How much should I pay for a Website?
I wish there was an easy answer. Too many factors to consider including your pocketbook so let’s dig into it.
The nature of the website? Is the aim of the website to present you and what you can do, or an ecommerce site where you will sell your products? Trust us, they are quite different. A presentation website is fairly simple whereas ecommerce sites require various plugins and the integration of a shopping cart and a payment gateway. Drop shipping may be involved, use of API’s to send order information to suppliers, download tracking information and provide customers timely details on the status of their order. Even a simple ecommerce site will cost you over $1,000 and the more complex ones cost well over $10,000. The more complicated the site, the more it is going to cost.
Do you need the services of a web developer, web designer or both? Is a custom design absolutely necessary? In some cases, existing templates can be bought for a small fixed cost and tweaked by a web developer till they meet your needs. A custom layout is a different story. It takes more time to design and setup everything hence the cost will be higher on custom sites. But a custom design well set you apart from the cookie cutter websites and if that is what your objective is then you must go for a custom design.
Domain and hosting costs. Domain names are usually bought for an entire year and then renewed annually whereas hosting is a monthly cost. If traffic to your website grows, which is a good thing, your hosting cost will also increase.
Plugins: This may or may not be another substantial cost for your website depending on whether you use the free or premium versions. The more complex your website, the more plugins you may need.
SEO. What is the use of a website if it does not show in search engine results? Interested parties will not be able to find out about what you do simply because few bother to look past the first few pages of search results. So, investing in SEO will definitely prove to be a smart decision.
PPC: Pay Per Click. If you have the funds to invest, you can draw traffic to your website through Pay Per Click advertising. The more traffic you want, the more you spend.
Content. Again, this will largely depend on what your website is for. You may or may not require the services of a content writer. Whether you hire content writers or not, you must plan to add content. You need to keep your website fresh looking with new content.
Time. How much time do you have. If you must have your website up and running in a couple of weeks, you cannot have a custom website. You have to go the template route and later on when time allows, develop a new custom website.
Demographics: Who are you catering to? Seniors or young families, millennials or veterans, athletes or nerds. Then design accordingly. If you don’t, your demographics may find the website unattractive and click away.
Upscale, mid range or economy: If you are targeting a well heeled clientele but your website looks like Walmart, you will turn off your customers. Likewise, if your target market is penny pinchers but your website looks like a million dollars, you will scare customers away.
Regional, National or Global: Yes it matters especially if you are selling globally. A simple thing like inches or centimeters helps customers relax and be at ease with your website. You may need to list prices in multiple currencies and even have multi-lingual versions of your website.
Based on the above points, do your homework and then discuss your budget with your web developer and see what is possible and what is not. If you really have only $500, ask your developer if he can make you a very simple informational website. If on the other hand if you have money to spend, make sure you emphasize your requirements and not the cost. Let the web development company focus on design and development and come up with a realistic estimate.
Now you don’t have to do it all at once. You can do it in stages. For example, in Phase I, you can create a simple but high quality informational website. In Phase II, you can integrate a CRM. In Phase III, you can add ecommerce. In Phase IV, you can integrate drop shipment. This way you can grow your website just as your business grows and as revenues start flowing in you divert part of the incoming funds to improve your website.
I hope you found the article helpful. If you think we can help you, call us or fill out the contact form. Let’s us help you with your website.