How much does a website cost? Or rather, how much should a website cost? If you’ve been conducting your own research on the subject, you may have already found the answer isn’t as black and white as you would hope. Putting a price tag on a website design requires several factors to be taken into consideration, and many freelancers and businesses will give drastically different quotes for the same project.
That answer requires a lengthy explanation. One we’ll get into, as well as a breakdown of what it would cost to build or redesign a professionally developed website. We’re talking about a website that isn’t cookie-cutter but meets the unique needs of your company. Whether you’re a corporation, small business, e-commerce store, or non-profit, a good web design is necessary when representing your products and services. Let us take a moment to repeat that fact.
No matter what industry you’re in or what size your company may be, you need a good website design!
So, what is the best way to go about building a website? You never want to sacrifice when it comes to quality. At the same time, you don’t want to overpay for website design services either. We have some advice that will help you avoid spending more than you should on a good website.
However, before shopping for a web designer or web developer for your project, you should take some time to think about what it is you want your website to look like and to do. You don’t just want to pinpoint the aesthetics you desire. Grasp what functionality you want your website to serve.
What do you want your website to do for you?
Technology has made a mobile responsive web presence a powerful tool for today’s businesses. In fact, many companies operate solely from their Internet real estate thanks to e-commerce platforms, chat programs, widgets, and other website integrations. Consider what your website can do to help your business run more efficiently and/or generate more leads. How does the web feed into your revenue and client relationships? If it doesn’t hold a prevalent role currently, how can it improve your business?
These are all very important questions that you should answer if you haven’t already. The more you know about what you want before commissioning a web design for your company, the more money you’ll save in the long run while meeting your expectations.
Below you will find a list of things to consider before approaching a freelancer or design agency for your website design. Keep in mind that the more you can provide a professional in regards to your web design, the more they will grasp your vision, and the less it will cost you overall. This includes branding guides, color swatches, logos, content, and imagery.
However, you can also depend on a website design and marketing agency with a solid reputation for quality to produce all of this for you. There’s nothing wrong with that at all. Just expect a higher price tag.
“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet…”
– Romeo and Juliet
What’s in a domain name? Well, everything really. For those who don’t know, a domain name is simply your website address that browsers use to find your website. You want to make sure that you reserve your online real estate with a domain name that is easy to remember, impossible to misspell, and all-encompassing when it comes to representing your brand and business.
Do a little research before you approach a website designer. Brainstorm to create a list of domains that you would be willing to use for your website. Make sure they fit the criteria we listed! Once you have a few domain names to choose from, you want to verify that they are available for purchase. You can do this by going to GoDaddy or another domain selling company and typing in your preferred domain name in their search bar.
Remember, you can purchase your domain name before designing your website. In fact, it’s probably a good idea if you’re set on a specific website address. Buying your domain ahead of time will ensure that no one purchases it before you can get your website designed and published online. A knowledgeable website design freelancer or company will be able to transfer your domain over to the website design once it is complete.
“I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way…”
– Georgia O’Keeffe
Just because you’re hiring a web designer or web developer to build a website from scratch doesn’t mean you shouldn’t bring some of your ideas to the table. After all, you probably have some vision of how you would like your website to look, and even the most talented designers and developers haven’t discovered a way to read minds.
Instead of playing the guessing game, save both time and money by compiling a list of branding guidelines that will help your designer understand your company’s brand and identity. If your business already has a color scheme and a logo, make sure you compile digital copies and samples. The higher the quality, the better!
Know what kind of impression you want to leave on your online visitors as well. Do you want your design and content to sound serious and professional or friendly and conversational? The look and voice that your website conveys will play a significant role in how visitors perceive your business and its brand.
Speaking of content…
“There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and bleed.” – Ernest Hemingway
Before you design a website, know what content you want to create and who will be providing it. Many website design agencies have copywriters on staff. However, they will vary in their levels of experience. If you want someone to create content for you, make sure you review the writer’s past work before hiring them. He or she should be able to provide you with published writing samples that you can view. If they can’t, be wary.
Also, test their Search Engine Optimization (SEO) knowledge. Good rhetoric alone isn’t enough to get you noticed online. You need to speak to the algorithms that determine how high you’ll place in the search rankings when users are browsing for content related to your business.
However, that doesn’t mean your website should read like a robot either. A good copywriter can find the sweet spot between an engaging writing voice and the placement of keywords and phrases. In a nutshell, he or she will make your website’s content SEO-friendly without sounding like they’re word-stuffing.
If you don’t approve of the staff’s writer or if budget is a concern, you may want to consider creating your own content based on whatever site map you establish. If you decide to write your content, just remember that SEO is a requirement, not an option. Like we said before, you won’t rise in Google’s search rankings on good intentions alone. You have to incorporate relevant, original content and keywords to be recognized and prioritized by the algorithms used by Google and other major search engines.
“To me, job titles don’t matter. Everyone is in sales. It’s the only way we stay in business.” – Harvey Mackay
What do you want the purpose of your website to be? This is important to establish before your web design. If the point is to generate leads, calls, or sales, then make sure this is emphasized via the website’s design, so that it encourages the results you want.
You don’t want to make the desired reaction of your website hard to achieve. If you’re aiming to encourage visitors to call your business, make your phone number large and easy to find. If you want them to purchase goods, make sure your e-commerce platform is easy to navigate from any device. You want to avoid a multi-click process. If the user has to go through several pages to get what they want, you’ve already lost them.
If so, don’t stress too much over it. You don’t have to have all of the answers by your initial meeting. A good web team will be able to work closely with you to create the right results. This initial list is simply provided to help you brainstorm and compile what you can before searching for the perfect team to build your website. Why? Because the more details you bring to the table, the better your results will be.
Now that we have the initial questions and considerations out of the way, let’s talk about pricing.
It’s the question that likely brought you to this page in the first place: why do website prices vary so drastically? The reason for that is because every designer, small business, and agency defines their prices differently.
What seems like a good deal might not always be that way, either. Just like when you’re browsing for the cost of a graphic design project, you have to look closely at how each quote provided is priced. For example:
Let’s assume you have two quotes. Both are determined by the hour. One is saying they will take on your website design for $50/hour, while another is quoting $150. A first glance, you may assume that the first offer will end up being the cheapest.
However, you could be wrong. Consider all the details.
What is the projected time each professional estimates your website will take? A more expensive hourly rate may be cheaper in the long run if that professional wields the experience and efficiency to complete your website quicker than an individual quoting a lesser rate.
Is the person, business, or agency you are considering well known for delivering quality finished products, strong communication, and high client satisfaction? Whether you’re planning to hire them for simply the design process or you’re looking to build a long-lasting business relationship, these things matter.
You want to hire a reputable website design company or web developer. One who is there when you need him or her, reliable to deliver on time, and both skilled and capable to meet your needs on time.
How qualified is the individual or business you’re looking to hire? Don’t just take their word on what they’re capable of doing. While one individual may charge less, their results may not be as good. On the flip side of that coin, a professional business may charge more than a freelancer to build your website, but not be able to achieve the style and design that a contracted individual is capable of delivering.
Ask to see a portfolio of past, published websites that the business or individual has designed. Verify them with the company to make sure that he or she is truly responsible for them. This will give you a better idea of what your options can deliver.
Considering all of these avenues will give you a clearer picture of the value of each quote you receive.
Vectra Digital provides professional website design services to businesses of all shapes and sizes.
We break down our website design services into four different categories based on the type of website you want to create. Each project is quoted based on time blocks, so prices vary depending on what features you would like to incorporate into your website, and how long it will take our staff to do so. We pride ourselves on efficiency, and our ability to stay within defined budgets.
Below you’ll find our estimates for website prices, and what you can expect to receive within that price range.
PRICE RANGE: $2,000- $6,500
If you’re looking for a basic web design, you have two options. You can create your own through Do It Yourself (DIY) Website Builders, or you can hire our staff to create one for you. Today, the DIY method is easier than ever before. WordPress, Weebly, and Wix are three of the most popular choices on the web. Each one is unique in what it offers and comes with its own pros and cons (click the hyperlinks to read our review of each platform).
A good DIY website builder walks you through the website building process, from buying your domain name to creating your layout and inserting content. Most of them offer website templates that you can utilize. Many of them are visually appealing and professional. You can create your website based on their provided templates, tweak a template, or start from scratch. It simply depends on how skilled you are and how much time and effort you’re willing to invest.
The benefit of the DIY method is that it’s cheap. You can get your website hosted, designed, and published for anywhere between $0 to $200, depending on what package level you buy into. Just keep in mind that you get what you pay for—and free websites don’t come with an independent domain name.
If you’re running a professional business, never use a web domain that incorporates the hosting website’s name. For example, www.MyWebsite.Wordpress.com is not going to be considered professional, credible, or trustworthy by visitors who aren’t familiar with your business. You always want to have your own domain. Preferably one that ends in a familiar top-level domain, which is the text that comes after the second period in an address. The most familiar top-level domain is .com.
If you hire an agency to do your basic web design, you’re going to be spending more. However, that money also pays for the time and effort it takes to build your website, create and assign a URL, and security and maintenance (if you choose to let the company manage your website).
When you hire a professional website designer or developer to build you a basic website, you’ll be getting just that: the basics. This includes a primary menu structure with pages defining who you are, what you do or offer, and how to contact you. It also may include a blog and social networking integration. It simply depends on whether we use one of our templates to save time in constructing your site, or if you require a build made from scratch.
All of our websites are built to be mobile responsive, so you will be able to view them from any device without complications. The estimated price range for this kind of website is anywhere between $2,000 and $6,5000. Again, your pricing depends strongly on how active you intend to be in the construction of your website. If you provide elements such as images and written content, it can dramatically reduce your overall costs.
This option is often best for individuals or small start-ups looking to have a professional online presence on a modest budget.
PRICE RANGE: $7,000 – $25,000
Need something more than a templated website with pages of informative content and images? Perhaps you’re looking for more unique visual aesthetics and plugins that allow you to engage your visitors? This kind of website is an advanced project that requires more time and steps to build but includes a custom web design made to align with your brand and business needs.
Unlike basic websites, advanced web designs are made with the expectation of being a “living website” that will be updated with fresh content, media, and changes on an ongoing basis. If you plan to blog, add new services or products, or make a conscious effort to build your SEO rankings with the help of a professional marketing agency, this is the package you want.
An advanced website can feature various enticing web design styles, such as Parallax, Fluid, and HTML5 Canvas. Your page will be mobile-responsive and your content can be either written or adapted to be SEO-friendly.
Advanced websites are best for medium-sized businesses who require an appealing, functional web design that will play an integral role in their branding and business growth. They utilize HTML coding for content and CSS coding for page styling and can include multiple integrations such as web forms, live chat, and other functional integrations.
The difference between an advanced website and a custom website is that custom requires us to truly start from scratch in building web applications and features. Prices can vary dramatically for custom website builds because your quote is based on time. Thus, your price will be determined by the complexity of the project and the hours necessary to bring it to fruition.
The best thing to do is to talk to us about your vision. After a thorough discussion, we’ll give you a fair estimate as well as a breakdown of what hours are needed for each task to bring that idea to life.
PRICE RANGE: $10,000+
E-Commerce websites are online storefronts that are available 24/7 to consumers. With online shopping growing significantly in popularity, Internet storefronts are almost a must-have for companies who sell multiple products.
The difference between a regular website and an e-commerce platform lies in the integration of web applications that allow a user to easily shop and add items to a virtual cart, then submit payment directly through the company’s website in order to make their purchase. There are many benefits to having an e-commerce platform for your merchandise rather than directing users to a third party or outside source, including the ability to streamline your payment and fulfillment processes and prevent users from rerouting to competitor’s items featured on the same page.
We set e-commerce design apart from advanced web design because it takes a different approach to construct and design. In many ways, it’s more work because you have individual listings on top of an e-commerce interface and website pages to build, plus frequent management of pricing, content, addition, and subtraction of products, etc.
Our website design and development team helps our clients get started in managing their e-commerce site after it’s built. We’ll sit down one-on-one with you or set up a meeting with your whole team to train you in the frontend and backend processes of your new online store. From the buying process to security, content, payment and transaction processes, merchant accounts, and more, we ensure you’re comfortable with your website before we “let you drive.”
Vectra Digital would be happy to answer them! Simply give us a call at 239-234-2566 and ask to speak to one of our Account Managers about web design services, quotes, and options. You’ll find that our staff is as knowledgeable as it is friendly!