If you are considering a new website in 2017, you may be getting some quotes and proposals (and some sticker shock), and now have more questions than when you began. People are throwing a bunch of new acronyms at you (developers love acronyms), there are line items you’ve never even heard of before, and you are now realizing that you are going to have to ask for more budget. In fact, you might now be wondering why you can’t postpone this tedious process until another time. But forge forward, because here are some simple, no bullshit, real explanations of what you are in for.
Okay, why THAT price?
How the heck do agencies even arrive at that price? The first thing to know when getting quotes for a website is that you aren’t actually buying a product (okay, yeah, even though you do have a ‘thing’ at the end). Instead, you are actually purchasing a service, which equals time. When calculating a price, we first determine what you want your website to do, and then we go through a detailed evaluation to calculate how many hours it will take to create what you want.
At our agency, we simply determine how long it will take a strategist, a designer and a developer to work frantically at their desks each day in order to create your masterpiece (don’t settle for less than masterpiece, FYI). Naturally, the more things you want on your site, the longer it will take, because it’s going to mean more hours working frantically at our desks.
Give it to me straight, how much does a website cost?
Okay, let’s get down to the real reason you’re reading this. What does a business website cost? If you want a mid-size, informational website, the price will range between $10-20K. This is the most common size and price range. If you need a larger site with more advanced capabilities such as large e-commerce stores, private log in accounts or databases, your price can start at $25K and even get closer to $60K as the size and functionality increases.
Really, a website price can be as flexible as you are, because the amount of add-ons we can do to a site are endless and totally customizable. A good agency will line item each of these things in the quote so that you can make the final decision of what to keep, and what ideas to scrap.
Is it worth the price?
Let’s see, how can I put this? How many times have you said ‘Google it’? It’s so intertwined with our lives now that people use it as a verb. What does that mean for your business? It means that your customers, potential customers, suppliers and competitors are Googling you. And if you aren’t online (really?), or, if someone can’t easily navigate, find things and learn about you, they are simply going to leave and look for someone else.
So, what’s that worth to you? If your sales are anywhere over $1 million a year, I’d say it should be pretty high. Yes, absolutely a website is worth the price, and a custom website that is built with your specific company needs in mind is even more valuable. This is the most important marketing tool for your entire company, and low cost or rushed alternatives will actually cost you more in the long run.
How long will it take? (aka, I want it NOW)
Other than price, this is probably one of the most unrealistic misconceptions that people have about websites. I know, I’m like you, I want things now (thus why those new shoes are currently sitting in my closet). But, hey, remember above where we talk about how long it takes us to frantically work at our desks? Websites are complex, and it takes time for us to create the strategy and direction, the design and then code everything. Not only that, but we have to either create or gather all the content we are going to need. Where is all that copy and photography going to come from? We have found that on average, a site is going to take 3-6 months from start to launch.