How Much Does a Website Cost?

Monday, April 23, 2007

This is the question of the day, isn’t it? How do you know if you’re spending too little or you’re being taken advantage of? Here are some universal guidelines:

  • Unless you have a student, a friend or a non-profit agency building your website, you should NOT be spending less than a few hundred dollars for a website. Any good developer’s time is worth something – and $2/hour is not enough!

  • An average website with no bells and whistles will NOT cost you $6,000! The average cost of a standard small business website with a contact form, images and relevant information should fall in the range of $800 - $1500. Anything more than that without interactivity or applications is too much.

  • An e-commerce site is fairly easy to build, since there are so many solutions out there. The main determining factor in the cost of an e-commerce site is the number of products you will sell. To build a shopping cart should only be a couple of hundred dollars, while customizing the look and feel, and populating your store with the products adds to the price.

  • Functionality costs money. Standard applications such as calendars, forms and news services are pretty affordable, ranging in cost from $25-$125. Heartier applications that involve databases, custom solutions and online administration will be higher in price and might fall in the range of $100-$2,000. Research your needs.

  • Design Rules. One of the main reasons someone hires a web developer/designer is because they are skilled not only in building the functionality of a website, but in how to design one. Your image is going to be put out there, so if you want something special, be prepared to pay for it. Almost anyone can learn to build a website, but it does indeed take talent to design the look and feel and create a corporate identity. Don’t scrimp and save on the design, because if you have nothing else on the site, the look will say it all.

The Bottom Line
You get what you pay for. If your budget is $500 versus $1,500 – you’ll get a nice site that looks good and has everything you need to get started, but probably doesn't have alot of specialized applications.

Follow the process of steps, do your research and you’ll likely know exactly what kind of costs you’re looking at. If you go in blind, you will either pay too much or not get anything of what you hoped for.

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