Like the businesses they represent, websites are not all created equal. Websites serve various purposes, feature different technologies and therefore they can vary greatly in cost – the level of design/branding and functionality increases and becomes more complex to suit your company’s needs.
We’ve found that the internet is misleading and confusing about the costs of how to do to things right. Not only do you need an expert team for the website, but you should consider the strategy to get the final display in front of consumers.
If you’re going to undertake a website build in-house, you’ll need to consider this team composition to hire. A full-service digital firm will also have a team comprised of the following:
- Graphic Design Team
- Server Engineers and Web Developers
- Knowledgable and Experienced Marketing Experts
- Webmaster Support for Everyday Updates and Changes
SO WHAT DOES A WEBSITE COST?
As a business, your website is and should be your #1 advertisement tool. If you are taking this lightly then you are already not taking your business very seriously. It’s better to have no website than to have something that poorly represents your service level and company. A massive amount of business is lost by having a bad website design and bad internet marketing. You can learn more on those numbers by reviewing Gartner and Forrester Research reports.
A business website should be a great design with a clear, crisp easy to navigate display, with intuitive usability and function. Furthermore, YOU need to be able to easily update and scale that website. It doesn’t matter if you are a national corporate brand, a smaller brick and mortar with ‘plenty of business’, a brick and mortar with only local business, or an ice cream shop, 90% of consumers check online before choosing a place to eat, shop or do business with.
WEBSITE DESIGN COST – WHAT’S INCLUDED IN THE PRICE OF A WEBSITE?
You should hire a firm that works under the assumption that websites will be made responsively, that is they will look great on all screen sizes and devices, and that sites will be built using a CMS, or content management system that can be easily scaled and managed for growth. Because Google punishes rankings for non-mobile-friendly sites, a business can no longer afford to have a website that is not responsive. Content management systems ensure that you will be able to make changes to your website after it is built with relative ease.
While the price of a website will vary depending on your needs, this is a good start for a budget:
- Domain Name: $10-$100 per year for new domains. Some old domains can sell for millions, but you probably want your own new one.
- Business Email: $6-$15 a month per email. You will need an email that links to the website and has the same domain as the website.
- Custom Logo Design and Identity Guide: $1,000 – $10,000+. You will need a great logo for your business to drive your brand and label cards, brochures, etc. Quality matters most here.
- Custom Design/Information Architecture: $4,500 – $10,000+. This includes the visual design, UX design, imagery collection, styling, sitemap and page structure generation and coding. This is generally a part of a larger website development package.
- Add Shopping Cart Integration & Programming: $1,000 – $15,000+. What kind of functionality do you want in your website? Shopping carts and custom feature development will require more budget, but the benefits of a fully customized and unique website can outweigh the costs.
- Website Content Creation: $50-$200 per page, or hourly. You can write your website’s content yourself, outsource it overseas for around $1 per page, or use a content writing firm which will charge around $100-$200 per hour or page. Just like a website design, you get what you pay for when it comes to content creation that will rank your site in search engines and engage your audience.
- Project Management & Oversight: $600-$3,000. This price includes initial consultations, phone calls, and any time that it takes to obtain the information we need to get your site going.
- Testing & Training: $600-$4,800. While most websites are built on easy-to-use CMS’ nowadays, not everyone knows how to get started with them. This price point includes the time spent training you how to use your new site, as well and ensuring that everything works properly and giving you the chance to make any necessary changes.
- Server Space: $100/month; $50 – $1,200/year. This depends on the type of hosting you choose (dedicated, shared, free). Additional fees may be required for security like SSL (Secure Socket Layer certificate) or static IP Addresses. A business class solution with security, backups, maintenance and support is best.
- Website Managed Services: $75-$150+/month. A new business website will need this to maintain security, backup your investment, update software, fix bugs, support you when needed. Managed services can include content posting, content maintenance, page creation, product updates and more.
- Software, security and plugins: $9.99 – $149/month. Websites can interact with databases and need advanced security. As example, an E-commerce site will need an SSL encryption certificate and ongoing maintenance and this will cost $25-$89 monthly. Or an MLS interconnection can cost $99 monthly. Booking modules that interact with calendars and set appointments will have a monthly costs. And so on.
- Don’t forget, Digital Marketing is a Must: $500 – $5,000+/month. Your first advertising dollars for your business should go into promoting your website and making sure you are found on the Internet. This is your 24/7 sales and marketing person so don’t undervalue its importance. Good businesses get this. 90% of all consumers search the internet first before buying any service or product. If you don’t do SEO or other digital marketing then your website might as well not exist. You are losing customers without doing this. For a few hundred a month you can drive new business to you every month. Make sure you really understand the value of SEO, AdWords, Pay Per Click Marketing, Social Media Advertising and more. The big and successful companies all do this, you should to.
WHY ARE SOME WEB DESIGN COMPANIES MORE AFFORDABLE THAN OTHERS?
To wrap – why are prices so wildly different in the web design industry? It works a lot like consulting. On the low-end you have people that have little experience, few resources, and lack stability. This is one of those instances where “you get what you pay for” holds true. A business needs business-class service and support, a custom project for their industry and needs, and a team that will listen to provide solutions over the duration of a relationship. Call us today to learn more and get your project started.