First, think about how the public may perceive your business for a moment. Now, think about how people make decisions about who they will do business with. Next, think about your competitors......not just the ones who have a larger market share than you, but the smaller ones who would love a piece of your pie. For a business, your website comes down to competitive edge, an opportunity to build relationships and showcase value and demonstrate your unique selling position to your customers.
Your website is the perceived image in the marketplace when it comes to your products, services and the way you do business.
These are the 7 basic factors which come into play for website design costs:
-Template site or partial template or full custom design
-Database for content (not all databases are created equally)
-Number of pages
-Number of images: Provided Images, Stock Photography, Professional Photographer Required?
-Content Writing - Important for Search Engines To Crawl Your Site and Index Your Site's Pages in relevance to actual searches
-Hosting, Emails and Maintenance
-Project Management: Time spent on planning and development
"My cousin or friend can build me a cheap website" - All web development companies have heard this. I can't count how many times we've had to rescue sites from businesses who have entrusted non-professionals or amateurs to take care of it for them. Would you have a plumber do your dental work?
So How Much Does the average Business Website Cost? (Small to Medium Sized Business Projects)
The range in design costs to develop and launch range from $2000- $8000.
Using the a la carte estimates above you can see how they can add up
quickly. Another way to break the budget down is to assume:
- 15% Planning - Includes Consultation and Blueprint
- 25% Interface design - Layout and Creative
- 20% Programming
- 20% Project Management
- 20% SEO (Writing and Optimization)
See the breakdown of pricing and costs below:
Basic Website Components and Costs - The Breakdown and Elements
On average, the following figures
can be applied to estimating the cost of a small business web site
- Domain Name
– $10/year - $49 per year depending on the extension
- Server Space Hosting
– $50to $200+ a year (depending on traffic & hosting services)
- Web planning, design and development time
– Determined By Scope of Project
- Continued website Maintenance, Security, Back-Up, Content Updates
– $500 a year and up (depending on number/type of updates required - some companies may include hosting in this price)
- Marketing your website online
– Determined by your budget
- Custom Content Management System
- The Ability For You To Make Changes To Your Site Based On Your Sites Requirements
Important Factors that Contribute to Website Cost
When trying to budget web design costs there are a number of factors to consider:
- Is this a brand new site or a redesign?
- How prepared are you – do you have a detailed requirements document?
- Do you need a blog or content management functionality (CMS)?
- Image Galleries or Blogs, Content Writing for SEO
- Do you have graphics already created for the site?
- Design with mobile in mind first. Site must be natively responsive and adapt to all platform devices.
- Do you need multimedia or social media feeds (video, FB twitter etc.) on the site?
- How much content do you have and how much do you need created?
- Do you need other special features like social media channels, SEO, ecommerce, or something else?
- Who is going to maintain the site after it has been launched?
Below we go into greater detail
regarding these items and an estimate of how much you should budget for
them. The prices listed are based on 18 years of experience. Prices will
most probably be higher or lower depending on your specific
requirements. Be sure to contact us for an estimate.
New Sites Often Cost More Than Redesigns
When you’re starting from scratch, so
is the web designer. They have nothing to work from, they can’t look at
your existing site and get an idea of your online brand or features and
functionality requirements. All new sites really should require a “discovery and documentation”
process. This process will help define the online brand, website
structure and functionality. We think this process is critical because
it helps set expectations on all sides and reduce potential
frustrations. Simple business websites, where the client has a solid
idea of what they want, can get by on a minimal amount of discovery and
documentation, perhaps one day’s worth of effort. BUT
… more complex websites may require weeks of meetings and the creation of many detailed documents to fully define the project.
Interface design is also referred to as
the look-and-feel or visual design. The interface design will
incorporate your branding, all your photos and images, even your page
layouts. Don’t assume that if you’ve already got a pre-made template you
won’t need any images or layouts re-done. Interface design is usually
an iterative process, this means that the designer will show you several
options and then modify those based on your feedback to arrive at an
approved design. For a small business website, the average budget $1800 – $4,000
to get you from concept through to the final design that will be handed
off to the developers for programming. Don’t skimp on the interface
design or visitors won’t give your website a second glance.
Images and Graphics
Website graphics are tricky because
they can range from $10 each for cheap stock images to $100′s of dollars
each for custom or high-end stock images. Compelling and appropriate
graphics can make a huge huge difference in the effectiveness of your
website. On the low-end, budget at least $100
for stock images. If you have a good designer they can make a cheap image look like a custom one.
But that’s not all. You will probably also need stock icons and buttons to compliment your design. Budget $50
for them as well.
Mobile and Responsive Design Cost - (Should be included in overall price)
Mobile devices are swiftly becoming critical
to online success and your design should at least be mobile-friendly.
The best designs are “responsive“,
designed to automatically adjust their layout to look good on multiple
devices: smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers. Creating a
responsive design can cost 20% – 30%
more than a site
for a desktop web browser (the price of progress). This cost is because
the interface designer needs to design how the site will look on the
various devices, the programmer will need to program the designs and
finally more testing is required before the site is ready to launch.
Almost all our projects these days include responsive programming.
Costs for Content Creation and Insertion
The least expensive way to go is to create all the content yourself
and insert it into the site yourself. Most designers have no problem
delivering a blank design template that you populate with text and
images. But if you want the design firm to add your content and adjust
the layout of the text, you should budget $100 – $150
Programming Special Features (Costs To Consider)
There are a ton of extra features that
web developers can integrate that will improve your business but can
also up the price. Sometimes these features are “included” in your
website framework – but beware, just because they are “included” doesn’t
mean that they look or work the way you want. The estimates below
reflect the general requirements we have seen, however there are many
factors that can push these costs higher. If you don’t see your add-on
here just give us a call and we can provide an estimate.
- Custom Content Management Systems- for
clients who want to manage their own content we integrate and customize
content management systems (CMS). We work with PHP-based open-source
CMS solutions like Drupal and WordPress.
- Training and documentation – You will
probably need some instructions and documentation on how to maintain and
edit site content.
Many clients want a WordPress or similar blog within their website,
customized to their website branding and design.
- E-commerce shopping carts, catalogs, payment processing e depending on requirements.
- Email Marketing Campaigns- Clients
that want to gather emails and send out branded email blasts for
announcements or newsletters require an Email management tool. We
integrate 3rd-party tools (graphicmail, mailchimp, constant contact,
etc.) and create an email blast template design, we can even manage your
- Branding/Identity Development- Logo
design is something we are often asked to do. On the low-end, we start
with an 8-hour process that generates about 6 rough logo concepts. If
one of these is chosen we go through several rounds of edits to arrive
at a final version.
- Style Guides-
An online style guide is important because it establishes brand
consistency and provides a guide for all your print collateral and
online marketing. .
- Targeted Landing Pages- Landing pages
are pages that promote a specific product or service. They are usually
part of an email, social media, or banner ad campaign. We can design and
create these pages starting at
- News feeds of both your content (outgoing) and adding content to the site (incoming)
- Contact forms and surveys
- Advertising integration (Google AdWords)
- Photo gallery
- Metrics: Google analytics, custom reports, etc.
- SEO: on-page optimization, off-page optimization submission to search engines, etc.
- Social media: Create and manage social
media network profile such as Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, Pinterest,
Google+, LinkedIn etc.
Websites don’t just maintain
themselves, and the best are changing all the time. Maintenance is
something that most businesses forget to budget or think that they can
do it themselves. But the first time you delete your entire home page by
mistake and lose 8 hours of sales trying to get it back up and running,
you’ll wish you’d spent the extra money on a maintenance contract. Make
sure your web developer offers post-launch maintenance, many don’t
because they can’t be bothered by clients calling with small requests.
Maintenance contracts vary greatly depending upon what you expect from the firm. You should budget monthly
have a designer/developer on call if you have a problem that you can’t
fix. And if you expect them to do additional work such as creating new
images, adding new content, maintaining social media or newsletters,
etc. expect the price will go up.
A final note: If this website will be a significant part of your business PLEASE DON’T SKIMP on the design and development.
If you’d expect to pay $100,000 for a brick and mortar retail shop
(inventory, interior design, furniture, rent, utilities, staff,
equipment, insurance, etc) – then don’t balk at paying reasonable rates
for the creation of your online business. Your budget should be based on what your business needs.