January 29, 2016

How Much Does A Website Cost?

Experts discussing a web design at Push10 Branding agency in Philadelphia.

Here’s the short answer: There is no standard cost for a website, as websites – by nature – are not standard. They are marketing tools – your most important marketing tool. They vary greatly in purpose, size, scope, functionality as well as overall goals. As such, so does the website cost.

Let’s first take a step back and think of your website in a bit of a different light. Far too often, businesses see their website as just another marketing ‘piece’ rather than a ‘tool’.

Your website is not simply a place on the web for your brand to set stakes. It’s your #1 medium for marketing, where you illustrate your brand and purpose, showcase your work, feature and build your team, engage with your customers and grow your business. That’s right, it can, and should, grow your business.

The concept of a website as a revenue generator is often overlooked, or at least misunderstood. It can take time, along with supplemental marketing tactics to realize a significant ROI on a new site. When combined with a solid SEO strategy, a website is a solid lead generation tool capable of generating multiple leads, throughout the day, every day. That’s how a website works for you. It’s the equivalent of a full-time salesperson working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

Surveys performed in recent years show that average marketing budgets should be 4% – 8% of a business’ annual gross revenue. So, it’s clearly counterintuitive that often such an important marketing tool as a website receives so little of the marketing budget. When viewed in that light, it’s easier to see why a significant investment makes sense. In our experience, the return on investment on a custom, strategic solution can far exceed that of an “average” website. Thus, over time, the higher-priced strategic option is often more cost effective.

Here are some areas to consider before taking a guess at what you think your website should cost, as any one of these has the potential to affect the amount of time and work involved. In effect, answering the original question, by first asking several others:

  • Is this a brand new site or a re-design of an existing site?
  • Is there a content management system (CMS) in place? Will the new site be on the same system or a new system?
  • How much content is currently on your site and how much will you need to be created?
  • Does your site require a new architecture (site map) from the ground up, or can we use the previous architecture as a starting point?
  • Will your site need to be in multiple languages?
  • Does your site require custom icons and/or infographics?
  • Does your site require complex special features such as calculators, relational post sorting, SEO (search engine optimization) or e-commerce?
  • Do you have an appropriate timeline for design and development, or are you rushing to meet a deadline?
  • Is your website committee 1-3 people, or are there a dozen players who all need to weigh-in and give approval?

Here at Push10, these are only a few points we examine when assembling an accurate estimate for a website. What you’ve heard is true – EVERY project is unique. We do not paint by numbers or utilize templates and that is of considerable value to our clients.

We also employ a robust planning and strategy phase with every project we produce. While not the tangible act of designing or coding, this phase is crucial to our process — to deeply analyze and address a project’s challenges, allowing us to maintain a high level of execution and client satisfaction. This also explains why throwing out a quick “ballpark” quote over the phone would be both premature and inaccurate, as you must take all of the above points and more into consideration first.

All that being said, once we’re able to sit down with a potential client to uncover the full span of their objectives, desires and current website situation, we can conclusively compose a thoughtful proposal detailing how our thorough process and customized solutions help them succeed in their goals (and what it will cost).

These early steps are imperative to every project estimate, ensuring all expectations are aligned and understood before we can confidently move on to the heavy lifting of creating a new dynamic website. After all, it’s what we love to do, and we’re damn good at it.