Website owners and business owners often ask themselves, and web designers "what justifies the cost of a website?" It is necessary to have an attractive and functional website, but how much does it really cost? A site can range anywhere from $300 - $5,000+. However, if you consider that your business will not exist without a web presence, then essentially all costs are justified. In addition to all of this, there are many other benefits of having a professionally designed site such as increased traffic and conversion rates. Ultimately what makes the investment worth it is the return on investment (ROI). The more money your company earns through sales or leads generated by their online presence means that they've recouped their original investment in no time at all!
There are a lot of factors that come into play when we start to break down the true cost of a website. These factors can include, but are not limited to:
Market research — This is often an extensive process. Your designer should be researching your competition and analyzing what they’re doing, what’s working, what’s not, who your target audience is, what they’re looking for and responding to, industry trends, and what's working and what's not, etc. There is a lot to do when it comes to market research, and this often accounts for a hefty chunk of what you’re paying for.
The implementation of SEO throughout the entire website — This is also a huge chunk of the process. SEO or Search Engine Optimization is the process of designing your website in a way that helps your business get discovered easily on search engines like Google by implementing a lot of different back-end best practices and procedures, keyword research and implementation, and so much more. For the best results, this requires extensive knowledge of good SEO, and how to implement it throughout a website. This is actually not a very common service that you’ll find amongst the younger web designers in the current market. A lot these web designers find SEO intimidating and would rather focus on the design portion of a website. Which can lead to you wasting a lot of your money. Although the design aspect is incredibly important, think of it this way… You wouldn’t buy this amazing new dress that you want to show off, but keep it tucked away in your closet. It’s still a beautiful dress, you know it, and you know where to find it, but no one else knows about it, because they have no way of seeing it or realizing it even exists. That’s how it works with web design and SEO. They go hand in hand. You need SEO in order to get found, and once you get found, people are amazed at the gorgeous design. Given the fact that SEO is extensive, and requires research, and someone that truly knows what they’re doing, and the amount of time and implementation, and trial and error it takes, this is often a costly factor that’s more than well worth paying for.
Number of pages — I think this one goes without saying. It’s a lot of work making sure each page is set up properly, especially the behind-the-scenes stuff that you don’t see first hand on the surface of a website. But if you’re requesting a 25-page website, that’s going to take a while to get done, at least 6 weeks, sometimes longer. Think about it… You wouldn’t go to your job and work for 6 weeks and expect to get paid for only one week’s worth of work. Y’know? The number of pages is another large factor that plays into the price of a website.
The photos used — If you want a website that truly wows potential customers and clients, and makes them wanna give you their business, it’s crucial that you have high-quality photos, most specifically of you, or your business. No cell phone photos, no grainy photos, but good ones. Whether your designer is sourcing high-quality stock photos for you, you’re providing high-quality photos that you’ve taken, or photos that you’ve hired a professional to take for you, the quality and clarity are non-negotiable. Visitors will click off your page immediately without them, and no good designer is going to attach their name to a website that has grainy, poor-quality images. It won't serve your business well, either. Web designers often pay for different resources that unique stock photos that aren’t overly used.
The copy — Regardless of who writes it, you, your designer, or a professional copywriter, your designer is writing it onto every single page of your website, and determining what information fits best in what area of your website, and some designers- if they’re awesome, do all the grammar and spellcheck for you. Website copy is one of the single most crucial parts of designing a website that converts.
Strategy — Anyone can throw a website up and call it a day. But if you want a website that’s going to work for you, that converts website visitors into real customers or clients, there has to be a strategy behind it. Web designers are continuously working to make sure your final website is set up to help your business grow.
Custom features — Some designers know code, and are able to help you create the ultimate custom website for your brand, and some don’t. If your designer knows how to code and you’re looking for someone that can bring that unique touch to your brand to help you stand out, it will likely cost a bit more. This can also go back to the platform your designer uses. Some website platforms give you total free reign, and you can make your site as custom as you’d like, and others are more drag and drop with limited features. It all really depends on the website builder chosen and your designer’s capabilities.
Experience — This is obviously one of the biggest factors that comes into play with pricing, and could be the determining factor of whether you're going to pay a few hundred bucks, or thousands. Although, no designer should be charging less than $1,000, regardless of how new their business is, because it isn't enough to cover any of the expenses or account for their time. So keep that in mind, and be kind to designers that are new and trying to get their name out there— they're likely not making any profit themselves, if they're charging you less than $100.
Freelance VS. Agency — If you're dealing with a freelancer, typically, not always, but typically, you're likely to pay less for a website, depending on what all they're including in their design packages or custom quotes for you. Agencies, or people that are outsourcing different things in their design business typically charge a little more for a website.
… This is just some of what a quality website is made up of. Depending on which designer or agency you go with, there could be a number of additional services or costs that are factored into the price they charge for a website such as font licensing if you’re using custom fonts, additional features, plugins, themes, and so much more.
So if you’ve been wondering why websites seem like they are super expensive, I promise it’s for good reason! Building a website is a lot of work, a lot of time, and requires extensive knowledge, design skills, and a lot of technical and SEO skills if you want a website that’s built to convert, and that will give you a good return on your investment!
Ready to get started on your new website? Use the button below to book a free 30-minute call with me and let’s get the ball rolling, friend!