What's a Fair Price for a Business Website?
That's a good question. In fact, it's often the very first thing business owners and marketers want to know.
Let's begin by putting two things right up front. First, it's completely reasonable to ask about cost. After all, none of us can afford to write blank checks. And secondly, there really isn't a ready answer… at least until we have a few details sorted out so we can determine project scope.
That shouldn't surprise you. A website is a bit like a house, or an automobile, in that they come in all kinds of different sizes, types, and performance levels. There are very few "apples-to-apples" comparisons. Would you expect to spend the same amount on your website as a multimillion-dollar online store would? What about a retiree creating a blog for her grandkids?
You get the point – every website is different. With that in mind, here are some of the things to consider when looking at different quotes and proposals for a business web site:
1. The size and complexity of the project.
The more content pages, landing pages, custom images, and interactive tools your site needs to meet its objectives, the more you can expect to pay for the finished product. Don't forget about the state of your current web site... what pages will remain, be deleted, require redirects...?
2. Whether or not you need e-commerce or an application.
E-commerce features tend to add to the cost, and for good reason. Not only are there payment processing, shopping cart, and inventory systems to think of, but you want a platform that incorporates the highest security with advanced marketing features such as visitor tracking, thank you pages, and closed cart responders. And any site that has an application on it can step up the technical requirements big time (think secure logins, member-only areas, financial calcuators, etc.)
3. How often you'll be changing your website in the future.
Some companies envision very little in the way of future updates to their presence-style website, while most others foresee changes or additions to content, pricing, etc on a regular basis. Frequent changes can often call for content management systems and other tools, which often permit your trained staff to login and edit content more economically than if you hired a developer to do it (not to mention time savings).
4. Whether updates, technical support, and online marketing are included.
It can be tempting to skip on online marketing services to reduce the cost of your business website, but there will come a day in the future where you'll certainly want to have all the help you can get keeping your site secure, online, and profitable – after all, you have other things to do – like run your business and service your customers.
5. Where the content for your new website will be coming from.
Are you writing the pages for your new site, taking all the pictures, and generating graphics? Each of these elements can affect the cost of your site, but having them professionally done is a good way to make a significantly stronger credibility and marketing impact.
Also keep in mind that you have to factor in the experience and reputation of your web firm. It shouldn't come as a shock that an experienced creative and marketing team is going to cost more than a group of interns trying to get their first paid project.
Here are some bottom-line business website pricing guidelines:
- The lowest-end website template companies are generally going to charge between $500 and $1,000, and you can expect to get exactly what you paid for (which honestly isn't much).
- A truy business-oriented website for a small to medium-sized business, designed and coded by a team of experienced professionals, will likely cost you between $8,000-$25,000, depending on the size of your site and features needed. For that fee range, you'll also likely get technical support, a basic online marketing plan, and a runningstart on what you need to make your new website succeed.
- For larger businesses, and those needing advanced features, $25,000 and up isn't uncommon.
Remember that, in the end, it's all about long-term value – what you're going to get from your new business website – more than it is the exact price you pay. If what you get helps you grow your business, shrink your expenses, and introduce your products to a wider base of customers, then you've probably gotten a good deal, even if it cost you a couple thousand dollars more.
When choosing a web design team, keep in mind that it's always smart to buy quality and knowledge, and that the best decisions tend to make good bottom-line sense at any price.
Want to get a great value in business web design? Talk to our team about updating your website presence today.
Don't forget to follow Mark (@MarkAtKayak) and Randy (@Kayak360) on Twitter and connect with Randy in Google+.
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