How much does a Website Cost?

Learning Academy

One of the first questions that comes to most people when considering purchasing and item is:

“How much does it cost?”

When dealing with websites the answer is not simple and depends on many factors. Websites also have an initial upfront cost which deals with the designing and building of the website, and then the recurring ongoing cost which deals with the hosting, maintenance, licenses, marketing, and many other expenses.

The first thing a business owner must realize is that a website should not be considered an expense, but an investment.

Women watering a bag of money which is then growing.
Your Investment will Increase your Revenue and Profits

If designed, developed, and managed by an experienced digital agency or freelancer, a website will NOT be taking more resources from your business than it is contributing. In most cases the cost of designing, building, managing, and marketing a website will be recouped in a reasonable amount of time and soon be over shadowed by the increase in revenue your business will receive. Most businesses find that their website becomes their number one sales person.

No one business is exactly the same, therefore no one website is exactly the same. You cannot arbitrarily assign a cost to designing and building a website. A discovery period is needed. A designer needs to get to know your goals, business, audience, and competition so a marketing strategy can be developed and then an overview of your website can be created, followed by the layout for each page. At this point the building and styling of your website will commence. If you want your website to have the best chance of success and bring in lots of business, there is a lot of work to do before creating the content and styling web pages.

Cheap Websites will do your Business more Harm than Good

Showing person at a laptop sitting at a table getting bad feedback online about their website.
Poor Website Experience Equals Bad Reviews

There is a lot of strategy and time that goes into designing (or redesigning) a successful website. You will find large multinational businesses like GoDaddy and small local businesses advertising website builds for as low as a few hundred dollars. These businesses do not consider quality and take the absolute fastest approach to building a website. They either are an automated solution, or a prebuilt solution that may have someone spend a couple of hours on the project tweaking a predefined design or selecting your templates from a prebuilt library.

You will have no help with content creation and be expected to fit the content within the basic uninspiring layouts they give you. The design may get tweaked slightly but still will probably not match up very well with your businesses current brand and style.

Even cheaper solutions will forgo any help at all with the expectation that you install the website and handle all changes yourself.

With these solutions there is absolutely zero marketing strategy involved and the themes and templates used, are reused on hundreds of other sites with very little styling changes. You are getting a cookie cutter website that will not standout at all.

These websites also lack Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and accessibility considerations. This means that while your website may be found in search engines like Google, your site will be ranked many pages deep for almost all search terms and phrases related to your business. This means means virtually zero traffic to your website.

Your business online presence is such an important part of sales, in today’s technology driven world. You will be doing a great disservice to your business by not taking your website seriously.

Designing and building a successful custom website comes down to a solid process. We have mapped out all Phases, Milestones and Tasks of our process which includes a series of checklists to ensure every step is thought out and completed. This means the website being built has a solid foundation which greatly reduces the chances of problems emerging down the road. This is also important for features like SEO and accessibility since if they are not incorporated into the site in the beginning, it can be much more difficult and time consuming to do it later.

How much does a Custom Business Website Cost?

We find a typical custom business website costs between $4,000 and $8,000 depending on the number of pages and custom images included, integration’s involved, and the complexity of the functionality. To get a general idea you should check out our Design Pricing Section. This breaks out the cost of a website based on a number of factors, including number of pages, custom images, and general functionality. For an actual range based on your specific project, please fill in our Design Inquiry Form as detailed as you can. Once we have this information which gives us some insight to what your goals are and the overall scope of the project, we will contact you to schedule a Discovery Meeting.

During the meeting we will ask more questions about your project and let you known a starting price range. Likewise you will ask us any questions you may have. This consultation meeting helps each of us to determine if the other is up for the challenge of the project and to make sure it is successful.

Please note that our Design Pricing Section does assume you will be writing your own content (with guidance from us of course). If this is not something you want to do, or have time to do, then a copywriter will have to be hired at an additional cost.

Okay the Website is Built, how much does it Cost to Maintain it?

This depends on a number of factors including (but not limited to):

  • The complexity of the website
  • How much traffic the site receives
  • If there is an ecommerce component (can increase the cost substantially)
  • If any, how many 30 minute monthly tasks are included

In general most small business websites will cost between $125 and $275 per month all in. To get a more detailed explanation of what is included you can check out our Maintain Pricing Section. There is a lot of value packed into these Maintenance Care Plans and ensures your investment will be well taken care of.

If you want an actual quote, please contact us using our Maintain Inquiry Form. We will give you an estimated price during the Discovery Meeting. Before writing up a proposal we will need to do a detailed audit of your website to see exactly what is involved with your website and if any work is needed to bring the software up to date and fit within our workflow. In most cases a setup fee will be charged.

Please note that our Maintenance Care Plans do not usually contain any ongoing marketing services unless you choose to use your monthly task blocks for this. Ongoing marketing services are usually done separately.

Lets Market our Website and bring in more Traffic, how much does that Cost?

Website marketing is usually a recurring cost and can vary widely on what is being done. Online marketing can included:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
    The process of optimizing a website in order to get traffic from organic search results. This can be a one time cost
  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM)
    Marketing strategy that uses paid tactics like paying for ads in search engines (called Pay-Per-Click or PPC) to gain visibility in the search engine result pages
  • Content Marketing
    Creating relevant content for your target audience. This content answers user questions, builds user trust, and guides users to purchase. Can be brand related and is optimized for SEO. Professional Copywriters can be hired to produce the content or it can be written in house
  • Social Media Marketing
    Increasing your company’s brand awareness via platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. This can include creating content for your social media accounts as well as paid advertising
  • Email Marketing
    Directs users via on topic content sent through emails to take action, whether by viewing your website, contacting your company, or visiting your store

Some larger companies on 1 or more of these strategies can spend over $20,000 a month. For small businesses the scope is far less but can still get expensive depending on the goals you are trying to accomplish. With some marketing strategies like SEM it is easier to measure the success of the campaign since you have a lot of analytics data which you can use to figure out how many products you sold or services rendered with the ads. Other marketing strategies are more long term and harder to quantify directly. With small business, most marketing campaigns range in price from $100 to $2,000 a month.

We are currently developing our marketing services and packages so we don’t have our price page setup for it. When we do we will add our range of prices here. If you are curious to find out more now and would like to get an early start on a marketing project, please reach out to us for more information.

Are We a Good Match?

An important thing to consider is if our design agency is a good match for your project. Make sure to take a look at our About Us page which goes into detail on how we got started, what are strengths are, and why other businesses choose us to design and maintain their websites. There are attributes we list as well which defines when a project is a good match or not.

2 women on mega phones with 1 shouting Yes and the other shouting No.

About the Author

Tom Homer

Building custom dynamic websites is our specialty. With over 25 years experience in software design and development I have been helping  small businesses invest in their future.

Article Author Tom