cost?
The most common question we get is: “How much will it cost to build us a web site?”
There is no easy answer to that question. Here’s why:
The amount of time and attention to detail that goes into a website is strongly influenced by how much time and energy you (the client) is prepared to put into the project as well as your budget.
The list below shows some of the steps we go through when designing a site.
The different phases of website design (simplified):
- Planning Phase
- Design Phase (graphic design)
- Development Phase (converting the design into a webpage)
- Adding Content
The typical first website for a small business has pages such as home, about, products or services with an image gallery and a contact page. It gets more complicated when we introduce further site functionality and using a content management system for a website.
In the cheapest scenario a rather simple and basic template is used and you are paying for the time to lightly customize that and add content. If you are on a limited budget this approach can work well, but your content must fit the template design. The basic templates are quite good but still best chosen by us to match your content and business. We only do slight modifications. If we have to modify the template too much to fit your content you might end up exceeding your budget on variations and spend more than on a custom design.
Getting a custom design as opposed to using a template results in a website that better fits your business and the content you want to display. Another advantage is that updates to your site will take less time when the designer has coded the site rather than used a template.
When the designer puts time and energy into helping you plan your website and lay out your content in a way that will increase sales or enquiry conversions it takes time in the planning, design and development phases. The extra thought into designing ‘mini ads’ and ‘calls to action’ that help draw the viewer to the most important pages on the site can make a big difference to the success of the site.
We also put time into making your website search engine friendly which means researching keywords for your business and applying best practices while building the site. This process does not guarantee you magically land as the first result in Google but is a necessary first step towards decent placement in search engines.
How much should you spend?
A website is much more than a piece of marketing. A website can provide customer support, expand your market reach, extend business hours, improve time management, find new talent, generate leads, reduce your cost of sale, and more.
Sure, you can find someone who will make your website for $250. But will you be happy with the result? Is your new website performing? Or is it just an ‘advertisement’ on the internet with no added value to your business?
Think carefully about what a website can be: a valuable business tool! Treat it as such by realistically investing in it. Determine how much you can realistically spend and put a large emphasis on finding the right designer.
Important for any website: you should invest time to gather or write sufficient content and supply images/graphics/logos. It is difficult for a web designer to collate and organise content into a website with only a few paragraphs of text in a word document.
Win or lose?
And finally: when you ask how much it costs to design your website, you might also want to ask yourself, how much will your business lose if you don’t have a website or an outdated website?
Maintaining an outdated website could be costing you sales and leads. You may not realize how many potential customers are turned off by unappealing graphics, confusing navigation and slow page loads.