Website FAQ's

This is a question that we field all day, every day.

WHAT DOES A WEBSITE COST?

As either a potential designer, developer, freelancer, or the owner of a website design business it’s important that you know how to answer this question and understand what your competitor is charging as well as how you can create value. And, on the flip-side, if you’re a business owner looking for information on the cost of developing your own site (either using a service, or hiring a developer) you need to understand the many levels of answers that can come from such a broad question. In both cases – it’s important to remember that although a website is a “digitized” item, a website is still a product, but it’s also a service. There’s a whole relationship (between you and your client, or you and the company you hire to do your website) that crops up through the process of web development, and this relationship, as well as the ongoing support that continues AFTER the site has launched is what separates this “product” from others. If I had to make a comparison, I’d say pricing (and building) a website is a lot like pricing (and building) a new home. Whether you buy a home from a new development, or have one custom built. The process is very much like as building a home which is sometimes just as complicated and as costly.

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Website Pricing
Pricing a website is a lot like pricing a new home. The reason it’s so hard to simply give one a price for a website is there are so many damn factors involved – even outside of the technology (which matters A LOT!).
Here’s a short list:
Client Server/Hosting Requirements – Who is hosting? Email? Who is setting that up? What if something happens to email? What kind of server will it be hosted on? Does the client have access? Do YOU have access? Hosting problems alone take 2 – 10 hours initially to address on EVERY project – and problem account for about 10 – 20 hours of support during any given year for a client. Scope – What does the client want? What does the client NEED? Two very different things. Who is the Client – Who are you? Are you picky? Are you easy to deal with? A good web development company will do one of two things – either read you well, or structure their contract for it not to matter (ie hourly). The easier you make it to work with you, the less expensive a site will tend to be.

Real World Website Pricing Breakdown!

Basic Website – $1000 – $2000
After spending a significant amount of time (over a decade in this industry), we’ve determined that the market average for a baseline website is $1000 – $2,000. I’ve seen much, much higher. And, I don’t recommend going with anyone who charges less because the quality of the work will negatively (and directly) correlate to the price decrease. With a basic website, you’ll have a simple online brochure where your customers and clients can review your products and services. The basic website may be your best salesperson, working 24 hours a day by just showing up. It’s your marketing tool to get your message out to the world. It provides a digital launch pad, where you can showcase your products and/or services.
Custom Website – $2500-$7500
If you can think it, it can be designed in this price range. They may not be as fully functional, but they will be beautiful. At this spending level, you will find a website that is custom-tailored to meet your specific market needs. At this price point, you can expect the beginning of the “wow-factor” from our web design team. Going back to the Basic Website, the website pricing is calculated at the same rate. These websites take much more time to build since they will include custom CSS and XHTML coding so that the website will show up the same on virtually every interface. Again these websites will be optimized for Google, Yahoo, and Bing so that they will rank better in organic keyword searches.
Content Management System (CMS) – $3000- $8,500
A website designed and built with full CMS integration will typically run from $3,000 to $8,500 with an average of $5,750, depending on your specific needs and the extent of the customization requested. These websites will be designed with both functionality and appearance in mind. Custom art design and mid-level functionality will be included. You will be able to manage and update all of your content through the installed CMS interface. With CMS you can manipulate, upload and change the pictures, content, and blog all day long. By enabling a CMS interface, these websites are designed to be user-friendly (as user-friendly as possible for a non-tech inspired individual). You won’t be billed for the time that it takes to make the minor changes and small adjustments that may become costly. Expect SEO and Analytics Tracking for these types of web properties.
The Grand Slam Package– $15,000- $100,000+
Highly complex websites can be very expensive to create. Social Networking, Advanced Blogging, and Web Application Development will raise the price tag. There are a limited number of companies that can perform well in this arena, and most of them will charge you a consulting fee. Falling in this price range are sites like Facebook.com, Orkut.com, and BestBuy.com. These sites will have been coded from scratch, along with the applicable application programming. Websites in this price range require an extreme investment in time to research, develop and implement the software necessary to integrate the entire website in one seamless design.

And then there’s everything that comes AFTER a website is launched...THE MARKETING!

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