As the founder of a web design and SEO company, the first question I get from prospective clients is "how much will it cost for you to design a website for me?" It's easy to understand why this is the most prevalent question. It's not like buying a car, or hiring a landscaper to cut your grass once a week; in these examples you can surf the web to find prices or ask your neighbors what they spend.
A majority of web design companies will usually answer this question by providing a range, eg, "You can expect to pay anywhere from $ 1,000 to $ 10,000 depending on your needs." Sometimes they'll follow this up with "We can design a website to fit your budget." The latter response often scares a perspective client; they fear that if s / he provides a figure s / he may end up overpaying.
However, if you are asking how much a website will cost, you are asking the wrong question. When I get asked this question, my response is always the same, "How much value do you feel your website will bring to your business." To determine how much a website will cost, look at what you expect to gain by having a website.
For example, if you own a pizza shop, how much revenue do you expect the website will generate in new business? Chances are the website is not going to generate an extra $ 10,000 a year. The more likely scenario is that the website will help generate an additional $ 500 – $ 1,000 in new business. So how much should you spend on a new website? I would say you should spend $ 500 – $ 1,000 for the new website; probably favoring the lesser amount.
On the contrary, what if want to launch an eCommerce website where you are hoping to sell $ 200,000 of inventory a year? Well if you think spending $ 2,500 for an eCommerce website will yield $ 200k in annual revenue, then you may want to rethink the realities of situation. Think about this logically – if investing $ 2,500 could turn into $ 200k in revenue, do not you think everyone would be doing it?
The other pitfall people tend to fall into when trying to figure out how much a website will cost to ask people they know how much they spend for their website. The problem is that they do not take into account the type of website the other people have as well as the purpose of the website. If you ask someone how much they spend and they tell you $ 400, you may want to dig a little deeper. Is this other person's website literally just there to provide basic contact information and directions to the office? How long ago was the website developed? Does s / he feel the website has benefited him / her?
It's all too common for someone to tell me that s / he spent a few hundred dollars on a website and feel like it was a waste because the website never seemed to yield any business. This goes back to identifying the potential value of the website first and creating a budget that is in direct proportion to this value. If your budget was well below the potential value of the website, this could be the root cause why it never yielded you new business.
I had a meeting once with a doctor who has a "concierge" medical practice. This is a practice where patients pay an upfront fee out of pocket; This fee then provides patients with a guaranteed same-day or next-day appointment when they are sick, the doctor's cell phone number, and the actual time spent with the doctor is between a half-hour to a full hour.
For this particular doctor, each new patient pays $ 1,200 a year to the medical practice. After some discussions, we determined that the website could conservatively yield two new patients a month. This represents a potential $ 28,800 a year in "concierge" fees; and this does not include the revenue from the patient's insurance for the actual doctor's visit, lab tests, etc.
So how much would this doctor spend on a website? Unfortunately he had friend who spent $ 1,000 on a website, so that was the budget he felt he should spend. The friend's website was not related to his business in any way, but he lost focus on the value.
I had to respectfully dismiss the opportunity because I knew that for $ 1,000, I could not produce a website that would meet his expectations and in all probability would have not yielded one new patient.
As a side note, the aforementioned meeting took place six months ago and the doctor has yet to launch his website. My guess is that he is still looking for someone who can design a professional website that clearly delivers a very unique marketing message, all for $ 1,000.
So if you have a business and think it's time to launch a company website, do not spend time getting quotes from web design companies to figure out how much the new site is going to cost you. First, determine the value the website will bring you and your business. Once you have done this, then it is time to get prices from various designers.
A good web design company will learn about your business first and work with you to create a proposal that is inline with the value the site will bring. You may find that buying a $ 20 predesigned template and hosting it for $ 4 / month is inline with the importance of the website. By determining the value first, it will help protect you spending too much or too little on your website.