A while ago, a potential client called to ask what I charged for a website for her business.
Since all websites are not created equal I wasn’t so quick to pull a number from thin air. It’s never that simple. This means, I don’t see logic in placing the cart before the horse. What does your site need to do?, I asked.
Before price, don’t you want to know what’s under the hood so to speak? Of course you do! You need to be informed of what your buying and how the functionality will benefit your business. If you were shopping for a car wouldn’t you want to know more details? — You get it I’m sure.
Despite my statements to the potential client I did learn a little bit more about her needs for business and provided a quote based on those requirements.
After reviewing the quote she replied to say that my price was higher than her budget allowed.
She chose to go with some other implementer and…
Note: I work with budgets and have creative ways to make any reasonable budget work.
Needless to say, I viewed her business website about 4 months later and to my surprise her website was…
well, quite frankly a complete disaster. 🙁
Bargain Shopping for Websites: The Problem
I’m all for a good deal and bargain shopping can be quite fun — for shoes and other goods that is. Not at all for a professional service though.
Let’s look at an example together. Imagine this: You should be evaluated by a cardiologist doctor. There are two doctors in your area:
Which provider would you call? One seems very professional, (we must assume imagery is representative of the level and quality of care you’ll receive.)
One provider costs more than the other, one looks a total mess and also may be inclined to give you a discount on tires while you’re there. Is that what you are looking for? I didn’t think so.
The points I make here are vital for two reasons.
First, when you are deciding what you can afford for your own website, keep in mind that cheaper isn’t always better. Not in this case at least.
Second, you don’t want to hire someone whose website looks like Cardiologist Bait and Tire Care no matter how cheap the work is. This is your business we’re talking about and you now realize you need quality work for this website investment.
I think we can safely assume that the first choice probably provides quality care and attention to their patients. Honestly, I’d have no desire to let someone evaluate my heart and my health where it costs less than what I’d pay for a pair of shoes. A good point indeed.
A Note on Investment/Costs
As I have mentioned, the cost of a website can (and does) vary greatly depending on several factors such as the functionality needed, whom you choose to render the service, and a number of other factors. Websites aren’t really like cars, appliances or any physical good you might buy.
Website creation is a service and not a product; but you knew that. People don’t have websites created because it seems like a fun or trendy thing to do; in which case, it’s totally agreeable that you wouldn’t want to spend much. There are plenty of free to really cheap/inexpensive platforms available for people who want to start a website or blog.
However, though since you are running a business, whether it’s a blog that earns money or a full eCommerce business, or perhaps a brick and mortar business of any kind: your website is the most important form of advertisement or marketing you can buy.
People like myself (and my team) who provide services to other businesses have worked very hard to be able to listen to what you need and develop a plan to meet those needs and let’s not forget to mention your expectations. Those are important also and part of what we strive for on each and every website we develop.
Facets for decision making: What to invest for a website.
Considering a website functions correctly, how much money can you make?
While it’s not completely simple to estimate how much your website can help your business in just one year. (I can attest to 60K my first year in business with my website; which is higher than the average.)
In a general sense you should plan to refresh or redesign your website about every 2-3 years –sometimes more all depending. Therefore, if the cost of the website is $10K and you earn $120K in its lifespan, isn’t that a really solid investment? I personally would almost certainly invest that today if I understood my website would allow my business a 12 fold gain.
Note: It’s impossible to know exact figures and no one should promise you exact figures. There are variables which affect revenue however the website is what we’re talking about. No a marketing plan or SEO.
Your Website: What does it really need?
You shouldn’t become fixated on sidebars, animations, sliders and fancy effects quite honestly. I’m sorry to say but none of those features are important at all. What truly matters most is the goal you’re after. Your goals might be getting visitors to buy something from your eCommerce website, request a quote or make an appointment. The fact remains; your website needs to be designed with the goal in mind.
How much should you afford? Just a word.
I didn’t ask how much you’d like to pay as that’s a completely different conversation. If you don’t feel you should spend much money for a website you are saying that you don’t expect to gain much at the same time. In which case, may I ask –why do you want a website in the first place?
Getting what you want: What will it take?
Most appropriately it will take a professional with expertise in building successful business websites. Honestly, you can’t get a Twitter clone for less than $1,000 If you want custom functionality, you can’t get that from your neighbor’s friend who is a college student.
It’s vitally important to place priority on your website’s needs early as you can always circle back and add other features later. A project can also be broken into phases or chunks. Getting the basics first is the name of the game then plan for phase II when you can get them budget-wise.
How much is too much for your website?
It is my opinion that a blog should cost anywhere from $200 or more up to several thousand dollars; unless you have a large audience and need specific functionality. An example of the higher price bracket would be you’d like to add a membership component, forums and so forth.
My theme setup express site packages are truly an incredible deal, work great for those on a budget, and provide a stellar foundation in which you can base your business. Why? Because these packages are designed to grow with your business. Thus making phase II development a snap for a seasoned professional.
Want to keep it simple and have a modest budget?
A customized website package is a great choice. Here’s Why:
You get a polished and professional look with some deep customizations or added functionality. For those needing to match existing branding or collateral this is the perfect place to start. Customized packages are available for as little as $550-$900 and of course a complete satisfaction guarantee.
Need a totally unique web presence? You can’t go wrong with custom theme development. Starting at just $1800 you’ll get a Genesis WP theme built just for you and based on your business needs. Many businesses like an original look and feel that accentuates their brand position.
Express Sites are the ideal choice for start ups and those with a strict budget. Starting price is just $200 and includes much more than just a premium Genesis theme and the number of pages you need. I also include a training session to help you get going quickly.
Entrepreneurs who just simply want to get started online like to use Express Sites for a number of reasons. While you don’t get a completely unique website, you do get a professional website which will be respected online. Circle back for those other edits and additions later since I’ll still be around and more than happy to assist you.