What does it cost to build a website?
Without a doubt, that is the first question that comes out of any prospective client’s mouth. Unfortunately, you probably won’t like my first response. It depends. And with websites, just as with other things in life.
You get what you pay for
I know! You wanted an easy answer; a simple and easy to swallow $500, or perhaps $300, maybe even $100.
But, there are a lot of variables that go into the cost to build a website, especially one that is of high-quality. This will vary depending on your goals, what you’ll be doing with it and more importantly, how much money you want to make from it (if any).
Sure! You can build something quick and dirty on Wix or SquareSpace. But it probably won’t do much for you and there is a bit of a learning curve. I’ve had clients get frustrated using those and other website builders like GoDaddy. They’re unfortunately not very intuitive and it can take a bit of time to really learn how to use those tools. You can drop in a template, make some minor changes, but even making changes sometimes can be a little challenging. This is especially true when you want to move text and images around on the web page and reformat them.
But when you build your own website vs. having a professional build one for you, the difference will be clear and visible.
Average Website Project Costs & Types
Below are some examples of the average cost to build a website from WhichWebDesignCompany.com, a company that keeps track of 7,382 web design companies worldwide.
These are the average starting prices for common website development projects.
- Brochure website: prices start at $1190 (data from 237 companies)
- Content Managed Websites: prices start from $2235 (data from 226 companies)
- eCommerce Websites: prices start from $2640 (data from 231 companies)
Brochure Website: $1,190 – $3000+
- A “Brochure” website refers to a basic informational site about your business.
- Creates an “online presence”
- Generally Includes Pages: Home, About, Products/Services and Contact
CMS Website: $2,235 – $10,000+
- For membership-based sites, forums, blogs or other sites that use a database and/or dynamic content.
- Generally Includes Pages: Home, About, Products/Services and Contact
- Plus: a CMS-integrated design & programming
- (Popular CMSs: Joomla, Drupal, WordPress)
- “Dynamic” functionality gives website owners the ability to “log-in” and make changes to the content of the site.
e-Commerce Website: $2,600 – $10,000+
- Includes the basic “brochure pages”: Home, About, Products/Services, Contact
- Plus eCommerce functionality with:
- Shopping cart software:
- Ability to add & update products
- Accept and Process Payments (Credit Cards, Paypal, etc)
So when it comes to building a quality website, people tend to experience a bit of sticker shock. But, it’s vital to understand the elements that go into this and how it adds up to the bottom line.
This is the “big one” and it’s probably the most important since it’s the one factor that has a direct impact on every other item in the list. A solid, experienced company has, at its disposal a plethora of information on best practices, best colors to use, how to structure content, what keywords to use, and so on and so forth. This is due to the technical and artistic expertise of its team.
A good team of professionals stays on the leading edge of their field, which assists them in providing the best options for your business goals. Staying ahead of the curve and being on top of market developments or best practices is a great indicator that the team is focused on the best results for your project. The due diligence is one of the biggest factors that will separate a good, strong web design company from the rest.
Here at Ad Inicio Digital, we pride ourselves on constantly learning and evolving. We’ve successfully developed close to 100 projects in the past 5 years and have solid expertise in working with our clients on the effectiveness of their web design and SEO projects. That kind of knowledge doesn’t come free.
2. A Solid Project Team
A good project consists of varying individuals with specialized skills in their chosen craft. The cost to build a website takes this into consideration.
First, there’s a designer who works on making sure the website is aesthetically pleasing, attractive, and user-friendly. Then you have a developer, who’s technical skills seem to mirror that of powerful, ancient alchemists. I myself am a developer by trade, so I won’t toot my own horn, but when you know how to manipulate computer code, you can literally make it do anything you want.
In addition, you have a project manager who makes sure everything runs smoothly. And lastly, your SEO specialist who works on making sure your website lands on page 1 of Google. And if you don’t land on page 1, you don’t really exist.
There’s a running joke that goes something like…. “The best place to hide a dead body is Page 2 of Google Search Results”… because nobody clicks on that second page.
3. The Content
It can be challenging to understand the complexities that go into composing high-quality content for your target audience and how that ties into the cost to build a website. It might seem simple at first, but the two things that can largely improve your website are usually not given enough importance.
How you write your content makes a big difference. Not only in terms of structure, but in terms of the wording you use, the phrasing, and the terminology.
Sourcing high-quality images without infringing on copyrights is something web design companies know how to do and do well. Individuals might find it costly and time-consuming to do so.
You need a strategy to source the best content and write the best copy that will sell your website and your products or services.
Careful consideration has to be paid to make sure every piece of content speaks strongly to the website’s message. Whether that’s selling a product, or selling services, a knack for marketing is one of the differentiating factors between an average website and a great website.
Content creation is a very time-consuming process and takes up a good chunk of the cost to build a website.
4. Hosting the Website
You can find plenty of companies that provide website hosting, especially, cheap hosting. And since you get what you pay for, cheap hosting gives you cheap performance.
Now, hosting your website with the same company that builds your website has its benefits. When there’s a problem (ideally never), you will typically be able to reach that company faster than a regular hosting company like GoDaddy or the like. GoDaddy will also only support certain websites and for really specific problems you may find yourself on your own and/or having to hire an outside developer.
When it comes up updating or making changes to the website, your original web design company will be a lot more familiar with the site and where fixes need to be made.
5. Maintenance & Support
In today’s fast-paced world, it is imperative that a website is built on top of a Content Management System. This offers the client the ability to update pictures and content on their website whenever they want. This also leaves all the heavy lifting of design, styling, and functionality to the web designer. When getting quotes for the cost to build a website, make sure a Content Management System (CMS) is included.
It’s also crucial for a client to be able to reach their web design company quickly for tech support. A good web design agency will be able to respond fast, should some mishap take place. This could be caused by the client inadvertently breaking the site, the site going offline, or some other urgent matter.
6. Digital Marketing
This part will typically happen once the website is built, but it’s a critical part of your site’s success.
Once your site is built, you’ll want to shout it out to the world (and Google) so people will know your website exists.
Often, customers do not have the time nor the expertise to make this happen successfully on their own. Ensuring your website maintains a strong digital presence can be a full-time job and one that demands numerous individuals to ensure it functions smoothly and correctly.
There are a lot of moving pieces to Digital Marketing itself, including search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), email marketing, ongoing content creation, and analytics monitoring. With that in mind, it’s imperative that you have an agency work for you on building your online presence, so you can reap the benefits of that brand spanking new, shiny website.
So What’s the Cost to Build a Website?
As you can see, the answer is not clear cut. There’s no easy answer and it will depend on many variables.
So hopefully, this has given you a good general idea of what’s involved in building a website. And not just any, average website, but a high performing site that can make you some good money!
If you have additional questions about building a website, head over to our Frequently Asked Questions section.