Websites costs vary, just like cars or houses, from free to tens of thousands plus, but a reasonable Rule of Thumb for affordable web design is about €200 a page. Any less and you have to worry that the Designer or Developer is charging too little and will deliver little of use. Making your web presence work well for you takes someones time and that needs to be factored in at the start.

FREE is still doable, but plant the right seed and harvest the right return – poor seed = poor return.
See our guide to building your own website HERE – otherwise see the four ballpark pricing options below to get someone competent to do it for you.

1. DIY website expect about €1000 for 5 page web presence set up on say Joomla or WordPress open source platform – can you do the rest yourself ? Create and add the content, as in sized images and text ? Manage your own SEO to optimise your new site & Digital Marketing to get visitors and convert them to customers. Invest a bit in a low cost design theme to make the site look good.

2. Small Business Website expect about €1000 for the 5 pages done for you plus €50 a page for basic SEO to be done for you. Will you use a theme or template or do you want a Graphic Designer to design a look for you ? If so, add in that cost of a few hundred euros. But you are still at about just €1500

3. CMS Content Management System  expect about €2000 for about 10 pages and good input from an Online Business Analyst for good planning. Getting your business online properly. Add in any costs for design whether it is a low cost theme or a custom graphic designer.

Prices in €s + VAT – €1000 to €2000.00 to €3000 depending on modules required plus any customised design

    • Content Management System, Initial content entry for 5- 10 pages, unlimited web pages, Attachment management, image and Flash manager, image Gallery, SEO tools, Google Maps, YouTube, Preview Mode, Query Form, Website Statistics – €1000 to €2000
    • Website Design Template choice of Client or Designer. You can get a free or low cost theme around €50 and then have your developer tweak it a little or customise it, but every change is more cost. Or you can get a good graphic designer with web design experience to create a design that works for you, preferably based on a theme too. Again, if you want a customised design allow a budget for graphic design – anywhere from €500 to €800 on average.
    • Monthly Support & Maintenance Options if required needs to be available, so that you have the back up of someone watching over this digital doorway. All websites need theme and versions updates and security patches applied regularly. This is code or software and is prone to problems, if you do not look after it. Any plugins also need to be maintained. Probably an hour or two a month. See Support Plans
    • SEF – Search Engine Friendly page set up option €50 per page, a basic requirement for Digital Marketing. But Digital Marketing is so much more than this so talk to a competent Digital Marketer before you build a website.
    • Host – Buy suitable secure 5* hosting, where they offer good customer support – expect to pay about €10 a month to Siteground or InMotion

We can refer Clients to Specialised SEO or Online Marketing specialists, who can use our tools to drive your business online.

Responsive Design layoutsGet good independent advice for yourself on Digital Marketing, Internet Marketing, SEO Search Engine Optimisation, SEM Search Engine Marketing and SMO Social Media Optimisation, as well as offsite marketing and traditional techniques, which can be even more important. Plan your online business and then plan your site around a Digital Marketing Strategy. Also talk to your Web Partners about a Monthly Support Plan. It is very much a team effort.

Your website should be planned, designed, developed and marketed for your specific purposes, so no two sites are the same and therefore there is no single price for a website. If someone tells you they charge a set price, but they do not know exactly what you need – run away fast. It is like building a house. The biggest disappointment in web is where someone gets a site created that does not do what it is supposed to do. You can waste a year waiting to find out that the bargain website is costing you lost potential sales. When you go looking to build a house, you will get people who can offer you a Portacabin at a set price, but if you get a good architect, a qualified building contractor and an interior designer, then the investment will be a lot higher. Where do you want to live and how long should it last. Ask your potential web partner to give you an idea of how much you can expect to get back from any investment and how quickly can you expect it.

It’s unwise to pay too much, but it’s worse to pay too little. When you pay too much, you lose a little money – that’s all. When you pay too little, you sometimes lose everything, because the thing you bought was incapable of doing the thing it was bought to do. The common law of business balance prohibits paying a little and getting a lot – it can’t be done. If you deal with the lowest bidder, it is well to add something for the risk you run, and if you do that you will have enough to pay for something better.” John Ruskin

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CMS Business Website Case Study:

Here is a price we did this morning for a new site for a builder who wants to be Number One in his area and look professional, with a great gallery to showcase his work and a simple way for visitors to ask questions or book an appointment.
500.00 – Web Brief and Nav structure
500.00 – Design customised
1950.00 – CMS Platform Joomla
650 – 1300 Configuration of custom design if required, pages and navigations, agreed galleries and web forms.
700.00 – Initial SEO
10.00 – Hosting per month
60.00 per month – Support – Monthly site audit, updates and report

This builder also paid a photographer €800 to take great images of 10 local projects.
Total initial spend agreed was over €5k. The same client set a target of one serious enquiry a week with one good conversion a month. Average expected spend not disclosed here, but one conversion will pay for the new website. Subsequently, the builder also booked 3 months Digital Marketing services at €700 per month from month two and asked that the Graphic designer do their company stationery, popups and van graphics.

What cost does this builder expect the site to run ? He expects no net costat all, just a very good return on a reasonable investment of about €5000.

4. eCommerce – Online Store

Now you are getting away from Digital Business cards and in to the realms of trading. Think of it like opening a shop on the High Street or in a shopping centre where 200 sq metres will cost €50k a year in rent and €50k in overheads including rates with twice that in staff salaries. So, bearing that in mind, where do you want to start? I see people offering to do eCommerce solutions for less than €1000. I also see Magento partners asking €20,000. You are going to be somewhere in between?

Here are some options
1. DIY Website for €1000 plus €250 for prepping graphic content with some Paypal buttons for 10 to 20 items – budget less than €2k
2. Business CMS with Hikashop or WooCommerce type ecommerce plugin, catalogue and cart for up to 100 to 10,000 products – budget €4k to €10k
3. Magento eCommerce or similar – as many products as you like and loads of functionality, plus integration with eBay and Amazon – budget €10k plus.
And be aware the bigger the platform the more support you will need – think shop staff, only nerdy.

Lastly, remember that without good SEO and Digital Marketing, nobody will even know that your shop exists. So budget 20% for the solution and 80% for marketing. Now where do you stand?
For more eCommerce advice see our free guide HERE

It is common for people to sell the software rather than offer the solution you need, which includes that software, but more importantly includes how that software is configured. Most of these Content Management Systems use free Open Source software, so a website can be produced for very little actual cost, but the time and the quality of that talent adds to that investment. So, get a good web partner who understands what you want to achieve, who gets to understand your business and your challenges, your customers and their needs. Build a website to make a good return rather than focus on spending the smallest amount possible. If you are a developer, do yourself and your client a favour, give them what they need, rather than just take what they want to spend. “Focus on the customer experience rather than the technology” Steve Jobs

Tip: Developers are like Chefs, they want to show you how to do it and impress you with what you can do with the ‘solution’, so make sure that you get a website that lets you do as much or as little as you like, which allows you outsource as much as you want, rather than getting something brilliant, but complicated and time consuming.