The task of shopping for a website can be a daunting one, which can leave you feeling naive and apprehensive. There are many factors to consider, not least of which, how much does a website cost?
There is an information gap between you and your developer, only serving to make things worse.
Definition: An information gap exists when one party in a negotiation has information that the other doesn’t have access to, such as specialist technical expertise – for example, between a buyer and a building contractor, car mechanic or computer salesman.
This information gap can leave you feeling that someone could very easily pull the wool over your eyes, and rightly so.
What’s the cure? That’s simple, close the information gap as much as you possibly can. I’m not suggesting you spend years training to become a web developer, but the better informed you are, the smaller the gap will be, and the more confident you will feel selecting a professional, or even going it alone.
It’s understandable that the first thing you want to do is set yourself a budget. Its instinctive business planning.
The problem is that the price of a website varies depending on how complex and how unique it will need to be. And that is very much a business decision tied into your marketing strategy.
However, assuming that you are dealing with a reputable professional, the old adage largely holds true – you get what you pay for.
Although it’s impossible to say how much your website will cost without considering your marketing strategy, here’s a rough idea of what you can expect to receive at different prices:
It may be tempting to look at the list above and think, “I can get a website for free or next to nothing, so why don’t I just go with that option?”
Should your decision be based on price alone?
If you are a start-up business, have exhausted all possible avenues of funding, and need a functional website presence so you can get on with promoting your new business – then by all means go with the cheap option. Just be aware that there may be hidden costs in doing so:
Each agency or freelancer will approach the situation differently, which makes it very difficult to compare them like for like.
Some developers will offer set packages, with clear pricing options – knowing that this very fact will allow other developers to point the finger and accuse them of taking shortcuts, that “you can’t possibly offer a package in website design without making compromises”.
Other developers won’t even offer you a quote without understanding your requirements first and tailoring something specific to your needs.
I’ll let you into a little secret – however the developer sets their prices, ultimately they will be looking to achieve a certain hourly rate for their studio time, even for fixed price work.
For inexperienced freelance developers this may be as low as minimum wage – at the other end of the spectrum, top agencies might bill out at £100+ per hour. When you’re choosing a developer, ask them how much they charge as an hourly rate for follow up work. This will give you a indication as to where they sit in the market.
Whatever the rate, the hours you are buying gain you two things, a level of uniqueness and complexity.
Make sure that you are very clear on how unique your website will be and how complex the functionality you can expect when considering quotes.
My website design packages are specifically tailored to small businesses – with ‘starting from’ prices based on a simple website with contact form, slideshow, and a blog that is typical for a small business. All websites have a content management system meaning the number of pages is largely irrelevant – you can add as many as you like.
I believe that offering you transparency and a clear idea of price before we sit down in a meeting is the best thing to do. But I can handle any project no matter how complex or unique, extra functionality can be ‘bolted on’.
Rather than taking short cuts, we’ve decided what must be involved to responsibly make an entry level website, that is: professional standard design, keyword research, search engine optimisation, cookie compliance, included legal documents, and detailed page planning. If you'd like to know my prices, just drop your details in the form at the bottom of the page and I'll drop you over some prices.
When comparing quotes, keep this checklist close to hand:
Hopefully this post has gone someway to addressing the information gap between you and your developer and you can feel more confident shopping for your website. If you have any further questions, please post them in the comments and I will reply promptly!
I'm web designer in Leeds with a background in design, marketing and programming; I put together top class websites with lots of users to create a buzz around your business.
I invest my heart and soul into every piece of work I do, and build long-term relationships as a result.