How much does a website cost?
Below is in an article written by execustionists.com a leading web design agency based in Marina Del Rey, CA. These numbers do not reflect the costs of having Jetmedia NC design a website for you. However, it does cover a lot of what goes into a design and what the market value is for a professional web presence from a leading agency.
Business owners are obviously confused by the wide difference in cost estimates provided by web development agencies, ranging widely from as little as $4,000 to over $100,000. For 2016, we are going to take a more interactive approach to help answer the website cost riddle.
In ALL our estimates below we assume the following:
Estimates are based on our hourly rate.
Estimates include planning, design, programming, marketing setup and launch.
All new websites will be mobile/tablet-responsive.
All our websites are built in a CMS framework to empower non-technical staff to edit most content themselves.
Clients will provide all text content (body copy, product/ team images).
In order to better help you figure out your options and potential costs, we need to identify who you are and what you need. Please click on the description below that best describes your situation and we’ll jump you down the page for more personalized advice.
Frequently asked questions and concerns
I need a new small business website to sell a few products or to promote my services. This is my first real website.
I need to improve my existing small business website to be more effective.
I work for a medium-sized business in marketing or online management and we are seeking a web agency to help enhance our existing website.
I am the online manager of a large business and our internal team needs help improving our website and enhancing our brand.
I want to know, what are some of the other associated costs for websites?
Before we move on we want to throw a few more definitions at you: custom databases, and 3rd-party integration
Custom Database: All the websites we create use a database to hold your content so it can be displayed on your website pages. For these estimates we are assuming you need an out-of-the-box database and don’t require any special customizations of a standard database.
3rd-party Integrations: A “3rd-party” is any outside application or service you need to include within your website. We do include Google Analytics and some standard plug-ins in our estimates but we do not include integrating outside applications such as ERP systems and other complex outside services.
Costs for first-time websites:
Our definition of “small business, first-time website” is a website consisting of up to five main sections with the total pages not to exceed 10. There is no need for custom plug-ins or databases. For e-commerce websites, we would use PayPal or a hosted cart solution like Shopify, there are no 3rd-party integration’s.
If this is your first website you have the greatest potential to fail – but don’t panic yet. Typically, a website budget is determined by the estimated number of hours required to design and build it. Website developers have different rates depending on their overhead. An offshore web company may charge anywhere from $10 – $40/hr while an established US web agency may charge between $60 – $200/hr or more. You may find a solo web developer in the US charging between $25 – $100/hr.
Successful website design leverages several distinct disciplines (marketing, user experience design, visual design, programming, and project management) and these are very hard to find in one person. With offshore agencies, communication can be a real challenge: Do they understand your business goals? Do their design sensibilities match your market? Do they understand your instructions? The time difference can prove a difficulty as well.
When hiring a professional agency, you should write up a requirements document for all the candidate agencies to reference in their proposals, so you are comparing apples to apples. This document doesn’t have to be too complex (a page or so in length will do), but it should describe what kind of website you want, what types of pages you want (News, Contact, Services, etc.), desired functionality, and your business goals for the website. It’s also helpful to provide examples of websites you like. Download our Client Questionnaire to begin formulating your Requirements document.
If you have a “startup” business and your business concept combines features from popular sites like Google, eBay, Facebook, YouTube, Kayak, Uber, Match, etc., then you must carefully define your website. The popular sites listed above spent millions of dollars perfecting and maintaining their core applications. Sure, there are pre-built, open-source “clones” of popular websites that can be purchased and modified but be forewarned – these are mere shadows of the originals. This underscores the importance of a website Requirements document based on a solid business plan.
If your startup business only requires an informational website or is selling a few simple products, we can work with you to make sure the website you envision will accomplish your business goals and create a strong brand.
So how much will my website cost? Here’s our breakdown for the website described above:
Planning – $0 – $600
UX (sitemap, wireframes) – $0 – $1200
Visual Design – $1,200 – $2,400
Programming – $3,000 – $4,800
Content Support – $240 – $600
Client Training / Documentation – $240 – $600
Testing and Launch – $960 – $1200
Total Cost: $5,640 – $11,400 *and up, depending on Requirements
This also assumes a short, streamlined approval process without too many revisions or additional requests thrown in there. Programming for e-commerce or complex websites will be more time intensive and could increase costs substantially. Post-launch we definitely recommend a minimum of $500 per month for ongoing, proactive marketing efforts and SEO.
Small business website redesigns
If you have an existing website, you are in a good position to improve your online presence with a redesign and the addition of functionality to keep you competitive. Since you already have a website and some knowledge of its effectiveness, we can leverage that experience and your new website will be much more effective at meeting your business goals.
Our definition of “small business website” is a website consisting of up to seven main sections with the total pages not to exceed 20. There is no need for custom plug-ins or databases. For e-commerce websites, we would use PayPal or a hosted cart solution like Shopify, there are no 3rd-party integrations. If you need any of this explained, please contact us.
90% of our redesign projects require a complete new programming effort. Web standards change frequently and websites that are over two years old will likely need a newer framework that supports newer functionality and design specs, such as wider pages, mobile-responsive design (tablet & phone) and the latest plug-ins. If we don’t need to rebuild your website then you can deduct about 50% from the estimates below. In order to get relevant estimates, you should prepare a Requirements document so that everyone is bidding on the same requirements. This document doesn’t have to be too complex but it should describe what enhancements you want and any new website content or business goals. Based on this document and your existing website, a web agency should be able to generate a reasonable estimate.
So how much will my website cost? Here’s our breakdown for a simple website redesign with no custom database or 3rd-party integrations:
Planning – $600 – $1200
UX (sitemap, wireframes) – $0 – $600
Visual Design – $960 – $2400
Programming – $3000- $7200
Content Support – $240 – $600
Client Training / Documentation – $0 – $600
Testing and Launch – $960 – $1200
Total Cost: $5,760 – $13,800 *and up, depending on Requirements
Post-launch we definitely recommend a minimum of $500 per month for ongoing, proactive marketing efforts.
Mid-size business website enhancements
For this article our definition of “mid-size business website” is a website consisting of up to seven main sections with the total pages not to exceed 30 (except in the case of e-commerce). There is no need for custom plug-ins or databases. 3rd-party integration is minimal. For e-commerce websites, we would use a hosted cart solution like Shopify or an e-commerce extension like WooCommerce. If you need any of this explained, please contact us.
If you are the marketing or website manager in your company and you have been tasked with upgrading your website then you know how important it is to have an online partner you can work with to achieve your business goals. We talk with many companies who lost their website support person and are searching for a reliable agency to enhance and maintain their online presence. If you need enhancements to your current website we first have to see if your existing website framework can be modified to achieve your goals. These days, most business owners want their website to be mobile-responsive (tablet/phone) and unfortunately this can only be accomplished by rebuilding the whole website. In a perfect world, we can migrate the current database into a newer, responsive framework this will reduce the costs, especially if the website structure is relatively unchanged.
If the website is already mobile responsive or the current desktop version will suffice, then businesses are usually looking for ways to enhance their websites with a design/brand refresh, add new content and/or improve conversions. These efforts can often be successful if there is proper planning. If we don’t need to rebuild your website then you can deduct about 50% from the estimates below. Our process is very flexible and we are happy to work with our client’s preferred designer or marketing agency if desired. We also have monthly retainers that provide a discounted cost for a minimum number of hours each month.
Conversion of a mid-size website to out-of-the-box, mobile-responsive website with no major additional enhancements:
Planning / UX (sitemap, wireframes) – $600 – $ 2400
Visual Design – $1200 – $2400 (some visual design elements will need to be modified due to mobile responsive specifications)
Programming – $3800 – $4800 (for smaller websites)
Programming – $4800 – $9600 (for larger websites)
Content Support/ Migration – $600 – $1200
Client Training / Documentation – $0 – $600
Testing and Launch – $960 – $2,400
Total Cost: $7,160 – $13,800 for smaller websites *and up, depending on Requirements
Total Cost: $8,160 – $18,600 for larger websites *and up, depending on Requirements
Large-size business website enhancements
For this article our definition of “large-size business website” is a website consisting of up to eight main sections with the total pages not to exceed 40 (except in the case of e-commerce). There is no need for custom plug-ins or databases. 3rd-party integrations are minimal. For e-commerce websites, we could use an e-commerce solution like Magento CE or WooCommerce, no ERP integrations. If you need any of this explained, please contact us.
If you are the marketing or website manager in a larger business and you have been tasked with upgrading or enhancing your website then you know how important it is to have a reliable, full-service, online partner. We talk with many companies who want to outsource their website design and maintenance tasks because their internal team is too busy or not up-to-date with contemporary web trends and standards.
Larger companies with multiple branches or divisions typically have more complex websites with multiple sections and sub-sections of content. This means that the database and page templates can require more effort to build. If you need website enhancements, we need to determine if your existing website framework can be modified to achieve your goals. These days, most business owners want their website to be mobile-responsive. In most cases, we can only implement this functionality by rebuilding the website using newer framework. In a perfect scenario, we would be able to migrate the current database into a newer, responsive framework. If that’s possible, it will help to reduce the costs, especially if we’re not radically modifying website structure in the new version.
If the website is already mobile responsive or the current desktop version will suffice, then businesses are usually looking for ways to enhance their websites with a design refresh, add new content and/or improve conversions. These efforts can be successful if there is proper planning and adherence to the company style guide and coding best-practices. If we don’t need to rebuild your website then you can deduct about 50% from the estimates below. Our process is also very flexible and we are happy to work with our client’s preferred designer, marketing agency and internal tech team, if desired.
Large website conversions to an out-of-the-box, mobile-responsive website with no additional enhancements:
Planning / UX – $1,200 – $2,400 *and up
Visual Design – $2,400 – $3,600 (some visual design elements will need to be modified due to mobile responsive specifications)
Content Support/ Migration – $600 – $1800
Programming – $7,500 – $15,500
Client Training / Documentation – $600 – $1800
Testing and Launch – $2,400 – $4,800
Total Cost: $14,700 – $29,900 *and up, depending on Requirements
Other Website Components and Costs
Besides the main cost of designing and building a website, there are other costs that can impact your budget during development and on an ongoing maintenance basis. Following is a list of those associated costs.
Domain name – $10/year (or less)
Hosting – $50 to $100+ a year depending on traffic and hosting services. For example you may want to pay extra for regular website backups and extra security features.
License or cost of plugins: There are thousands of extensions, plugins, widgets, modules and applications that can add great features to your website at a low cost. In the old days we had to build these from scratch. Now it’s a matter of paying a small fee $0 – $300 or annual license $20 – $1,000+ and adding the feature to your website. Keep in mind that these plugins are mini-applications that have versions so at some point the version will “expire” and need to be updated. Updating an expired plugin can be simple as one-click or complex taking many hours of effort. Usually a professional developer will have to upgrade or update your expired plugin.
Continued website maintenance and upgrades: $1,000+ per year, depending on level of support and updates required.
Stock art: Royalty-free stock art photos and graphics can range from $15 – $100+ each depending on license fees and usage.
Marketing Your Website Online / SEO – $750 a month and up to proactively market your website.
This article was written by: www.executionists.com