"What Does It Cost?" VS "What Is Your Budget?"
It's an age-old tug of war! No one wants to budge, the business owner wants to spend as little as possible and the developer wants to get as much as possible for the work being performed. There are always some initial questions to ask: What do you want your website to do? How do you want it to perform? and are you expecting some additional integrations? Where is the middle ground? Well, let's look at what is really involved so that you can make an informed decision. Let's establish the expectations compared to reality and go from there.
Anything Under 5K
This is definitely an entry-level website. I know you have seen the ads, $499 gets you a website. Yes, that's correct, you can have a basic website for that little of a price, but what do you really get for that? You get a very cheap or free template, a few free images, maybe 5 pages... basically a business card online. Is that what your business deserves? There isn't anything wrong with templates, stock images, and the basics if you are just starting out, but if your business has been around at least a year its time to invest in the future of your company (and cheap and easy is not the impression you want to give your customers). Anything around the $5,000 and slightly below mark will provide a solid start for your business. It's a valiant effort and nothing to scoff at. Many of our customers start here and there is no shame in providing this as a starting point for any company.
5K to 15K
This is standard for most business websites, there may still be some templates, stock images, the marketing efforts are typically client-driven. While audits and marketing research is included, it's not as in-depth research as larger projects. Taking into consideration the annual revenue of many companies who choose this level of project development, this is a fair price. Clients are more involved in design and development at this level. There may be some room for some custom graphics or photography, many times clients provide this as an additional resource.
15K to 30K
This is generally a starting range for most small businesses who are looking to improve on their competitor's websites, gain a stronger foothold in their industry, and rise closer to the top of their market. There is more custom design, a greater level of programming, and a dedicated copywriter involved in this project, custom photography is also usually included. Market research for this level of website is more involved, A/B testing and consumer research also come into play.
50K to 100K
Yes, there are many companies that start at this level. There is an implied perception that "You get what you pay for" and in some cases that is very true. For a business spending this amount of their marketing budget towards a new website there will be custom graphic design, custom photography, video production, a high level of social media management, and a higher expectation of generating leads and sales (a strong SEO strategy in place and ongoing management as well). Strong market research, customer interviews, and a strategic business plan with objectives are also involved. This is not typical for businesses starting out, but more established companies that have a marketing budget to accommodate this.
This is the upper echelon of development, it's not a fast process and has several phases before completion. There is a high level of custom development (you will NOT see stock photos or templates here) This is a one of a kind site for a business that has global recognition, their sales numbers are most likely in the millions and this is only for very experienced firms with a large dedicated team (could even be hundreds of developers).
That last section was intimidating! While your business may not have global recognition (or a global budget!) That doesn't mean that you can't have a great looking and strong performing website for your business. While there are many examples of stellar websites online and you have undoubtedly seen some cool effects and felt the seamless interface of amazing design. Do your expectations match your budget? Our favorite example is Apple. While it is most definitely a globally known company with some of the best developers, it also has something that the majority of business owners don't have access to; a generous marketing budget. Our biggest constraint is not skill or ability, it's usually what the client is willing to spend. When discussing projects, we are conscious of your budget, we understand that everyone deserves a beautifully performing representation of their business, and that is definitely what we deliver. Many of our clients have been able to grow their business, increase their exposure, and become a larger company through some creative marketing strategies and appropriate budgeting. We can work with most any budget and can tailor a project to fulfill your marketing needs and still fit within your budget. Contact us to see what we can do for your business.