More often than not when we get approached by a client who is in need of a new website the first question we get asked is, “How much do you think it will cost?” We know that in today’s society everyone likes immediate answers BUT in our world, immediate doesn’t equal accurate.
While we wish we could fire back right away with an answer to the cost question, it’s next to impossible if you’re looking for an accurate number. You are unique and we like to treat you that way because, after-all, no two clients are the same.
You can look at building a website similar to building a home. You wouldn’t be able to simply say to a builder, “I want to build a house. How much will it cost?” and end up with the house of your dreams. A builder needs to know the details – things like the number of bedrooms, square footage, how many stories etc. – before they can throw a number back at you. The same goes for a website. Here at BluFish, we start every website project with a discovery session where we sit down and take time to learn about your needs, your struggles, and the goals you have for your website.
After the discovery session (or two), we can give you an idea of what you will be looking at financially. In our experience, we’ve completed websites that have ranged anywhere from $3,000 to $75,000. Don’t worry, if you’re experiencing a bit of sticker shock, you’re not alone. However, with dozens of websites under our belt (some of which you can view here), we’re experts at offering solutions that meet both the needs and the budget of our clients.
Obviously the $3,000 to $75,000 range is a big one and you might be wondering what can cause such a big difference in cost. Let’s look at some of the most common factors that impact the price tag of your project.
Will your website be based on a stock template?
Using a stock template definitely provides an opportunity for considerable cost savings as these projects typically range anywhere from $1,000 – $10,000. Don’t worry, just because it’s built from a template doesn’t mean it won’t be unique. It simply means that the structure of it is pre-built, but it will still be customized visually to portray an accurate reflection of your brand. Not only can you choose from thousands of templates, but from there we will customize the color scheme, type treatment, images, logos etc. Two great examples of templated websites we’ve done are Puckett Construction and Design Studio East.
This may be a good choice for you if:
- You’re not set on a specific design
- Time is of the essence (you need it done in the least amount of time possible)
- Your website is fairly simple
Are you looking for a site that requires custom design and development?
If you’re looking for a website that is built from the ground up, meaning that it’s totally custom from both a design and development angle (front-end and back-end), then you’re looking at anywhere from $5,000 – $40,000. Custom sites are obviously much more time intensive, but you have more flexibility in the sense that you can get exactly what you want. Choose Marshall and Oaklawn Hospital are two solid examples of custom website projects we’ve recently completed.
This may be a good choice for you if:
- You have very specific things in mind for your website
- You have time to spare (building a custom site does, in fact, take time)
- Your website is more complicated and you don’t want to sacrifice ease of use/performance
Does your website need extra bells and whistles?
If your site needs to include special features like e-commerce, memberships, integration with other software etc. then you can expect a price tag that is somewhere within the $8,000 – $100,000 range.
A few other things to keep in mind:
How much content will need to be entered?
Less doesn’t exactly mean more because content is the basis of search engine optimization (people’s ability to find you online). So don’t take all of your content to the chopping block just because you want to save money. However, if you’re looking at a site that has hundreds of pages of content versus a site with say 20 pages, obviously the latter will be less expensive.
Do you have a lot of information that needs to be transferred to the new site?
Again, similar to what we just mentioned above, if you’re migrating an old site to a new site, the amount of information that needs to be transferred over will impact your cost. A good web designer will make sure that every page on the new site looks just as it should, so it only makes sense that the more pages that need to be reviewed, the more it will cost.
Do you have custom content?
Custom content is anything other than just your basic page/post. Content like events, staff pages, directories, and product listings all require custom coding.
Is this an e-commerce site?
Selling things on your website sounds really simple, but it’s actually much more complicated than you might expect. You will need things like a shop page, product page, checkout process and payment processor just to name a few. Not to mention, a lot of testing goes on in order to make sure the buying experience is a pleasant one for your customers.
How complicated is the design of your website?
Designer clothes are expensive for a reason and a one-of-a-kind website that is a step above the rest is really no different. There’s a level of artistry that goes into creating a site that features superb design elements. Things like custom animations, illustrations, videos, and infographics will cost more than a simple design. So when you’re looking for a site with that extra special touch, be prepared to compensate your designer for that.
Hopefully this breakdown helps provide you with an initial idea of some of the factors that go into the cost of creating a website. As always, we will begin the process by sitting down with you, discussing your current situation, your needs, budget, and the ultimate vision for your website. Then we work with you to move your new website from just a business goal to a business achievement.