Think of a website like you would a car. You can buy one for a few hundred pounds and it will do the job, but won’t look very good, won’t run very well, and won’t impress many people. Your website is a representation of your business, so it is important that it is professional looking and functional, in order to promote your business as such.
Despite this, it is very hard to answer the question “How much should I pay for a website?”. There are so many things to consider. Before you can answer the question, there are a number of questions you need to answer first.
Do I Need (insert functionality here)?
If you are a small, local business, or a bespoke design service, chances are you don’t need e-commerce functionality on your site. For example, a restaurant is unlikely to sell their product online. They need a clean, professional site with a copy of their menu, directions to the restaurant, contact details, and a page explaining what makes them unique from the competition.
There are many functionalities that can be included in your site design, each adding to the overall cost, such as log-in portals, information capture forms, parallax animations, responsive design, and a wide variety of plug-ins help you achieve the primary site objective.
What is the main objective of my site?
This brings us on to the next question you need to ask. The main objective of your site plays a crucial part in how much a site will cost. If your main objective is to generate more sales, you may need a more bespoke design with a streamlined user experience, prompting the user to click through to your product pages or contact details. If you just want to supply information on a subject, you may need less functionality.
Who is my target audience?
A site should be designed and built with your target audience in mind. If you are aiming to attract a professional audience, your site will look and function very differently to if you are targeting fashion conscious tweens.
Does my website need to built from scratch?
If you have paid for a website previously, and have any part of that site that can be reused, why shouldn’t you? If you have a framework that works well, and just need a re-design that can reduce the cost. Likewise, if you’ve already paid for a framework or design that just needs a few tweaks that can also reduce the overall cost. Sometimes it’s cheaper to build on something you already have. In the case of your website being very outdated, or having zero functionality, a complete re-build may be better.
Once you’ve answered these questions, you can start to get a better idea as to how much your website will cost.
Website Costs To Consider
Here is a list of costs that you need to consider when building and designing a new website, from start to finish.
Hosting & Domain Names
Before you can build a website, you need a domain name. The domain name is the website address for your site. For example, ours is www.fifteen.co.uk. You can buy this from a wide variety of suppliers, or ask your web developers to source it for you. You can buy a domain name for a period of time, before it needs renewing again. It’s worth checking the costs with different suppliers, as the costs can vary massively.
Similarly, hosting is also an ongoing cost. You need to pay this for your site to be hosted on a server. Think of it as rent you pay for your website to ‘live’ on a server. Without this, your website is not connected to the Internet. Again, the prices for this vary a lot, with some companies offering extra support and backups of your site, to ensure outages won’t effect your business.
If you’re aiming for a bespoke website built from scratch; before you even see a first draft of your website, there are hours put in by the designers, web developers, and project managers to ensure they can create a site that will work to your objective. Frameworks, initial design concepts, and functionality all need to be drafted. Once these concepts are signed off, work can begin on building the finished product.
Design & Content
You need to consider the content that will be included in your website. Do you already have content, or will it need to be created? This can cover anything from copy through to videos and images for your site. Anything that requires work to be done by a designer, copywriter, or photographer will increase the overall cost of your design.
There are a huge amount of functionalities that can be added into your website, each helping you to succeed different objectives. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of some of the features you might want to consider adding, all of which can add to the cost of a website build.
• Responsive design – This allows your site to be resized accordingly to the device it is being viewed on. This is an important feature as Google now penalizes sites that are not mobile-friendly.
• Content Management System – CMS allows you to log in to the back end of your site and manage content on your site, including page copy and blogs.
• Login Portals – If you want members to be able to log in to place orders, or see information, a login portal needs to be built to your specifications.
• Social Integration – You can integrate social feeds into your website so your users can see the most up to date information about what is happening in your company.
• Parallax – This creates animated backgrounds for your website, which move separately to the content. This is one of the latest trends in website design, and gives your site a professional look.
• E-commerce – In order to take payments online you need some kind of e-commerce functionality.
Costs To Consider After Your Website Has Been Built
Once your site has been built, there a few more things to consider as ongoing costs.
SEO & Digital Marketing
Although launching a new website can sometimes be enough to get an initial rankings boost, it is important to maintain this. The world of digital marketing is vast, with search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click advertising (PPC), social media engagement, and email marketing just to name a few. You can choose to pay an expert to manage all of this, allowing the enquiries to keep coming.
Website Updates & Support
If you don’t have a CMS in place, you may need to pay your developers a monthly/annual fee to manage the content on your site. If you do have a CMS, you may still need to pay for training or general web support. If this isn’t included in the initial price, it is something you should definitely consider. If your site has any problems later on, it is handy to have the support of a team of experts.
Asking the question, “How much will a website cost?”, is similar to asking the question, “How long is a piece of string?”. As cliché as that sounds, it’s true. You need to take so many factors into consideration, that it’s impossible to put a price tag on it. The key is to find a team that understands your business and its objectives.
To discuss your website needs, and for advice about what functionalities to include, contact our team today for advice and a quote.