Business Website Costs Explained
Pricing is always a delicate subject in the business world. Without question, you want the best from any purchase you have to make. With web design, however, this can be even more complex as different features can change the price you pay considerably. In this post, we look at the factors that will impact on your expenditure when ordering a brand new or updating an existing business website.
The Complexity of a Website
Generally speaking, the more complex your website, the greater the cost. Technically, there is far more to get right, and this involves more coding, testing, and integration with APIs and other features.
Should e-commerce be involved, the functionality of this aspect is a factor in driving up time and therefore, cost. This is compounded by site security which is another factor that needs to be on-point.
On the other hand, a more information-focused site may require less work and as such, carry less of a price tag.
It is a good idea to make two lists when approaching a web design company. One list is essentials for the site and a wish list. The latter being elements you would like but are not essential to your business. The company should be able to break down costs on the wish list, allowing you to make an informed choice.
The design of a website is extremely important and should tie into and reinforce your company branding. When a potential customer or client lands on your site, the design should convey what industry you operate in instantly and ensure that what your business offers is immediately clear. The simpler and more straightforward the better. Design of the website is also factored into the cost of the project. The more complex or ambitious the design of the website is, the more cost it will involve. It is always a good idea that when you approach a web developer for a quote for your project, to have some reference websites that they can look at for an idea of the style you are looking for.
Increasingly, web designers are under pressure to make a website work very well on a wide range of smart devices such as tablets and phones. Again, this level of skill comes with a cost, and it is one of the most important aspects to get right.
Website maintenance is an area where costs can be pushed up and down considerably. Web design/development agencies tend to operate differently where maintenance is concerned. Some offer cheaper web designs but higher maintenance cost, others have higher design costs and lower maintenance fees.
It is a number-crunching exercise to determine which option is best when maintenance agreements are on the table. As a minimum, ensure that the important elements are going to be updated, and that the business has a robust approach to ‘back-ups’ and security.
Hosting and Domain Registration
Hosting and domain registration is sometimes included in the cost of your design, other times this is a separate cost. Domain registration is the registering of your website name, say storm-design.net, while hosting is paying for the server space which is where the site lives.
Hosting comes with a range of options, and this varies the cost. A dedicated server, for example, costs more than shared hosting but indirectly might save you money should your site experience high traffic volumes on a regular basis.
Other fees that can be expected here are DNS Hosting fees, SSL Certificates and if required, business email services.
Web Designer Expertise
It is important to remember that good web designers bring with them experience and expertise. They stay on top of design trends and bring this to new and existing projects. They implement Google specifications to keep your site onside with the corporate giants ensuring you receive no penalties. Some of what you pay for you do not see, but its importance cannot be overstated.
Planning & Time
One of the things which the client will most often not see is the considerable amount of time that is used on planning the project carefully to ensure that the project requirements are being met, brainstorming ideas, seek areas of improvements and through all this, keep the business requirements and their customer base in mind to create a long-term sustainable website that their clients will use without any issues. This time is typically included in the project cost, but if you need such transparency do ask your developer to provide such breakdown if it helps you assess your quotes.
At times, business requirements or client’s ideas change when the project development has already started. In such cases, first of all, it’s important that you make your web designer know that such changes may soon need to be done, to allow for the project to be put on hold before further development is made. Such changes in direction are most of the time easy to accommodate, however, do keep in mind that inevitably, the project cost may change due to the time that may have already been spent developing the project based on the previous plan.
Everyone hates hidden costs (and we do too!) – and therefore, to avoid such surprises, please do make sure to ask your web designer about their costs policies. Most will not engage in such bad practices, but it doesn’t hurt to ask to make sure you are dealing with a trustworthy web design agency.
There are however certain areas where a client may perceive added project costs as a ‘hidden cost’. This is where the client/business relationship goes both ways and the client must understand that if the project requirements change, the fees will also change. Let us use an example of a client that requests a quote for a simple, 5-page website. If this website ends up then with 20 pages, then the fees for such project will without a doubt increase accordingly due to the amount of work required to create the additional 15 pages. For extra clarity, you may want to also enquire about the agency’s hourly rate for work outside of the project scope. You don’t want any surprises there either.
Get in Touch
If you need a business or any kind of website, get in touch. We will breakdown the costs involved and ensure you get a valuable business tool which will help you achieve your aims.