How much does it ACTUALLY cost to build a website?- Explained
You know that your business needs a website if it is going to stay competitive. You also know that you have a finite amount of resources and that you should use them in the best way possible.
In this brief article, we are going to discuss some of the costs involved in building a website. We are going to be speaking in generalities because the needs of each business are different, so what they will need from a website will vary.
Gathering Information to Build a Website
In your research, you have likely looked at a few of the prominent web design companies in your area.
When you visit their websites, something you’re going to find is that very few of them post their rates. You might wonder why. The answer is because the cost of creating a website varies depending on the project.
Most reputable design firms want to meet with you face-to-face first. They want to be able to show their clients the value of the service they offer, and they want to build a rapport with their clients.
It’s during this one-on-one that you will get exact numbers as far as what a company will charge for their service. This charge will usually include building the site, maintaining the site, and doing marketing, like SEO.
How Much Should I Expect to Spend to Build a Website?
A small business owner looking for a basic website that only needs minor customization should expect to spend between $2,000 and $8,000 upfront. We’re talking about a relatively simple site that has fewer than 20 pages. The site may have a few stock photos, but it will have no unique functionality.
If you have a medium-size business and you’re looking for a website that has up to 75 pages, maybe a site built using a CMS like WordPress with custom design layouts and imagery as well as functionality that’s unique to the page, you should expect to pay between $10,000 and $25,000.
If you are looking to build an e-commerce website, a site where customers can purchase products, that has a variety of imagery, copywriting done for every single product that’s being sold, beta testing, and all of it done on a CMS like WordPress, you should expect to pay between $5,000 and $40,000.
There such a large fluctuation in price because much is determined by the number of products you want to feature and how intricate you want the design to be.
A large enterprise should expect to spend between $25,000 and $40,000 on their website. We are talking about a site that has hundreds of pages, unique functionality, and a number of features, including multimedia, blog integration, etc.
Set a Realistic Budget
Before you begin the process of having a website designed, you need to set a budget that is realistic for you and your needs.
Remember, the expense of setting up a website goes beyond the initial setup. You are going to have continuing maintenance costs, including things like hosting, troubleshooting, debugging, and adding on new features as needed.
You have to understand advantages and disadvantages of WordPress if you are going to use it. I always recommend WordPress as it really is the perfect platform to build a any .website
If you have the financial resources needed to allocate hundreds of dollars each month to the maintenance and upkeep of your website, then a CMS like WordPress will work well for you.
If you don’t want to spend more than $100 a month because your business has not grown to the point yet where you need a lot of functionality, using one of the best builders that has a drag-and-drop feature will make the design process a lot easier for you.
Think about How You Will Manage Your Website
Another question that you need to ask is will you manage the website. Will you do it yourself? Or do you want another person, such as a designer or developer, to do it for you?
It sounds nice to say that you want to have full control over editing your website. But if you do not know how to code, you’re going to find yourself in a pickle. In that case, it might be better to hand off some of the managings of your website to a professional.
There are two things with this that you need to remember. First, having a professional manage your website is going to increase your monthly expenses.
And, unless you hire that individual full-time, you’re going to have to wait until their schedule allows them to provide you with the changes you need to your website.
Pay for What You Need Now and Get the Rest Later
As you sit down with your team and lay out your ideal website, you’ll find that there are a lot of features you may want. The question is, do you need all of the bells and whistles now or can you wait a little bit?
The more complex you make your website, the more headaches and the more troubleshooting will be required. The more complex you make your website, the more money you’ll be paying out of pocket to get things up and rolling.
So our recommendation for you at the outset is to cut features you don’t absolutely need. Start by building a lean and functional website that gets the job done. Once you see that the website is generating the revenue you want it to, then you can begin to upgrade.
Remember, you will never hear about a business failing because their website does not have bells and whistles. You will need to revamp your website regularly. So if there are features that you cannot afford to add at the outset, add them when you do the revamp.
This is going to save you the frustration that comes from committing a lot of money to building a website and then realizing that the marketing strategy you had was not working.
What has your experience been with building a website? Do you feel that you paid too much, just enough, or got a bargain on your site? Let us know in the comments section below.