One of our clients, a start-up business owner asked three website development companies to submit a proposal to develop his custom web site design. He gave the developers with the goals and functions he thinks needed for the website. After a week later the web developers came back to the client with their estimates.
The first one had priced the website project at $4,000, the second had priced it at $8,000 and the final web developer estimated the project at $30,000. Now the confused client is faced with a great need to figure out why these estimates are so different and which offer would meet his business goal for the website, which represents the most realistic and reasonable budget for his needs.
Believe it or not, we often hear stories like this. So I’m sure your next question is “how much a website actually cost?”
Basic Website Components and Costs
On the average, the these figures can be applied to estimating the cost of a small business website:
- Domain Name – $_/year
- Hosting – $_ to $_ a year (depending on traffic and hosting services)
- Web planning, design and development time – _ hours and up
- Website Maintenance (continual) – $_ a year and up (depending on number/type of updates required)
- Marketing your website online – $_ a month and up
What are the Important Factors that Contribute to Website Cost?
When drawing up your budget for your website, be sure you know the answers to these questions:
- Is this a brand new custom website design or a redesign of your existing site?
- How prepared are you to ask for bids from a website developer company?
- Have you prepared a detailed requirements document (goals and measures for success)?
- Do you need a blog or a content management system (CMS)?
- Have graphics already been created for the website or you prefer to buy it online?
- Do you want the website to automatically resize for mobile and ipads?
- Do you need multimedia elements (flash, video, animations etc.) on the website?
- How much content do you have now and how much will you need to be created?
- Do you need other special features such as social media network, SEO (search engine optimization), online analytics, or e-commerce?
- Who is going to maintain the website after it has been launched?
A Final Note
The best way for you to do is to create a Request for Proposal (RFP) document or fill-up a Creative Brief. The site will be the face of your company to potential clients so it’s important to build it well. You need to indicate about your expectations and web requirements, your company’s background, your target clients, expected timeline, the principal point of contact, and your budget. This way it helps set expectations on all sides and reduces potential frustrations.
At the same time, if your website will be a significant part of your business DON’T withhold on web design and developer. If you would expect to pay $$$ for a physical office space or shop, then don’t draw back at paying reasonable rates for the creation of your online business. Also, if you’re considering special features to further ensure your customers have a positive experience on the site, improve your company’s digital footprint and increase engagement with your brand.
How much does a Small Business Website Cost?
And the answer: Your budget should be based on the strategic needs of your business.