How much should a website cost me?

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Friday, February 6th, 2015

This is a very sensitive topic because it involves pricing – however a lot of people ask this question, and few seem to understand where the price actually comes from. Nowadays there are quite a lot of companies and web developers out there that will each quote you different price. However, its not always the case that the more you pay, the better quality or service you will get.

So what makes up the cost of a website? Let me break it down for you.

First and foremost: your requirements. A one page website and an online shop will obviously carry different price tags. However this is where you should do your homework wisely. List down carefully your requirements, splitting the list into ‘must haves’ and ‘would be nice to have’. The simpler, clearer and more specific the requests, the more you may be able to lower the cost of your website. Remember that you do not need to do the entire list that you prepared in one go, and you may work on a milestone basis (e.g. first launching a basic website, then incorporating an online shop to it). Be sure to mention this in your requirements document though. You should understand however that certain ‘special’ features in your requirements would definitely push up the price.

Points like incorporating a content management system (CMS), allowing you to update your own website, is currently considered essential. This will save you updating costs in the future. However make sure to ask to which extent the website will be updateable. This is because certain sections of the site might not be directly updatable via the CMS. It goes without saying that a CMS will definitely increase the price of a website but is more cost effective in the long run.

The website design is another hefty cost factor. Nowadays design factors in many important issues such as mobile, tablets and large monitors and certain companies excel in user interface studies, like what colours work best with an online shop and so on. Gone are the days where a website is designed and developed to appear correct on the most common screen sizes for the general mass market. Thus, design may take quite a large chunk of time from the project and thus may push up the price of the quotation further.

Lastly, be sure to discuss website maintenance agreements with your preferred developer/agency. Some quotations may appear cheap but will carry a heavy updating or maintenance agreement cost. In addition also check whether the hosting and domain registration is factored in your quoted price. Explained simply, domain costs involve the buying of your selected website name (www.yourname.com). Hosting refers to where the website files will eventually be saved and the fee is usually paid annually together with the domain cost. Discuss with your developer/agency if maintenance, hosting and domain registration is included in the cost.

To sum up, an expensive quotation does not always mean a better service or a better coded website. On the other hand, a cheap quote can lead to further unforeseen expenses due to dissatisfaction with the end result. If your website is a significant part of your business then give it a careful thought on who to engage with the project and the price you should pay.

Feel free to comment and give your insights about the article in the comments below, or click here to get a free consultation and quotation.

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