How much does a website cost?
Ah, the golden question. It seems like everyone wants to know the short and sweet answer to this question.
When you are shopping for a new vehicle, you don’t just show up at a dealership and say “I want a vehicle, how much does it cost?”. You’ll quickly be bombarded with questions like, what brand of vehicle (Tesla or Ford), what size of vehicle (Car or Semi-Truck), what do you need the vehicle for (City Driving or Farming), what are some features you need (Cruise Control, Auto-Park). There’s so many different elements that adjust the price of a vehicle, the same way that website prices can fluctuate. So the truth is, there is no short and sweet answer. When customers ask “How much does it cost?”, I always start with, “It depends.” Because, a new website or redesign really depends on the following questions.
Why a website?
A few things to consider that will affect the cost of your website are the purpose of it. In the same way a semi-truck has an entirely different purpose and use as a smart car, think about the purpose of your website.
1. What is the purpose of your website?
Whether it be an online shop, an event registration, a directory or just an information website, websites have so many different purposes. Are you hoping to sell products, or simply inform potential customers of your service offerings? Thinking about the purpose will really help understand what kind of website you need.
2. What are your customers doing on your website?
Are your website visitors hoping to have some sort of interactive aspect when they visit your website? Or are they simply visiting the website to gain information and educate themselves. Something like Facebook is very different then something like my website. On Facebook, users are constantly interacting with one another through posts, albums, images and so on. Thinking about what your customers are doing on your website will help you understand why you need a website in the first place.
What size of website do you need?
Another huge factor that affects the cost of your website is the size. A 10 page website outlining simple services and company information is a lot less expensive than an online store with over 300 products. Do you have three team members or fifty? Try thinking about things that could affect the scale of your website.
If it’s a smaller website, it might make sense to base it off a template as a starting point, but if it’s a larger website with large amounts of functionality, then it will definitely need to be custom. And these can play a huge role in cost.
How many bells and whistles do you want and need?
The same way you can add on air-conditioning or a custom paint job to your vehicle, there are so many bits and pieces on a website. A few questions to consider are:
1. Are you hoping to be the number one result on Google for “Ice Cream Shops in Edmonton”?
If the answer was yes, but for your specific industry, then you’re likely going to need some extra Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or online marketing integration into your website.
2. Do you have your own imagery?
Isn’t it so much easier to order a meal from a menu when there are images to help you out? The same goes for service offerings on a website. Imagery is crucial to a high performing website, but simply using iPhone images on your website is a very poor decision. It instantly reduces the credibility of your website and company.
Custom photography or illustration makes a huge difference on a website. Think of a fitness studio. If you went to their website and saw only stock photos, how would you know who the instructors are? How would you know what the studio space looks like? Are they using stock photos because it’s actually a dingy space?
Sometimes custom photography doesn’t match the budget or project and in those cases, stock photography could be used. Stock photos run at a minimum of $25 per photo, and if you need more than one per page, you might want to keep room in your budget for imagery.
3. Will you be writing the copy and content for your website?
Content is something that often holds up the website process because people don’t anticipate how much time it takes. If a website has 15 pages and each page takes at least an hour to write content, do you have 15 hours to do that? Try out this content calculator here to help you understand if hiring a copywriter is worth your time (Don't forget to convert it to CAD!).
So… The cost?
Since we’re in the 21st century and everything digital is all around us, consider the value of a website. How many potential customers do you think it would reach? How much money or business do you think those customers would bring in? Keep that in mind when assessing the value of a website and how much it's worth to your business.
So in the end, I can't really tell you upfront what a website costs without knowing more information because there are just so many different factors at play when building websites. The good thing is, now you’ll know a few of the questions that might come your way after you ask anyone that question. If you really aren’t sure how to answer a lot of those, I typically start websites with an initial assessment that will help us figure out exactly what you need for your business. If you have been thinking of a website, I’d love to hear more about it!