HOW MUCH SHOULD A WEBSITE COST & WHAT FACTORS INFLUENCE WEBSITE PRICING?
What determines is website pricing? How much should a professional website development project cost? What does one get for the price?
First of all, let’s define what I mean with professional websites. I’ve seen many instances where business owners have tried the DIY route and the result is always obvious. (see our article on not attempting your own web design HERE)
Although some websites may take longer than others, what you are paying for is the designer’s TIME and EXPERTISE. However, expensive quotes don’t necessarily mean that you’ll be getting a better job.
THE FIRST QUESTION WE SHOULD ASK OURSELVES SHOULD BE: WHAT MAKES A WEBSITE PROFESSIONAL?
Different industries have different requirements. A website for a medical practice, for instance, has different requirements to that of an online retail store. Designing a doctor’s website, a web designer would make sure, the contact details are easily accessible on every page. The contact page should feature a Google map. A user-friendly appointment booking form should feature on the front page. This will encourage people to book an appointment without having to phone the dentist’s reception. Being in the medical field, legal requirements play a big role too. (Doctors’ websites should display their profession, qualification and registration number).
A qualified web designer identifies features that are important in your specific industry and , discusses them with you and implements them on your website. A web designer should ideally be a big-picture thinker and keep your business objectives in mind during the entire web design process. As a business owner, you may not be able to see the entire project from end-to-end and how the various components of your website fit together.
Being a web designer myself, I’ve seen quite a few web designs gone wrong. Often websites are designed in obsolete or custom made content management systems. Changes are difficult to implement and new functionalities can only be added at great cost and more often than not this means re-contracting the web design company which designed the website in the first place.
A customer should never be held to ransom in order to update or change their website. This is a fairly straightforward process yet many design companies charge over the odds for this however most web designers should be able to quote an hourly rate to do updates or changes as long as the site has been built on a standard platform.
Coding and customisation take time and skills and this will affect website pricing.
Websites done in HTML or customised content management systems are often difficult to maintain. Simple additions like extra social media buttons and links mean additional manual coding (and expense). You will have to contact your web developer each and every time, paying an hourly rate.
Mental note: HTML websites or customised content management websites often imply that you have to work with the same web designer who designed your website. If you weren’t too happy with his job in the first place, the idea of contacting him again and throwing more money at him might not give you goose bumps. A website is always work in progress so I recommend making sure he is building a platform that can be easily maintained and uses a system that is accessible and widely known which allows for a greater choice of developer that you feel comfortable with.
If you hear someone talking about responsive websites, they are talking industry jargon and mean “mobile friendly”. In the mobile era accessibility of information has become very important. Mobile users are searching to find information quickly. Mobile friendliness should be a standard feature on all websites these days and not make any difference to your website pricing.
SEO stands for search engine optimisation and covers everything that needs to be done to have your website show up next to your competitor’s websites on Google search results for your most relevant keywords. Having a website domain on your business cards and letterheads is nice and looks professional, generating new business from outside town is even better.
Having a website designed, you want to give it the best possible chance to get a spot in the top two pages of Google search so it’s important that your web designer does a full keyword analysis before starting with the web design optimising each and every page on your website based on a thorough keyword analysis.
Website pricing varies from project to project depending on the customer’s needs. This makes it sometimes difficult to set a fixed price for a package. We do offer great value-for-money packages that will suit just about everyone.