Why is it so difficult to find out how much a custom website costs online? Because every website is unique—therefore the costs that go into building each site will vary. Understanding what those costs are will help in estimating an appropriate cost for your website. This series of articles will help you learn what goes into building a powerful marketing website (and the typical prices you can expect) so you can make informed decisions when shopping for someone to build your website.
This article is part of our continuing series on explaining web technology and marketing in “Plain English”.
There is no such thing as a typical cost of a business website. But there is a range.
Let’s end your pain right here and give you the quick-and-dirty answer: Websites can cost between $5,000 to $500,000 to seven or eight figures. Now that’s out of the way, what will it cost YOUR business to build one?—we’re talking about business websites, afterall. Right? Well, that is what this series will attempt to help you understand—and provide you with your answer. My hope is, by the end of this series, you would understand the various costs involved in developing an effective, brand-driven web marketing presence.
Here at Talino Design, perhaps more than any question we’ve been asked, “How much does web development cost?” ranks the highest. A quick search on Google and Bing doesn’t produce many good answers either. Sure there are a few mentions, but little that is comprehensive enough to make a decision with. So we decided to answer that question here.
The answer is simple. It is a range: from $5,000 to millions of dollars. Keep in mind that these are costs to implement. Other costs to consider are monthly costs to create new content, add functionality, and maintain the site in general. Costs will generally be proportional to the size of your business (basically, a good portion of your marketing budget as a percentage (typically from 10-12% upwards) of your revenue).
The costs are proportional to what your marketing requirements will be. We explore the rationale for these costs later in this series. What is important to note at this point, is that these costs are what an experienced professional will typically charge. For medium and large companies, this is what it takes to create a web marketing team in-house. When you factor in salaries, office equipment, rent, and sundries, it begins to make sense. This is the reason why having an outside web-developer makes sense for a smaller business. While the cost might seem to you as outrageous, the resulting product (if you hire a good firm) will be a quality one—with the expectation that it will help increase your revenue. This is a website that is custom-designed to your needs and will benefit your business over the next 5 years.
Often forgotten are maintenance costs. The cost ranges I've listed above are IMPLEMENTATION COSTS—or the costs to build your website. A website should be a dynamic ever-evolving thing. Unless you plan to write all the content, take all the pictures, and make updates to your website, then you'll have to hire people to do it for you. And you guessed it, this is also dependent upon the complexity of your site. For example, if you run a fashion-oriented site, then a great portion of your site budget will include costs for fashion photography. So, budget a monthly maintenance fee of $50 upwards to $25,000 or so, depending upon the size of your business, your marketing team, and your needs. If you're a small business, look to spend an average of $100-$1500 per month.
Yes. IF you find the right developer.
At the end of the day, remember that your web presence must promote your business, and inform your clients why you're valuable, unique, and important. There is a lot riding on the first impression of a website. It should capture a potential customer's imagination and captivate them enough to make that crucial first contact. If your team can pull this off (on the cheap), then your website will attract more clients and raise your revenue. If it fails in this regard, then it will turn clients away (and with it some revenue).
If you want to know more about why you need a web marketing system—and not just a website, read on.
Part 3: How A Web Marketing System Can Help Increase Your Revenue... read more.
Part 4: What You Need To Build A Web Marketing System
Part 5: A Summary of Your Costs