How Much Does A Website Cost?
How much does a website cost, one of the most commonly asked questions yet a difficult one to answer unless your provide a fully detailed brief on your needs. All businesses are unique so requirements will vary. The following will answer the basics to the question without going into complex design or internet marketing strategies.
There are four types of website design packages that your can consider.
Number One: Free DIY Services (CMS & eCommerce Websites)
Average Cost: $0 to $400 per month plus 10-50 hours of your time
There are many subscription based DIY web design services that provide you with a template, content management system and design tools. They generally come with a catch where they will advertise on your website though you can choose to upgrade your account which will remove advertisements and provide you with a few additional tools. Upgraded accounts will vary from $30 to $400 per month not include additional services.
You will need to have a lot of free time on your hands as you will be leaning how to use the templating system, possibly need to ask a lot of questions, lean how to prepare images, write all of your sales copy and learn how to refine your final your website so that it has a professional touch. A good understanding of whats new in web design will be crucial so that you end up with a reasonable result.
Free DIY Services are a good way to get started as you get to promote your business and test your ideas. Once you have been able to test the waters and have a reasonable budget, contact a website designer, let them now what you need and have your website professionally built.
Number TWO: HTML Brochure Style Website
Average Cost: $1500 to $3000 for approximately 5-10 pages
HTML Brochure Style websites are the quickest and easiest to build making them the cheapest option available. The reason for this is that there is no shopping cart or content management system added so the total time involved in building the website is cut down by more than 30%. This type if website is good for businesses that don't need to sell products or services online nor do they require access to a content management system where they can regularly manage their own content.
In order for content changes to be done, the website owner will either need to understand how to manipulate HTML and CSS or engage the services of a website designer to apply updates for them. The website designer will normally charge an hourly rate or if you feel that updates will be regular, you can discuss a yearly service agreement where the website designer allocates a few hours per month on maintaining your website, this normally comes at a discounted rate.
Many businesses, small and large prefer to outsource management of their website so that their time is spent on managing their business rather than worrying about updates to their site.
Number Three: Content Managed Brochure Style Website
Average Cost: $3000 to $7000 for approximately 5-10 pages
For businesses that need the ability to regularly edit their website, a Content Management System or CMS will be the best solution. CMS's come with an administration section where you can login by entering a user name and password, find the page you want to edit, make your changes, save and you are done. The website designer will normally provide you with in-house training and if you have a service agreement, they can apply changes on your behalf. Content Management Systems will cost more than a HTML website as they take much longer to build.
Number Four: eCommerce Website (Shopping Carts)
Average Cost: $5000 to $10000
Businesses that want to sell their products or services online will need to consider using an eCommerce system or shopping cart. There are thousands available and all will be trying to grab your attention, many good and many bad so it's important to do your research.
Ensure that you choose an eCommerce framework that has all of the features that you need and check that it allows for future growth. Many business owners are not tech savvy and just want a website to sell items with but don't take into consideration what their needs will be 3, 6 to 12 months from the launch date. Have a good look at other websites and ask your developer if the system they are suggesting has the option to add-on new features at a later date and ask what the costs may be. Picking the cheapest eCommerce framework can lead to re-building your website a second time costing you thousands.
Always get 2-3 quotes and ask each developer why their quote is best, get them to have a look at other quotes that you have received so that a comparison can be made.
Other Ongoing Fees
Depending on the type of website that you have chosen, you should only be charged on-going fees for additional work that needs to be done with your website. Once your website is completed the website designer will charge you for any additional changes to your website. If you are using a static brochure style HTML website then the costs would be associated to keeping your website updated, this is generally charged by the hour and you can always ask what it will cost before any work is done. CMS and eCommerce websites should not come with on-going fees unless you are asking for changes to be done.
There are some CMS and eCommerce systems that charge you a monthly fee to use their systems, if this is the case it's best to shop around and make sure that the service is the best solution for you as most Open Source Systems, CMS or eCommerce do not come with on-going or monthly fees.
As with anything that you buy, no matter whether it be a car, phone, fridge or website, you only get what you pay for, so if you are looking for a cheap website, you will end up with a cheap website. All or most website designers and developers can offer you both low and high end solutions, so it's best to ask lots of questions and ask your website designer to show examples of websites that they have built. If you have been quoted $5,000 for your project, ask the website designer to show examples of a $5,000 website, this will help you to understand what you will be getting and will allow you to make an informed decision. In many cases, a $500 website can end up costing $5000 by the time you get what you want. Knowing what you want and understanding what you will get before handing over a deposit will save you a lot of time and money. We hope that this article helps, all the best with your project.
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