An analogy I like to use when I’m asked this question is… Ask yourself this, “How much does a car cost?”. We’ve all had the experience of buying a car, and although we may not have an exact budget in mind, we have a general idea of what we are willing/able to pay. Do we want to buy a friend of a friend’s beat up ‘86 Honda, a slightly used Toyota or a brand new Mercedes?
There are many factors to consider when buying a car, and much like building a website all of those variables add cost. That being said, unlike buying a car where you may have a general idea of the cost, website costs tend to be a very unknown and wide ranging cost. Your cousin’s kid may know how to write a little bit of code and he can certainly build you something, eventually. Then there are template sites, and custom build sites, both with their own set of positives and negatives. With so many variables it’s important to work with a professional who understands all aspects of the industry, all of available options and can guide you towards a website development plan that will best meet your needs.
My approach to this process starts with having a detailed discussion about what your expectations are for your website. What features do you need, how do you anticipate using the site and more importantly, getting an understanding of how your customers will be using the site. Once I’ve gathered that information, I process and organize it with my programming partner and we make a recommendation for how to proceed along with an estimate for the complete project. The estimate includes an overview of the website features and functions, as well as an ongoing plan for hosting as well as Content Management (CMS) and Technical maintenance.
Another major factor to consider with website development is User Interface (UI) and most importantly, User Experience (UX). To return to the car analogy, it’s at this point the client can begin to understand what’s under the hood and how you operate the car. Have you ever sat down in a rental car and spent the next 15 minutes trying to find the windshield wipers, or adjust the heater? UI & UX are the intuitive structures of the website that lead your client through the site. If a site is confusing to navigate your customers will give up and leave. If you’re not delivering the content you want them to see, your site isn’t doing it’s job. Then there’s organic SEO and Responsive considerations. Organic SEO is the natural content within the website that tells search engines what relevant content is on your website, delivering content while maintaining UI/UX is critical, and not an easy task. Responsive websites assure that your website functions with the same level of UI & UX across all device types (desktop, tablet & mobile). These site structure considerations are an essential part of the overall development process that deliver an effective website and bridge the gap between beautiful professional design and brilliant backend programming.
So back to the original question… “How much does a website cost?”. Budget will always be a consideration in developing any project, that is why it’s essential to hire a professional who knows and understands, in detail, all of the available development and production options. From template sites like Squarespace, BigCommerce and WordPress to custom built websites with Content Management Systems (CMS), I have built and managed dozens of websites over the years. If you are interested in developing a new website, updating an existing website, or looking for consultation on how to improve your existing website, please give me a call and I will be happy to have an open and honest discussion about your needs, your budget and the options available to you.
So how much does a website cost?
Give me a call and let’s discuss your needs. (609) 415-0216