How much do websites cost? It’s a question we get asked a lot.
At this stage I usually dust down my book of clichés, open it at chapter one page one and ask “How long is a piece of string?” This response – I concede – is of no use to man or beast.
So I have a rethink and – seeing as I still have my book at hand – turn to page two and try my luck with “You get what you pay for”.
That’s about as far as I generally push it before running the risk of getting slapped so a bit of detail might come in handy around about now.
In truth some websites cost hundreds of pounds while others cost hundreds of thousands. There are countless factors which can contribute to the cost of a website.
At one end of the scale are the do-it-yourself websites where you work off an existing template and effectively fill in the blanks – insert logo here, insert name there. Painting by numbers.
If you pay peanuts, you won’t have a bespoke site that reflects your values and is geared towards your customers. But you might not need one.
Let’s say you are the only newsagents for miles in a tiny village in the middle of nowhere. There’s no competition and your potential customers already know about you.
Why even bother with a website in the first place – let alone an expensive one? Why indeed.
Other companies rely on websites to drive custom towards them, deal with it online, or both.
So what if you don’t have a six-figure – or even five-figure – budget to play with and you need to spend your money wisely?
Five key things that add to the cost of a website
From the layout of each page to the pages you’ll need, the colour scheme to illustrations, this will make a massive difference to a user’s experience of your site – and the impression they form about your company as a result.
Research shows people start forming opinions on the quality of websites inside 0.05 seconds – so get that design right!
It doesn’t matter how good your website looks, if you can’t get your message across you’ll always be fighting a losing battle.
Web users typically spend less than five seconds on sites they don’t engage with so tight, easy-to-read text is like gold dust. Slack writing, mistakes and irrelevant copy won’t go down well so it might well be worth investing in a good copywriter.
Just because you got an A* for GCSE English back in the summer of ’69 doesn’t mean you are ready to give William Shakespeare a run for his money. And Shakespeare’s use of search engine optimisation throughout Romeo and Juliet was rudimentary at best frankly.
If you want people to find your site it needs to be signposted for search engines like Google. There are various ways to do this – some more legitimate than others.
It’s designed to be a fair fight where the most relevant, engaging websites are rewarded.
If you try to take a shortcut and stray towards the murky waters of Black Hat SEO you should expect to get penalised and find your site plummeting down the rankings as a result.
Good developers can cost £50 an hour or more. It quickly adds up. Paying a set fee for a job is another option but what happens if you need to move the goalposts? Changing something or adding another feature can put serious strain on your relationship with your developer.
Aftercare is also key: Does your site work on all devices and across all browsers? What happens if it is hacked or there is a glitch? It’s crucial your developer is available to iron out any problems long after your site is up and running.
5 Additional extras
Will you need video or photographs? If you are married you’ll probably know a good photographer can cost several hundred pounds a day. Even stock photos will cost – and will your photos need touching up?
Do you have a logo? Have you bought a domain name and paid for a company to host your site? Do customers need to pay through your site? Is there anything else you need?
Building your site: the next steps and how to get value for money
So many questions – so many ways to add cost. It’s easy to get carried away and spend money you can’t afford.
It may be that some of these options sound great in theory but aren’t relevant for you. Do you need a payment page, original photographs or a premium font? Possibly not.
You might love the function on a clothes retailer’s website that allows you to design your own trainers and order them online but it doesn’t mean you’ll need it for your greengrocers. Maybe you don’t offer home delivery. And no one needs to design their own apples.
It’s about deciding what you need and why and working out the most efficient way to deliver that on time and in budget.
At UWP we pledge not to upsell products that won’t benefit the customer. We believe that is one of the reasons we get so much business through referrals – our clients know we aren’t trying to take advantage.
We believe that happy customers are the best advert your business can get, so you need to look after them. But it also helps to attract them in the first place, which is where your website comes in. Don’t neglect it.
For more details, drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org – we’d be happy to give you some free advice.