I wouldn’t expect too many reading this to be unaware of the importance of having a website. On the other hand, if you’re reading this you’re probably a little iffy about how much said website should cost (the post is titled “How Much Should a Website Cost”). As a web design and development company you can expect we have some pretty specific opinions on this matter, which we intend to share with you!
Let’s start by eliminating a few things.
At Nerdy House Media we are firm believers that any website should be capable of carrying marketing whether it is now or in the future. To us, this eliminates the website for rent options out there. We’re talking about those build your own or template websites that often come with hosting plans or that are available from some companies for anywhere from $1 – $10 a month. The problem is that, though paying a small monthly fee may seem more appealing than shelling out hundreds or thousands of dollars for a website, they are incredibly limiting if you eventually want to do any marketing. You don’t get the same, down-to-the-smallest detail control you get with a regular website, and when you add up the cost over the course of a few years, you could have just gotten a nice looking template website that you own!
Now, let’s talk about need.
This should really be the first consideration when figuring out how much you should be paying for a website. What does the website need to do? This will affect the complexity of the programming. What is the nature of your brand, and what kind of expectations will your customers have for your brand? This will affect the look and feel of the website; sorry Bill’s Burger Shack, but your clientele probably isn’t expecting the same level of design as the fine dining restaurant around the block. It hurts, but its true.
Finally, lets talk about a few tiers that you might be able to expect regarding pricing, the type of business that may fall into each, and really get into the meat of this post: how much should a website cost?
Template doesn’t necessarily have to be a dirty word. Yes, there are some god awful templates out there, but there are also some really nice ones! For a small, local, or start up business, a template may just be the way to go. It can drastically cut down on website development time and cost and produce a very nice product.
Pros: Affordable, quick to deploy, stable and tested code base (usually)
Cons: There may be quite a few websites out there that look remarkably like yours!
Suited For: Small, local businesses and startups that just need to get some information out there.
Not Suited For: Larger companies or aesthetically reliant companies (think web designers, interior decorators, Etc.) that need their branding to be a bit more unique.
Cost: For $50 – $100 out of pocket and around $300 – $600 to hire a developer, you can get a very nice template website for your business.
The concept here is that using a template as a base, a developer will make considerably more customizations to get a finished product that is a little more branded and unique. Expect to add another $300 – $500 to the above cost.
A custom website is exactly what it sounds like; a built from scratch, to your exacting specifications website that is branded just the way you like it.
Pros: Completely unique, more flexibility when it comes to the user interface, etc.
Cons: Can be pricey, generally more time consuming to design, program and launch
Suited For: Larger brands that really need to define themselves (although smaller brands fit this too!), brands and businesses with high aesthetic standards (think that fine dining restaurant from earlier)
Not Suited For: Companies with tight web design budgets.
Cost: Custom sites often start around $1,500 – $2,000 and quickly go up from there (we’ve built some well over $20,000) depending on the complexity of the design, technical requirements and amount of variation amongst the site’s pages.