Let’s Stay On Budget
A Crash Course In How To Get Your Site Built Right
How Much Will It Cost?
The bottom line is that any agency needs at least some basic information in order to set a quote. But don’t worry. In most cases a quote is free. I can say that we can build very basic starter sites for as low as $699 plus hosting (and if you’re a ‘Micro-business’ just starting out, we’ll work out a payment arrangement to help you get going – we’ve been there). Most sites probably run between $1500 and $4500 for a more advanced end product. Highly advanced sites, (running a government agency or a Forbes 500 corporation) can run up to five and six figures. This includes much more than just the basic site. Things like custom advanced video, graphic and written content production, hosting, ecommerce, membership management, photoshoots, image processing, logo production and a great deal else.
The Good News
How much your web development project costs is largely up to you. Here are some factors that will effect the end cost.
Custom vs Pre-coded
Websites are built of code, but before a single byte of code is written, you need a good design. If you’re building a very large or complex site with very particular design details, you may prefer to pay the money up front and get a site custom coded from the ground up. For large corporations which may have 100’s, even 1000’s of pages on their site, this is likely the way to go.
Building on a framework can save money. A lot of money.
Alternatively you can have your site built on a framework of pre-built code. For literally tens of millions of sites around the world, this is the chosen method.
A great deal of the underlying code on most sites is relatively similar. After all, most sites include a navigation section, titles, main content and images, etc. Building on a framework can save money. A lot of money.
A key component of every site is the content. That most often amounts to written text and images. Can you provide quality content or will you need that provided?
There are certain requirements for images to function correctly and look good on a site. You should discuss this with your developer. It may be worth hiring a professional photographer. Alternately stock images can be bought online at a very reasonable price as well. Depending on your needs, your developer may be able to find suitable images available for no charge. I have done this for clients.
As for the written content, if you’re not a great writer, then it may be worth paying someone who is. The cost is generally nominal.
Quantity of Content
A certain amount of content is expected for all sites, but if you have a large quantity of extra content that you need to have placed on the site, this can naturally add to the cost. As we all know, if it takes more time, it will cost more money. Conversely you may be able to enter data, or upload photos to your portfolio yourself with a little training.
Content Management System
Ok, what the heck is a content management system. Well, you’ve probably heard of WordPress. WordPress is huge and the most successful CMS out there. They power over 75 million websites. Warning: There are plenty of people who think they know WordPress, or think that “WordPress is easy”. Competent WordPress Developers get a lot of work cleaning up after them.
A content management system is a platform from which to manage your website. It’s kind of like Windows on a PC. Without it, you’re staring directly at the code that built the site. Building on a CMS brings with it advantages.
First off, if you change web developers or agencies for any reason, finding someone who’s trained in WordPress will be much easier and likely less costly than finding someone to hand code someone else’s work.
Also, if you want to keep costs down and do your own web maintenance after it’s built, you can learn some fundamentals that will allow you to do that without becoming a coder. We can give you that training if you want it.
I think that the most costly part of site development can come from poor planning and design, as well as people changing their minds midstream on small (or large) details. While it is important that a site look good, and effectively brand the business, a good thought to keep in mind that may save you money is “profit over pretty”. This simply means that when considering a revision, ask yourself whether you think the change will cause the site to produce more profit or whether someone just thought they would “like the way it looked better.” Time is money and changes take time.
This one probably goes without saying but we will anyway just to be thorough.
If what you need is a simple brochure site with 4 or 5 pages, somewhere people can go to get more info about you and your business, and to reinforce your brand, then your budget doesn’t need to be very big.
When you start to add to this, naturally you will add to the cost. Think about what else you need. For example:
- eCommerce: Are you planning on selling products or services directly from your site?
- Membership site: Are you running or setting up a business where people will have accounts, need to sign up and have access to areas of the website beyond the basics?
- Portfolio: A basic portfolio (catalog of images) can be arranged fairly easily, but can also get complex. What are your needs here?
- What will happen after your site is built? Do you have product listings that will be sold and replaced, like a realtor for example? You may have to consider paying for training for yourself or a staff member to do updates and regular changes. Otherwise you will need to budget for out-sourced updates and content management.
- Will you have a blog? Who will create the content and deploy it?
- Bells and whistles: Want some custom video’s shot? Have you seen some special effect on a site that you can’t live without?
Remember, We’re Here To Help
We love building websites, big or small!
What do you need? How can we help? Let us know.
For answers to your questions or a detailed quote, contact us. We’re more than happy to assist in any way we can and thanks again for considering Origins Creative.