The cost to build a website can vary quite dramatically, depending on the web designer that you choose. The cost is directly related to how many labor hours the web design company spends on building your website. This article lists typical web design costs, and offers recommendations to help you determine which budget is right for you.
WHERE DOES THE MONEY GO?
First, it helps to understand where your money goes when building a new website. The most common tasks that a web designer performs are listed below.
Graphical design involves designing the look of the entire website including the framework, the home page, and the interior pages. This usually takes quite a bit of time and effort.
Programming is required to add certain features to a website. This could be a search feature, a rotating slider, online forms, or anything else that requires technical knowledge.
Probably the biggest task of any website is adding all the content. Text and graphics need to be added to every page, and then formatted for a nice layout.
Every time you interact with the web designer is time spent on project management. This also includes internal meetings of the web design staff.
The web designer also has to setup web hosting, install software, and perform a variety of logistical tasks associated with building and hosting a website.
If you don’t have the time or resources, you can hire a web designer to write the text for your website. This can be a substantial undertaking, depending on how much text you need.
For larger web design companies, you are also paying for their overhead. For well known companies, you may be paying for their reputation.
WHAT DO YOU GET FOR YOUR MONEY?
$2,500 Or Less
With all the tasks a web designer needs to do, this leaves very little money to do any task well. Most likely you will get a website based on a template with a pre-built graphical design, rather than a custom graphical design. Your site may be limited in features. And you may have to add much of the content yourself.
$2,500 – $5,000
At this price level, the budget is more realistic which allows the web designer to devote more time to each task. You will be able to get a custom graphical design for this price, as well as a decent set of features. However, the design time is limited, so expect some limitations. You may also have to add the content on your own.
$5,000 – $10,000
This is often the sweet spot if you are looking to design a website for a small to mid sized business. The budget levels are adequate for all the major web design tasks. So, you should be able to get a very good graphical design, plenty of features, and all the content added by the web developer for you.
$10,000 – $20,000
A higher price range may be needed for websites that require more technical features, or that have a large amount of content. Examples include websites that need a backend database, advanced security, custom programming, social communities, or other high tech features.
$20,000 Or More
At this level, you are probably dealing with a high profile firm or marketing agency, who charge a premium for their services. You do get abundant resources and personnel, which may translate into a good website. But you also pay for the reputation, and all the extra management and overhead that comes along with it.