If you’re super busy running your business and/or you’re just not a techie person, then you need to hire someone to build your site for you. It’s that simple.
However, if you’ve searched online and visited sites of website designers/developers, you’ve probably encountered:
- No prices listed at all.
- Prices all over the map, from ridiculously cheap to super expensive.
The good news is we rolled up our sleeves and did the research for you regarding what it costs to build (or redesign) a small business website in 2020.
For web designers that did list their prices, we found the going rate in 2020 to build a modern, professional small business website was typically $3,000-$6,000 but could be as much as $20,000 (or more) depending on the number of pages on the site and the amount of customization required.
Website Design vs. Website Development. Website design and website development are often used synonymously, but they’re two very different things. Website design is like working with an architect to create the blueprint for your house. Website development is like working with a contractor to actually build your house. The 2020 pricing estimates listed above are for website design *as well as* website development (i.e. the complete, all inclusive cost).
Now that you have a ballpark idea of what things cost, let’s take a closer look at the specific factors affecting the price of building a small business website:
- Page volume. Let’s say a web development firm offers a 10-page website package for $3,000, but your site needs 25 pages — how much extra will that cost? A good rule of thumb is to add about $100/page for each page over and above what’s included in the standard website package. In this example, adding 15 pages (to the 10 pages included in the standard website package) would cost $1,500. Add this amount to the original base price of $3,000 and the revised total is $4,500. Every situation will vary, obviously, but at least this gives you a reasonable cost estimate based on common pricing in the industry.
- Custom site layout. Every website starts with a theme or template. Nobody codes a website totally from scratch anymore. That’s way too time-consuming and expensive. A template or theme often gets you 50-60% of the way to the finish line, but there’s still tons of customization and coding needed to get your site looking and functioning how you want it to. The more customization and coding required, the greater the cost. Templates and themes are a major reason you can often build a professional small business website in the $3,000-$6,000 range instead of $15,000-$20,000 or more
- Custom images & graphics. Fancy images and graphics can give your site a one-of-a-kind look, but it comes at a price. In addition, sophisticated visual effects often require special editing software and/or the services of a custom graphic design specialist.
- Custom programming. Sometimes you can find a WordPress plugin providing the exact functionality you want right out of the box (i.e. image carousel, membership portal, payment calculator, etc). Other times, getting your site to do what you want requires significant trial/error and testing. In a perfect world, everything would be plug-and-play and work perfectly the first time — but that’s rarely the case. A fair amount of tinkering and testing is usually required to get everything working as intended.
- Number of design revisions. Most website projects start with an initial concept design (kind of like a rough draft), then it’s common to have 1 or 2 rounds of design revisions to get everything just right. Some website designers offer as many as 3-5 rounds of design revisions. Technically, a website designer can offer as many rounds of design revisions as they want. But keep in mind, every design iteration adds to the overall cost of the project. In my experience, 1-2 rounds of design revisions are more than sufficient 99% of the time.
- Website content development. Solid, thoughtful, persuasive content is the foundation of any great website. If you’re launching a new site but don’t have any content yet, it needs to be developed. If you have an existing site but the content is weak, stale or outdated, it’ll need to be refined, enhanced … maybe even overhauled. Over the years I’ve discovered the # 1 obstacle to launching a website is content development. Our clients struggle with this because it’s time-consuming and difficult to do. That’s why a few years ago we began offering professional copywriting services to our website design and development offerings.
Article adapted from markbrinker.com