When it comes to websites, the average person tends to find themselves at a loss. If you aren’t a web expert, it doesn’t really make sense for you to know all that much about the inner workings of a website design firm—but what happens when you need their help? Website design & development is a mystery for many, but it doesn’t need to be and the biggest question is how much does a website cost?
If you, like many others, have been considering investing in a website of your very own lately, you might have some questions. In general, most people want to know what the price of a website is.
How much does it actually cost to make a website—and what does that cost entail?
We have found that an online search is often less than helpful with this particular question. No one seems to offer a straight-forward breakdown of costs—and it isn’t just because they want to keep the cost of a website a secret. In reality, the cost of a website build can vary significantly from one customer to the next. In order to explain what factors influence the cost of the website and what that might mean for you, we wanted to explain everything that is related to the cost of a website.
Defining A Website
One area of extreme confusion for most people when it comes to website cost is the idea of a custom website.custom website. When you look online, you will see websites promising you a website for nothing more than $12 a month—but, you get what you pay for here. In reality, these are not what a web designer would call real websites. These low-cost website options are actually the product we know as website builders.
A website builder is a tool that has been designed to give you the ability to “build” your own website. In most cases, these tools rely on templates or a simple drag-and-drop feature that allows you to “assemble” your website one piece at a time. For what you pay for them, they are fairly beneficial, but they won’t meet the needs of a business or a person who wants to expand their brand. This is because regardless of what tool you use, your website will always be generic. Using a website builder means committing to the reality that thousands of other people will have an identical website.
When you pay a web design team for a website, what you are really paying for is a custom website. A custom website is a website that a web design team has intentionally made for you or your business. These websites will be created from the ground up to suit your specific needs. With a custom website, you will always know that your website will stand out. More importantly, you will have a website that has been designed to your specifications. This makes it much easier to ensure that the website has everything that you need to suit the interest of your visitors, whether that is a specific navigation pattern to access information or a fun store feature that only you offer. Custom websites are notably more expensive than using a website builder because they are a true investment in your needs and your brand.
Understanding Website Needs
Every person or business will have differing website needs. In the same way that every business is unique, every website will be unique to match. Even two businesses that are selling the same products in the same industry will have different website requirements—and these requirements have a tendency to influence the cost of the website.
Website design is generally a combination of branding and the needs of the target audience. If you are in the business of selling specialty tacos, chances are that you will need a specific and easy way to explain each taco and what makes it special. On the other hand, if you are offering financial services, you might need a web form that allows potential clients to contact you.
Since every website has different needs, it is up to the web team to compile these needs and present them in an intuitive way. Everything ranging from the number of pages all the way to the widgets on a page can make a website unique in its own way. These changes must be accounted for. A store might need e-commerce tools while a forum will need submission functionality. These unique traits will be outlined with your team, as well as the web design team, to ensure that the website is being built to the correct specifications.
What Factors Influence Website Cost?
There are many different factors that can play a role in the cost of a website. As a general rule, the more features that you add to a website, the more it will cost overall. However, some features, in particular, can cost more than others. This is because different website features require different amounts of code to create them. While some website design elements can be fairly easy to craft, others might take more time and problem-solving in order to find the right fit.
Some features are fairly straight-forward. Adding something like a web form, or perhaps a built-in Contact Us button will ultimately influence the cost of the website. These additional features can play a role in the cost simply because you are adding more to your website.
Behind the scenes, certain key attributes can also play a role in the cost of the website. For example, adding a higher degree of security or encryption to process mobile payments, or even adding certain features to boost the website speed, can dramatically influence the cost of a website. In most cases, the more advanced the technology on your page is, the more that it will cost. The cost of a simple blog will vary from a fully-functioning online store, and these differences are often reflected in the price.
The Different Types of Websites and Associated Website Costs
One way to gauge the differences in the cost of a website is to consider the type of website. Generally, the type of website that you are purchasing will determine the ballpark estimate of how much it will cost. A personal website is, on average, cheaper than a business website. This is because personal websites tend to have a more simplistic design, while business websites have certain key features that the average user will expect.
Small websites are often personal or informational in nature. These websites generally have fifteen pages or less with more general functionality. A website like this is meant to be looked at and read, but might not have that much functionality beyond those general attributes. A smaller website can be anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 depending on the needs of the owner.
Corporate websites generally have 80 pages or less, and in general, they are focused on communication and information. A corporate website will have pages designated to provide answers and solutions for a customer. It might also include submission forms or other tools to help a customer connect with the business itself. With a corporate website, you can expect a starting point of roughly $10,000 in most cases—and these websites can range well up to $40,000 if they require specialty features.
Online stores or e-commerce websites can also have a fairly high price point purely because of the store element. In most cases, an online store will require pages for every product, as well as other key store features. This will include a cart for users to add items to, a secure checkout, and the support for promo codes. Stores can expect to spend anywhere from $5,000 to $50,000 depending on their needs.
Specialty websites that are very large or require a database that can be accessed are generally the most expensive websites. This is because they tend to take up the most space out of any other type of website, which can rely on complicated functionality behind the scenes. Depending on the intensity of a website, users might find themselves shelling out well over $70,000 for the design of this style of the website.
Additional Options and Costs
When you work with a web designer, you will likely be developing a relationship with them for some time. Though a web designer will hand you a completed website, they generally have more to offer you. Receiving a beautiful and functional website is an excellent start, but it takes more than a good website to truly benefit from this investment.
One potential cost factor involved with a new website is marketing the website. Having a beautiful new website really won’t benefit you if there is no one around to see it. For this reason, many website owners opt for a package that includes some kind of marketing benefit. This will help you to draw attention to your new website and can have many long-term benefits for your business as a whole.
In addition to marketing efforts, there is a maintenance factor to consider. While having a beautiful website built is all well and good, websites need additional care to stay running. A website with no maintenance will be prone to crashes, security risks, and might even break down.
While you are under no obligation to entrust your web designer with your maintenance services, the majority of people do. Since the web designer built your website, they are generally privy to its needs and can provide a much better set of maintenance efforts for it. This will help your website to stay going strong.
Website maintenance is often focused on keeping every aspect of the website in good working order. It might include decluttering certain elements to ensure that the load speeds stay high, or it might be more focused on security. Even the hosting service of your website will likely have general updates that will need to be installed. While you can certainly learn to handle these maintenance items yourself, most people choose not to. It is generally easier to pay for the ongoing support that guarantees that your website will continue to perform well than it is to fix it after the fact. If your website goes offline or certain elements break, you might lose traffic or sales, which can be incredibly problematic for a business. It also just doesn’t reflect well, particularly if your website handles sensitive information, like credit card numbers.
Our General Pricing Overview
The websites that we work on vary substantially based on the previously mentioned factors, but we wanted to provide a general overview of what you might expect. In most cases, the minimum cost of a website when you work with our team is around $5,000. While this isn’t a hard rule, it is a generally accepted average for the kinds of smaller projects that we work on.
Our project prices go up from there and will differ based on your needs. Some people even opt to have a website with fewer features in the beginning and add more later. Remember, we are here to help suit your needs. On average, the sweet spot for our web design orders is between $9,000 and $30,000. While we do work on projects of all sizes, some very small and some very large, the majority of our clients receive estimates within this range. We have worked with some very large clients over the years, which can also influence the average rates that we offer. Your website will be designed based on your needs and will be priced specifically for you.
Some Closing Thoughts
Website design is a completely custom process—and we love it for that reason! If you have been wondering what it would take to have a custom website made, we would love to hear from you. Our team is always ready to discuss your needs, come up with a general overview, and get to work making your dream website come to life. We are happy to provide our customers with websites that were built for their needs, and we are always up for a challenge too! Contact us today to get started!