How much should a website cost? 4 Ways!
In an industry that is forever changing and reinventing itself, asking how much a website should cost is like walking into Toyota and asking how much a car costs. There are alot of variables and considerations before any prices can be discussed.
Having said that, the web industry is also a highly unregulated industry with actual qualifications few and far between (which may not be a bad thing) but it just makes it harder to tell the professionals from the phoneys!
Most people don’t really understand that a website isn’t just a website – it’s a service
To give you an example, we had a client call us up for a quote a few weeks ago and asked us how much an ordinary website should cost. After asking a few basic questions we discovered she was looking for a simple 10-15 page website with her services and contact details and wanted to be able to update her website when needed. She had received 3 quotes from 3 other web companies with prices ranging from $600 all the way up to $6,000! Understandably, she was a little confused and didn’t really know which company to choose.
Let’s break this down, shall we? But before we do, please keep in mind, this example is for a 10-15 page average information website.
The $600 Company
The $600 company always offers a super cheap start-up price to get customers in the door. It always seems like the cheapest option but when you dig a little deeper, you will usually find everything is an “add-on extra”. You want a contact form…? That’s an extra. You want a Google Map? That’s an extra. You want a sliding image banner? Yep, you guessed it.. That’s an extra! And that’s not the only extra. Many of these companies sting you with hosting every month after the website is built. The initial website might only cost you $600 but generally you have to sign up for hosting with that same company and that’s where they make up the money for the “cheap” website. You pick from a variety of “out of the box” templates and that’s that – you’re all done and let’s launch the website. Just remember, it’s not always what it seems..
The $1200 Company
The $1200 company is usually a bit more expensive than the $600 company but might come in cheaper than the $2500 company so it does look like a good, safe option… and it very well might be but let’s discuss your inclusions. Is the website going to be built on a CMS (Content Management System) platform so you can login and update things when you need? What platform is it being built on? There are still alot of companies out there who build websites on what we call Propriety Content Management Systems, which means the company has developed their own platform and all their websites are locked into this system. Is this good or bad? Well, it can be both.. Some web companies have fantastic Propriety CMS platforms and they work constantly to provide updates and improvements but there are alot of companies who don’t and this is where you can come unstuck. You can fork out your $1200 (and some) for your website only to find out the CMS platform isn’t all that it’s cracked up to be and the functionality isn’t of a high standard. So what now? Nine times out of ten, you will have to pay them to release your website and then pay another developer to try and get the website rebuilt on a universal platform such as WordPress or Joomla. Generally, you still choose from a selection of templates with limited changes or customisation, you just have to fit into their parameters, like it or pay more!! In conclusion, do your homework and reconsider your budget if you need to!
The $2500 Company
The $2500 company is generally your best bet in terms of an informational website (unless you don’t mind cheap and nasty). Most people don’t really understand that a website isn’t just a website – it’s a service that is being provided and the website process can be quite confusing and daunting for a first timer. The $2500 company is usually the company who will provide you with a high level of service alongside your new website being created, guiding you through each stage, offering support and even providing website training upon completion. This is usually an all inclusive cost where they manage your domain, hosting, emails and website all in one. So you see, sometimes what seems to be the higher end of the cost scale can actually work out to be the same if not cheaper in terms of what you are receiving. The $2500 company usually build on universal CMS platforms such as WordPress, Joomla, BigCommerce and Magento which is why they can keep the costs down whilst providing an extensive service. Many of these companies will still base the website on a template or theme layout, but customisation is usually included in your cost so your website won’t look like 100 other websites and will still be branded to look like your business rather than a template (most people won’t even know the difference). And the biggest benefit? If you decide you don’t want to deal with that company any more, your website is built on a universal platform so you can take it to any other web company or web developer and they can easily make changes or updates without you having to fork out large sums of money. But again, remember to do your research and make sure this is what you are getting from the $2500 company.
The $6000 Company
The $6000 company can be a tricky one to figure out as websites these days aren’t really costing this much (unless they are an e-commerce or custom designed site). First of all, make sure the $6000 company hasn’t quoted you for a custom designed site as these include alot of design hours which can be expensive and in most cases unnecessary unless you have specific needs or requirements for your website and where things should be placed. Secondly, if they are quoting on all the same parameters as the $2500 company, then you might need to rethink your choice. For professional service businesses, websites can usually be based on a template layout because they are only information based so they shouldn’t be up in the high cost websites range. If still in doubt, maybe ask an outside company to compare the quotes for you and make sure they are comparable.
The web industry is a highly unregulated industry with qualifications few and far between…
So as you can see, there are alot of factors that come into play when costing a website and the average person wouldn’t understand or be able to compare the differences between all these different companies but there are always quite significant differences in what you will receive from each. Some other useful tips would be to ask to see some recent websites this company has built, or check up on their credibility – what is their website like? Do they frequently update their own website. If a company practices what they preach, they are generally reliable and trust worthy to get the job done and completed in time!
As the owner of a Graphic and Web Design Company in Miranda, Sutherland Shire, I see many people who have been burnt by unreliable and untrustworthy website companies in our industry. As mentioned earlier, it is a highly unregulated industry and therefore any average Joe can claim to be a professional website designer or developer and charge whatever they like. I always stress to anyone I give advice to, do your research before making a decision, trust your gut and make sure you obtain ALL your logins and passwords in the case of the relationship turning sour.
For more advice please contact us at [email protected]
or call 0414783677
April 8, 2019
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January 15, 2018