Websites can cost a lot of money. It’s an investment for sure. We use our hard earned money to invest in our business, and our website is an extension of that. Depending on what you do, your website may be your entire business. This is why it’s important to understand the pricing of web design and how it works.
So how much does a website cost? To be honest, there’s no such thing as one set price. There are so many different things that can affect the cost of a website that it’s almost impossible to say “You should spend $x amount of dollars.” Unfortunately, it just doesn’t work that way.
Let’s get into some things that can affect the cost of a website.
What do you want your website to do?
If you have a set of services that don’t change, you can get something called a brochure site. This is a site that displays the same information about your websites. So let’s say you’re an accountant or a lawyer or someone in the service industry, you’d most likely go for a brochure website. There’s isn’t any functionality, and the information that’s there will rarely change.
Does that mean you have to keep the same thing and never touch it? Absolutely not! Let’s not forget that a big part of the success of a website is the marketing goal.
If you have a brochure website, you should still be updating it with posts, different lead magnets, and information to try and get leads from your audience.
The biggest No No is to pay for a website, and then never touch it.
On the grand scale of website investments, Brochure sites would cost the least to create.
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On the flip side, some websites need to have specific functionality. For example, maybe you want to sell products (e-commerce) OR have some fancy search mechanism. Your site may have sign-ups for memberships or need to display particular types of information in a specific way.
These types of sites are a little more complex to make and will cost more depending on what needs to get done. I don’t think there’s an actual name for a website that needs specific functionality, but any site with content that is regularly updated and changing is called “dynamic”.
Any site that requires a particular type of functionality will cost more than brochure sites.
Who’s working on your website?
When you need a pro, you hire a pro. When you just don’t care, it doesn’t matter who you hire. And when you’re on a budget, you’re looking to get the best job for the least amount of money. I get it, who doesn’t look for a bargain, right? We like the art of the deal, but you have to be incredibly careful when hiring a professional web designer.
You may think that seasoned veterans will cost a lot more than someone just starting out, but it’s all a matter of perspective.
I like to think of it as a scale. If you’re paying for hourly for instance, you’ll pay someone starting out less money, but they may take a lot longer vs. a seasoned professional may charge a lot more, but will get it done much quicker.
This is why a lot of experienced professionals will never charge hourly. How many people would run off if someone told them they charge $300/hour! I’m pretty sure most of us.
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But a pro may finish something in one hour what may take someone starting out 4 or 5.
If you hire an agency, it’s not a matter of pro vs. new, but more of what the agency has to pay for. For example, a lot of employees or just a few? Brick and mortar overhead or work from home? All of those things affect the pricing of a web project.
What value are you getting?
You need to see your website as an investment into your business. What are you investing in, what are you getting out of this? Sure, a website is one thing, but after that’s done, you may need to do some marketing. You might want to collect leads. Someone needs to manage the website.
Your website needs to be an ever evolving piece of your business. As tech changes, your site should be updated. When new strategies and methods release, you should test and implement them. Never get a website and let it go stagnant. That’s probably the worse thing you can do. People get bored.
The one thing you need to understand about how your website works is people will visit your website and make a first impression.
The acronym to use for every website when it comes to doing it right is WIIFM. That stands for “Whats In It For Me?” That’s what every person visiting your business online wants to know. So you have to deliver that to them.
This is all high value added to your website once it’s done. What about before hand? What kind of value can you expect?
At SureFire, we offer a free strategy session with each site we build. This helps us understand what to design and how to position key items on your website to best benefit your user.
That’s the difference between having someone build something that just looks nice vs. having a website that will work for you! Value!
Let’s get to the nitty gritty
So how much should a website cost? We’ve built sites from $2500 to $20,000. The fundamental differences between the two projects were size and functionality. What determined the price was how much work was involved, how long it would take, and how it flowed with our other projects.
Every company and person in this world have to pay their bills. No one can afford to stay in business if they regularly under charge. On doing this for 13+ years, a big aspect in the prices that we charged had to do with our location in NY, and experience.
We since relocated to FL, so we can afford to build sites at more affordable rates. In addition to that, we came up with a method to create beautiful sites with conversion in mind and make them fast, which also plays a factor in our price point.
We charge $3k for a 5-page brochure type site because we know it’s going to come out amazing, we include the strategy session with it, and we deliver it very quickly. After the site is complete, we continue to work on the site, and as your business changes, we change your site. We implement different things based on your needs like Lead Gen, we try them out, and if they don’t work, we change them. It’s like having a team of web professionals working on your site for you while you focus on your business.
We could easily charge much more for this, and in the future, we most certainly will.
So I would say to expect to pay a minimum of $3k for a website. Anything less than that and you may need to start asking yourself the questions I just posted.