What Does a Website Cost – a simple breakdown?
Website costs vary, just like cars or houses, from free to tens of thousands plus, but a reasonable Rule of Thumb for affordable web design by a competent developer is expect to invest about €250 to €300 a page. Any less and you have to worry that the Developer is inexperienced or charging too little and will deliver little of use for you.
So, there you have it, in theory you can get a webpage for €300 and a 10 page website for €3000. BUT, stop! Before you give somebody any money, think about planning, design and SEO. Are you going to get custom graphic design or just a design theme. Who will optimise your new web presence to ensure that it gets found in a Google search. ? How will you advertise it?
The bottom line is that asking for a price is usually the wrong answer. It is very important to have a plan before you start. Include the planned layout, design, content, seo and advertising in this plan or Brief.
Making your new web presence work well for you takes someones time and that investment needs to be factored in at the start. A good web design agency should be able to guarantee that you get a good return on your investment. So there is no cost as such, just a temporary drain on cash reserves. What would it cost you to get it wrong?
FREE is doable, if you have the time to commit. However, if you plant the right seed, you will harvest the right return, so you want to get this right.
See our 4 step guide to getting your own website built HERE and/or see the four ballpark pricing options below to get someone competent to do it for you. This is just a simple guideline.
1. DIY website expect about €1500 for 5 page web presence set up for you 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 attract visitors and convert them to customers. Invest a bit in a low cost design theme to make the site look good. (Without the SEO nobody will see your website at all)
NB: If you have no budget, but loads of time and patience, learn to totally DIY a website yourself here.
2. Small Business Website expect about €1500 for the 5 pages done for you plus about €50 a page for basic on page SEO to be done for you. Will you use a design 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 looking at about just €1500 to €3000
3. CMS Content Management System expect about €2000 or €3000 investment for about 10 pages and add in some good input from an experienced qualified Digital Business Consultant for a proper Brief, a plan or strategy. And add in on-page SEO to get found in Google. Getting your business online properly should include adding targets and setting up some metrics, to ensure that you get a good return on any investment. Add in any fees for design whether it is a low price theme of around €99 or a custom graphic designer from about €700.
Prices in €s + VAT – €3000.00 to €5000 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 – €1500 to €3000
- 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 Home page design allow a budget for graphic design – anywhere from €500 to €1000 on average. A bit less for any interior pages.
- 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 to €100 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 at all.
- Host – Buy suitable secure 5* hosting, where they offer good customer support – expect to pay about €10 a month minimum to Siteground or InMotion
Use SEO or Online Marketing specialists, who can use our tools to drive your business online.
Get 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 Design Agency 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 design agency to give you an idea of how much you can expect to get back. Expect a good return from any investment and ask about how quickly can you expect it. Set some targets together.
Note: Write off the investment on your books over three years, or add the value of a successful website to your balance sheet. But do account for it accurately in your books, as this is not a one off cost to be written off in one month.
“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
CMS Business Website Case Study 1: The Builder
Here is a quote we did for a new website for a builder who wants to be Number One in his area and look professional, with a great gallery section to showcase his work and a simple way for visitors to ask questions or book an appointment.
1000.00 – Web Brief and Nav structure
750.00 – Design customised for Home page
2000.00 – 3000.00 – Website Platform Open Source WordPress Content Management System
650 – 1300 Configuration of custom design required, pages and navigations, agreed galleries and web forms.
750.00 – Initial SEO
10.00 – Hosting per month
75.00 per month – 24/7 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 just over €6000.00. The same client set a target of one serious enquiry a week with one good conversion a month, leading to doing a quote. Average expected spend on a typical house is not disclosed here, but one conversion to an actual contract would more than pay for the new website in year 1.
Note: Subsequently, the builder also booked 3 months Digital Marketing services at €500 per month from month two and asked that the Graphic designer do their company stationery, popups and van graphics. The builder is very busy and very happy now (Name with Editor)
What costs does this builder expect the site to run ? He expects no net cost at all, just a very good return on a reasonable ‘investment’ of about €6000.
CMS Business Website Case Study 2: The Legal Firm
Here is an estimate we did for a new website for a Legal Firm which was not interested in Google ranking. They wanted to look professional and have a simple way for visitors to get questions answered or enquire about booking an appointment.
1000.00 – Web Brief and Nav structure
750.00 – Design customised
2550.00 – Website Platform Open Source WordPress Content Management System
750.00 Configuration of custom design, create services pages and navigations and add agreed web forms.
750.00 – Initial SEO
10.00 – Hosting per month
75.00 per month – Support – Monthly site audit, updates and report
This firm also paid a photographer €250 to take great images of team members and office premises.
Total initial spend agreed was just over €5000.00. This client set a target of one new potential client enquiry a month, but the emphasis was on answering questions and saving practice staff time. It was important to the firm to look professional online.
Note: The results included saving a lot of staff time by answering questions online and warding off unsuitable clients. But also the new site is generating exactly the type of new client enquiry wanted by this legal firm, namely people looking for help with Commercial Law, Property Law or Litigation. The Legal Firm is very happy with its new web presence. (Name with Editor)
For an ‘investment’ of about €5000, this legal firm now ranks on Page 1 in their area and looks as professional online as they are offline.
4. eCommerce – Online Store
Now you are getting away from Digital Business cards and in to the realms of trading online. 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 €2,000. 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 about €5000 normally, but up to €10,000 depending on the number of initial products and any complex functionality to be added.
3. Magento eCommerce or similar – as many products as you like and loads of functionality, plus integration with eBay and Amazon – budget €10k plus, depending on the number of initial products and any complex functionality. Realistically it is going to be closer to €20k.
And be aware the bigger the platform the more ongoing support you will need – think shop staff, only nerdy. Have you budgeted for someone in-house to manage the new shop?
Lastly, remember that without good SEO and Digital Marketing, nobody will even know that your shop exists. So budget 30% for the solution and 70% 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 for you specifically. 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 & experience 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 yourself, which allows you outsource as much as you want, rather than getting something brilliant, but complicated and time consuming or ineffective.