How much should a website cost? [Helpful]
I get asked this question a lot and often my answer can be the cause of frustration. In fact I don’t really like this direct question and struggle with answering it.
The answer is usually: “It depends on what you want"
Most of the time my answer is followed by a secondary set of questions from the enquirer that run along the lines of “Just an idea, roughly how much for a small website?” or “Just a ballpark, an indication of how much for an online shop website”.
Unfortunately the answer is still the same and giving a ballpark figure at this juncture is dangerous for both parties. Let me explain.
Every website project and every website client are unique so it is impossible to state a cost without knowing a lot more detail.
Of course this doesn’t help you at all and you still want to know a figure which is understandable. You want to make a call by comparing costs with others to make sure you are not going to get ripped off and you are enquiring to gauge whether it is something that you are comfortable to pay.
Getting the cost right is important for both parties. The fear of being ripped off goes both ways - the website builder doesn't want to end up working for peanuts.
Do you know what your budget is?
An important factor to start off the web design costing process is - what is your budget?
A lot of people don’t like being asked what their budget is. One of the main reasons is fear of getting ripped off. You are worried that if you reveal a figure then that amount will be accepted even if the amount of work produced is less than your budget.
Most people grossly under estimate the time and therefore cost of producing a website, not over estimate (this isn’t your fault, it’s just that you don’t know what you don’t know) so there is a low risk of this fear of being ripped off becoming reality.
Starting with your budget allows a solution to be found that suits you and will meet your requirements. So please don’t be shy with revealing this information because it can really help the process and save time for both parties.
It is also worth noting that the cost of your website also depends on who you get to build it for you. For example approaching a high end agency in the city compared to a local but experienced freelancer will result in vastly different costs.
Think of creating a website as a similar process to approaching a building company to build a house
Similarly to building a house, the cost depends on many factors and is not a question that can be answered without finding out more about your requirements.
A home building company may offer different home building options designed to appeal to people with various budgets, levels of customisation and expectations.
Custom design and build - a house designed to your own unique and specific requirements
Choose a concept plan - select a plan that is already designed from their catalogue, adapted to suit
House and Land - value for money, a house on a section that you can modify a little
It’s similar for a web design project.
Custom design and build - a website designed to your own unique and specific requirements
Choose a website theme - select a website that is pre-built from and customised as necessary to fit your needs
Website template - value for money, a website that is pre-built and just needs your branding and content to be added
Add into the mix that there are lots of different types of websites at varying degrees of complexity and many other factors unique to the client. Each website is different which translates into the fact that pricing is hard and estimates can be time consuming based on establishing how much time needs to be allowed.
Assumption is the mother of all screw ups
I hear often that people are displeased about a website that has been created for them by a web company.
Usually the web company has provided EXACTLY what the client asked for. So what’s the problem? The problem is that the web company assumed the client had done their research, created a strategy and had the same level of knowledge about building websites as they do.
The client’s expectations about what they were getting were nowhere near what the web company were providing.
Why isn’t my website on page 1 of Google? Why am I not getting any enquiries? Why can't I update the content on my website? These might be some of the questions a displeased client may ask after their website is launched.
It’s not your job to know how to create an effective business website. It is the job of the web company to understand what it is you are trying to achieve and then come up with a plan on how to get you there.
The only way to come up with a plan is by understanding your business by talking and defining such things as:
- Why you need a website
- What the website needs to do for your business
- Who we are doing this for (who your target audience is) and what they want
- What your goals are and how we can measure success
- How to attract, capture and convert new leads
And that is just the beginning...
So you can see that defining these points isn’t something you do quickly and therefore trying to answer a question about price isn’t an easy thing to do without knowing about your business.
How long does it take to build a website?
There is a common lack of understanding when it comes to the amount of time it takes to create a website. In short it takes a long time to do it properly. There are many stages to go through from research, design, development, adding content, testing, launching - the list goes on.
- A simple website might take 10 - 30 hours
- A more complex website might take 50 - 70 hours
- An ecommerce website might take 70 - 100 hours
The estimates above are based on the time that the web designer is spending on working on your project (and is not intended as a timeline).
Any time you have to spend is additional. Creating a website is a team effort between you and your web designer. You will have to put some considerable time in also gathering content, reviewing, providing feedback and answering questions (this is another misunderstood aspect of creating a website for another time).
Summary - websites can range between $1000 and $100,000!
Sorry if that's a disappointing answer.
Each individual website is unique and it all depends on the level of detail that goes into the project. Producing a website is not as simple as purchasing a product. It is planned and created just for you.
You can only really get a realistic idea of cost by obtaining a proper estimate which takes time. Don’t be surprised if you are offered a paid discovery session for more complex websites. For smaller websites a meeting to discuss your project will suffice.
Websites are fluid and can be added to or updated, to include more features at any time. In fact a website is never really ‘finished’. It should evolve with you and your business. So even if your initial budget can’t stretch far enough at first then consider website development phases.
Modur prides itself on being able to come up with a solution to suit your budget, if you want to discuss your website requirements - contact us today!