I am asked this question a lot.
What does a car cost? Well, it depends on what features you want in a car, right? The cost of a website works much the same way.
In general, the more features, customizations and complexity your website has the more time it will take to design and develop it, and as a result, the more it will cost. The size of your website will also affect its cost. A very large website will cost more than a site with just a few pages. An eCommerce website will cost more than an informational website. Adding all those products and setting up all the particulars of your shipping methods, payment gateways, etc. takes a lot of time. The individual or company that develops your website will also be a factor. Your web designing friend or relative will charge you less than a professional web designer/developer (me), who will charge you less than an agency to build your website.
Do you need a website?
Yes, you need a website. In fact, you need a website that loads fast, is easy to navigate, and works well on mobile devices as well as desktops. In 2015, if your business does not have a website, your business does not exist for a very large part of your market. And, if you don’t have a website that is easy to use on mobile devices you are losing a growing segment of your market.
So…what does a website cost?
No one wants to pay more than they need to for their website. The simple, but not very satisfying answer, is that you can pay as little or as much as you like for your website. If you’ve started the process of gathering quotes I’m sure you’ve received prices that are all over the map. And that has left you wondering—WHY? And that could be why you are reading this article.
How to compare quotes. Who and what.
What is the experience level of the developer?
This is worth a lot. If it’s a WordPress site how much experience does the developer have with WordPress? Ecommerce? Custom coding? Building websites in general? Experience helps the people building your site understand what will make your website a great website.
Who will be working on your project?
There will be more people on your project with an agency than with a freelance web designer/developer. There may be a graphic designer, web developer, content writer, photographer, SEO professional and project manager working on your website. With a freelance web designer/developer you have a web designer, developer and project manager in one person. The freelance designer/developer will coordinate with content writers, photographers and SEO professionals as needed.
Do you have clear website specifications?
Have you given everyone you are asking for quotes the same set of parameters for your website? Do you need a custom design? Do you need a core message developed? Do you need content written? Do you need photography or stock images? What specific functionality will you require in your website? Approximately how large will your website be?
The final word.
With websites, as with many industries, you get what you pay for. To get a great website at a fair price, my advice is this—shop around, know what you want, try to clearly articulate what you want, and determine how involved you are able to be in the process of creating your website.