Amateurs get frustrated with clients. Professionals educate them. A great agency is going to set expectations and educate the prospect from the onset. We get a lot of questions on what the “normal” price is for a website. Truth is, unless you work in the IT industry or have gone through the process of developing a business website before, most people are confused about what a website should cost them.
A big part of this misconception is caused by those designers who flagrantly advertise they can build a website for only $1,000 in just a few weeks. With common advertisement like that floating around, it’s what people have come to expect. Yes, you can have your website built for just a couple thousand dollars, but I’d be willing to bet more than that you are going to be unhappy with it and end up paying a quality designer in the end to fix it, having wasted time, effort and money.
So, how much does a website cost?
There are many factors that comprise the budget of a website project. For example, the value it will bring to the company, the agency’s reputation, demand and expertise, and complexity of the project. What do you need it to do? If you’re an at-home blogger that needs a simple page for the purpose of sharing information that brings in no revenue from your website, then that $1,000 designer just might meet your needs. But if your company’s website generates leads, educates clients, sells products or services, and advertises for you, then don’t be surprised if a professional designer quotes you anything over $25,000 (especially if you need your website to function on mobile devices, too).
You see, a good developer requires skill that has the power to transform your website into a selling machine! These qualities took time to fine-tune and there’s a level of expertise you’re paying for. Adding custom functionality, e-commerce ability, and forms are just going to cost more. Think of it this way: How much time, effort and money would it cost you to learn how to do these things yourself? Would learning and building it take away from the productivity and revenue of your other projects? It probably would, and so it’s best to stick to what you do best and leave website design and development to an expert (and a quality one so it’s done right the first time!)
Another way of thinking about it is to look at your website as an employee. This is an employee that:
- Works for your company 24/7 without ever taking a break
- Is a constant advertisement that drives customers to your business and brings in sales
- Can be everywhere, all the time
- Will never quit on you!
Best of all, your website “employee” becomes cheaper the longer you have it. Let’s say, for example, you pay $20,000 for your website. That means after 2 years, you have paid your website “employee” $10,000 per year. That’s an hourly wage of $1.14! And that’s assuming your “employee” has brought in zero revenue to pay for itself. No organization will find an actual employee that would be willing to work the way your website will, let alone work for that hourly rate.
What will I gain if I pay for a professional design?
I like to compare cheap website design to a used car. Anyone can have a car for $500, but how far will it get you before you pour more money into fixing it? What do you gain from buying a new car? It lasts longer, maintenance is almost null, and you gain a reputation. The fact is, the majority of people research a product or service online before committing to buy, and if your business has an ugly, $500 “used car” website, your reputation could suffer as being cheap and outdated. Having just any website is not better than having none at all. It’s better to build customers’ anticipation over a new, upcoming website than to risk disappointing them and losing their trust with a cheap one. Besides, if someone told you that by spending $15,000 now would gain you 4 times that amount in a year, wouldn’t it make sense?
Do I really need that?
Be watchful of those agencies that try to sell or quote you much more than what you need. If you’re a blogger, you likely won’t require your website to support e-commerce ability. A red flag should go up if the agency is not willing to work with you. This is a sign they’re selling the same package to all clients. Everyone’s project is different, so the quote you obtain should include only what you need, nothing you don’t (unless of course the agency makes recommendations based on your best interests). Most of the time, you can opt out of a premium feature for your website which will lower the initial cost, then choose to implement it at a later time. WordPress websites are particularly flexible that way.
So, how much does a website cost? Whatever the cost of your company website (and you should expect it to be at least $20,000 dollars), you can be assured that it will quickly pay for itself and its value greatly outweighs the initial investment. The more important question is how much your website is worth to your business, rather than how much does it cost.