Your business needs a website, but you’re unsure of where to start. You want the site to be affordable, but you also need something dynamic to impress clients.
You can ‘DIY’ it for a small monthly fee on Squarespace or Wix, but if you really want it to look professional, and be able to attract new customers, you should seek the help of a web design company. For a basic ‘brochure website’ without any commerce you could call around and get quotes anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000. There is a tremendous amount of variance between different web design companies and what they charge.
The following will help you understand why the prices are so different:
- How big is the design company? It helps to know how many people will work on your website. There are a lot of freelancers that do all of their own design, development and project management. This keeps costs low, but usually this type of business is good at design and poor at development, or vice versa. In larger companies you might talk to a project manager who relays information to a designer. Then an approved design is sent to a developer. This allows everyone to do what they do best but also increases cost.
- How many unique page designs are needed? It’s not uncommon for websites, especially blogs, to only use one template for the whole website. There is a header, a footer, a background color, and a sidebar that remains consistent for every page. Even if you have hundreds of pages, it’ll only take a few minutes to paste them into the template. The number of pages is not as important as the number of page designs. Usually, websites will have a different design for the home page, interior web pages, and features, like a blog or staff bios. Often, these special templates require additional development work to set up. As you might imagine, the more page templates, the higher the cost.
- Are you starting from scratch or do you have an existing design? If you have an existing website with several well-organized sections and you plan to add another containing just a few new pages, then very little planning and project management work is involved. If you are creating a brand new website from scratch, then time needs to be spent evaluating how the content should be organized. When you are adding a lot of new content, there is also the possibility of asking for design changes, formatting issues, etc.
- Who is in charge of the website project? One of the most difficult jobs I’ve done was for a non-profit. The board met once a month and then every member had to approve the design. So each time I presented a design, I wouldn’t hear back for at least 30 days. Many times, the feedback would be conflicting, as board members had different opinions. Since then, I’ve always asked about the people in charge of the project before giving an estimate. The work involved in a design can very quickly double when the decision maker is indecisive in the design phase or changes requests during the project.
- Do you need help with branding? Some people assume that a new website includes a redesign of the logo and colors for the company. If you need a new logo and branding, be aware that this is a different type of project that will greatly increase the cost.
- Are you investing in SEO? If your website is going to attract new customers on Google, you will want to invest in SEO while the website is built. It will end up costing more if you hire an SEO company after the website is completed and they will ask for a lot of changes. If you want the SEO ‘baked in’ to your website, this substantially adds to the cost.
So what does a website cost? Well, it depends on the size of the company as well as the specifics of the project. When I was a just a freelancer, I often built website for less than $1,000. Our small company of only 4 employees builds sites that start around $3,000. I also have a friend who works at a company of 15 people and their websites start around $15,000.
There is no definitive answer for how much a website costs, but hopefully this post gives you the information you need to get the best site for your budget.