How much should a new website cost?
Updated: Sep 23
As a small business it is very hard to find the right agency for the design of your new website. How do you determine which agency is going to deliver real value with their work and which one is going to leave you with a website you rather just throw in the dust bin? Because most small businesses have no idea about online marketing, the guideline used is the cost of the new website.
So, what is the right cost for a website? The general rule of thumb is that you get what you pay for. A 300-dollar website saves you a lot of money, but the question is, will it deliver any new clients? Just look at it this way: When you buy a brand-new Mercedes for $1,000 dollar, do you expect to drive it for a long time? Or that it will drive at all?
Then there is the goal of your site: do you need a fancy online business card, or do you need a website with a database, a shop or an online reservation system? In the first case you can get away with a price of $500, but for a proper functioning online shop you should be paying a couple of thousand dollars.
Why does a website cost that much? Well actually it does not. Five years ago, a proper website would cost you 10 to 50 thousand dollars. Nowadays there are webtools that make building a website much easier, but there are certain elements that do take time and that is what you pay for.
Design Opposite to popular believe, design has nothing to do with taste. Designers create websites that have the right proportions, the right combinations of colours that experience has shown to be more acceptable for your visitors. A good design means that you attract more visitors, who stay longer and are more likely to do business with you. Good design takes time. Expect design to take at least 10 hours for a simple site.
Marketing & Sales A sales effective website will contain a built-in sales process and contain the proper marketing messages to motivate your visitors to buy. This takes education, years of experience and a lot of time to research and implement. To optimise a 5-page website for Google (so that it will be found by your customers) takes easily another 10 hours. Then developing a digital strategy that motivates those people coming from Google to buy from you takes another 5 hours.
Just with these few parts of the web building process you are already looking at 25 hours work. You can add easily another 15 for the rest of the process. Just count what you would charge your customers for 40 hours of work, and then you have the cost a website would have for you, if you built it yourself.
There must be companies that work at $10 an hour or less
Yes, there are. Plenty. And most of them go broke within 1 or 2 years. Then where do you turn to if there is a problem with your site? More importantly cheap web agencies are usually made up of a single programmer, someone who can program a site, but has no idea about design or marketing and sales. This means, what you receive might look like a proper website, but it will not be sales effective.
The Marketing perspective From a marketing point of view asking about the cost of a site is of course entirely the wrong question. In business it is never about the cost of your marketing, but what it costs for you to attract 1 new client.
If you wish to attract enough clients to be profitable, then you will have to invest in a site that is professional enough to do so. That means a site of $500 will probably not do the job. It is a simple calculation: how many more clients do you need each month to make enough extra income to be comfortable and how much would you be able to invest per client to reach that level.
This will also help you to find out if you are paying for a professional website that does the job? An agency that knows its business and will create a profitable site for you, will ask you the question: How many extra clients does this site have to deliver to be profitable? However, if they focus their sales presentation on incredible designs without ever talking about your sales, then alarm bells should start ringing.
Do not hesitate to contact us for a more in-depth explanation. We love to talk digital.