What is a realistic budget for a website?
This is a very common question we are asked. It does come down to a number of different things and that is why the answer is that…
It all depends…
The true answer to how much a website costs is ‘it all depends’! There are so many variable factors in website design and development, that this truly is the best answer I can give without further info.
I am going to break down the variables into 10 categories so we can look at where some of that budget goes. If you are on a limited budget, there may be some areas you could look at starting out small and a look at building up in the future.
Breakdown of a Budget for a Website
In my experience I have found that designers and developers like to eat and live in houses as much as anyone else. In order for this to happen, they need to make a profit. We don’t expect anyone else to work for a month $500, so if you want a functional website that looks good, let’s just say it is going to cost more than $500.
Let’s look at these 10 categories and see how they can considerably change the price of a website.
- Platform of the website
- Number of pages – the more pages required, the more work that is involved
- Style of design – are you expecting your designer to create a logo? How much styling and artwork is going into your design? Also you may want your heading to do that cool animated thing you saw on a competitor site.
- Copywriting # of pages – are you supplying your own content or is designer going to outsource this to a copywriter?
- On page seo – are you wishing to increase your ranking on search engines? Getting seo performing takes a lot of time and research. If you don’t know what you are doing with seo, you could be penalized or worse be permanently de-ranked by Google. This is not something any business would ever want!
- Responsive design – more websites are being views by smartphones and tablets than ever before. Google are starting to penalize sites that are not responsive.
- Database integration – How much info are you requiring to be available on your website? Or are you wanting to create a membership site?
- E-Commerce functionality – eCommerce can really push up the price of your site. There is a lot of functionality in the back end to make a simple click to purchase, send money to your account and generate orders, shipping etc.
- CMS – Content Management System. This is another variable that can adjust the price of a site.
- Experience of the Designer / Developer
Budget for a Website in More Detail
The Website Platform
Are you looking at a ‘hired’ platform like Wix, Squarespace, Havealook or even wordpress.com? These website builders may give you a cheaper option. One issue with that is that it will always be a hired platform. This means that you are at the mercy of their design and payments. You don’t have full control, but they can be a really great starting place and offer a system that you can DIY when you are just starting out.
The Number of Pages
This component basically comes down to the sheer man hours required to build a site out. For example, obviously a book with 400 pages will take substantially longer to build than a tri-fold brochure. This is simply about quantity of hours involved in creating the site and will definitely need to be taken into account when setting your budget for a website.
Style of Design
Are you happy to take a design that has been created as a template or are you looking for your own unique design? Do you require a logo, animations or a video? Do your pics need photoshop editing? Anything that is custom or customised takes time. And as we all understand, time is money.
You should also take into consideration the experience & skill of the designer. Are you looking for someone who can create a masterpiece or are you simply happy with it looking more amateurish? Highly skilled & experienced designers will cost more. They also understand how your website visitors will use your site and the user experience required to make conversions. Again this can only come with time and experience. These skills mean your website can perform as a marketing machine, rather than simply an online brochure.
How are your copy skills? If you don’t feel confident in your written content, you may need to consider hiring a copywriter. This will of course, impact you budget for a website. Much like the designer and developer of your website, you will need to consider the experience and skill of the person writing your content. Will there need to be research? Do you want to ensure your content is of high quality and will increase your SEO efforts and gain your website ranking traction? Or are you happy to simply have a few words on a page. Google is looking for at least 600 words, but in all honesty, 1000 – 2000 is a better minimum to set.
On Page SEO
The SEO on your website is what will make Google rank your site highly and allow you to gain traffic and conversions. Again, quality SEO takes time, research and skill. As a minimum you really need to consider setting up a plugin such as Rank Math, All in One SEO or SEOpress Pro and follow the instructions. Make sure every page is green in the plugin score by following the suggestions. Your budget for a website will impact how much SEO you have set on the site form the beginning. However ongoing SEO should be looked at as an ongoing marketing cost if you want to compete for the places online.
In all honesty, this should be a given! Since Google ranks websites on ‘mobile first’, the responsiveness of your site needs to be a priority. However, did you realise that there is more to having a responsive site than the fact it will fit on a mobile screen. When considering your budget for a website, you may wish to think about the user experience on mobile. Google considers things like user experience, spacing, size of readable text and buttons.
To get these things optimised, it takes time and will affect the budget for a website.
Do you have a need for a membership system? Or are you going to be holding some other large database within the site. The additional software, security and expertise of these will affect you budget for a website.
Much like the database integration, ecommerce will certainly impact your budget for a website. You will realistically need to have a website of a minimum of $5000 – $10000 when you are talking eComm. The time involved in making everything work and the cost of additional software will increase the budget for a website dramatically.
The CMS you choose to use will also affect the budget for a website. Some CMS (content management systems) are free but others charge for the platform. However, just because you may choose to use a CMS (WordPress) that is free, doesn’t necessarily mean it will cost less. That will come down to all the other factors listed here, other software costs and the experience of the designer / developer.
Experience of the Website Designer and Developer
The experience & skill of the website designer & developer will play a huge role in the budget for a website. An experienced developer will have honed their marketing skills and understand the psychology of buyers & website audience. They will be well trained and understand the importance of following best practices.
An experience & highly skilled web designer will understand how UX affects performance & ROI for a website. They will use clean code and understand the importance and impact of speed of a website.
What do you really want?
A website consultant has probably been educated over many years to bring together all the expertise needed to create an amazing site. I guarantee it does not only take a few days to build a functional website, it takes weeks or months.
If you have a limited budget, let your Web Consultant know. They will be able to help you decide what you really need now and what can be added on in the future. A website is a business asset and should be an instrument to make money. Take advantage of this and create a marketing plan to roll out over the next 12 – 24 months with the website.
Realistically, most websites cost between $4,000 – $10,000. Many can be as expensive as $100,000+
Using a Website calculator can give you a good understanding of the budget for a website you will need for the site you want to build.
FAQ’s for Budget for a Website
Q – How much does it cost to build a website?
A – It really depends. But a quality website that will produce results will be Approx $5000 – $15000 or more.
Q- What is a good budget for a website?
A – Depending on the skill and expertise of your web designer / developer, a starting point of $5000 would be a good place to start.
Q – How much does it cost to set up a website for a small business?
A – Consider what you need. Are you just starting out and want a DIY option? Or are you an established business looking to elevate and get performance and ROI on the site. A DIY option could cost as little as $200, A full blown stunning marketing machine could cost in excess or $100k
Q – How mush does it cost to set up and maintain a website?
A – Again depending on your needs and skill level of your website consultant, you could be looking at anything between $200 (DIY) to $100k+. But a solid starting place would be to consider a budget for a website between $5000 – $15000.
Q – Can I get a free website domain?
A – Nothing is free in this world. If it says it is free, then it will be likely you get charged a huge fee when it is renewed. Be warry of a ‘free’ domain name.
Q – How much does a GoDaddy website cost?
A – Are you talking about how much you pay them or what it will cost your business in the long run? There are many pitfalls to hosting on a shared server. Performance is terrible and there are a great deal of addon fees. This can be fine for a start up or have a hobby website, but if you have a business that you value and are serious about, then this is not a good option. At PurpleCow Digital Marketing we won’t work on a site that is hosted by GoDaddy. We are professionals and tike pride in our work and customer service.
Q – Is WordPress really free?
A – Yep, WordPress core is free and open source software. What is not free are the plugins required to increase functionality or the skilled developer making these things work. WordPress powers over 35% of the internet now and is AMAZING, but it is really important to have the right person steering the ship.
Q – How much does a Wix site cost?
A- Like other platforms, there will be a couple of options with Wix. You may opt to DIY your site or you may wish to hire a Wix Specialist to help design and set up your website. There will be professional costs involved with this. Then there will be an ongoing fee to Wix, that can range from $13 – $500 per month for use of the platform. My colleague & friend, Vicki from The Wicked Web, specializes in Wix Websites. She has also written an article on what you may expect to pay for digital design & marketing.
Q – How much does it cost to maintain a website?
A – There will be a number of costs associated with maintaining a website. These will include things like hosting, premium plugins, backups and developer fees. At PurpleCow Digital Marketing we offer Web Care Plans to support our clients. Our website care plans support our client’s websites so they have peace of mind and can get on with running their businesses.
Q – How much is a 5 page website?
A- Some website designer / developers will charge a flat rate for a 5 page website or 10 page website. Other agencies will quote specifically to what is required for the website. The reasons above help to understand why there can be such a difference in prices for websites and help you understand what budget for a website you will require.
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Head to our website worksheet and we will get back to you with a quote for your website.