As any marketing-savvy business owner knows, having a website for your business is crucial to both growing and retaining your customer base.
These days it’s commonplace for people to do their research online, so having a mobile-friendly or responsive website is more important than ever.
But how much does a professionally designed website cost?
As a web designer, this is the question I get most often, and although it’s a logical question, the truth is, there’s no black and white answer.
Pricing for web design is a lot like pricing for real estate.
Like a house, there are many variables at play.
For example, a modest, three bedroom, two bathroom house is sure to have a much different price tag than a ten bedroom, six bathroom house in the same town.
Likewise, a simple, single page website will cost a lot less to design and maintain than a multi-page, multi-functional web site.
In order to help you estimate the cost of your particular website requirements, it’s important to understand the variables.
Website Cost Factors: The Breakdown
Number of Pages
In order to get an accurate quote from a web designer, the first thing to consider is how many pages you will need and the basic structure of your site.
The typical pages that most small businesses need to include on their website are; home, about us, services, and contact us. Considering that inbound marketing is now one of the best ways to promote your business online, a blog or resources page is a smart page to include as well.
Functionality is not only an important requirement, but it can also be the most time-consuming part of creating a website.
Some examples of functionality are store locator, online store, subscription or contact form, or anything on your site that needs to perform some sort of function.
Understand that the more bells and whistles you add to your site, the more it will cost to create it.
Consider whether or not you need professional website content created for your site.
If you do need assistance, the number of pages of content, as well as the level of expertise that is required to write such content (for example, technical or medical sites), are key pricing factors.
That being said, good quality content can make or break a website.
So, if your budget allows, you should consider hiring a professional copywriter to write your content. Ask your designer if he or she can help you with your content and if not, they should be able to provide you with references.
Search Engine Optimization
A good designer will always keep SEO best practices in mind by implementing relevant page titles, descriptions and keyword headers throughout your site.
Since some designers may charge extra for this service, make sure you ask when obtaining a quote. Your site may look great, but without implementing SEO, your organic traffic will suffer greatly.
Logo & Graphic Creation
If you need a logo created for your business or if your site requires many graphics that need to be searched for, purchased, or created from scratch, this will affect the cost of your site.
To estimate your cost, define the number of graphics needed and how much customization will be necessary.
To keep costs low and to create a web design that is easy to navigate, keep in mind that less is often more in this area.
Domain Name/Web Host Set Up
Getting your new site set up on your hosting provider’s servers is a task that is typically handled by your web designer. If your site is new this should not be a big price factor.
However, if you happen to have an existing site that needs to be replaced, or you plan on changing hosting providers, there are other factors that come into play.
Some of these factors include: removing and archiving your old site files, creating URL redirects for old pages so that dead links don’t appear in the search engines and repointing your domain name to the new host’s servers.
You get what you pay for in life, and the same can hold true when it comes to choosing a web designer. The more experienced and in-demand a designer is, the more they are likely to charge for their services.
Conversely, you may find someone who will design your site on the cheap, but proceed with caution.
Oftentimes the seemingly affordable options are the ones that end up costing you the most in the long run.
To help you get better prepared for discussing your web needs with a designer, be sure to check out our list of top 10 web design questions.