How Much Should a Website Cost?

Whenever you ask a web designer, “how much will a website cost“, they always give you the same answer, “it depends“. Let’s actually look at why and what factors are involved.

Creating a website is no easy task, trust me. Even the simplest of sites can have unforeseen problems pop up. Sometimes the web designer and the client just don’t get on. Whatever it is, let’s go over the main reasons why asking “how much will a website cost?” is akin to asking “how long is a piece of string?“.

Scope Creep

Ever heard of scope creep? It sounds like a very technical term, but in reality, it’s just what happens when a project slowly changes. Eventually going off in a different direction after the initial proposal or kick-off meeting has taken place.

The real problem with scope creep is when the project starts to get overcomplicated, leading to nobody being able to keep up. Other times it causes people to get frustrated, especially when you’ve created an entire website design, but have to start from scratch because somebody didn’t plan out the entire scope of the project properly.

Don’t let scope creep get in the way of your project being a success. Fortunately, there’s an easy way to do that. It’s to simply take your time to plan out what needs to happen at every stage of the project.

Before that, don’t forget to write down everything you want to happen over the course of the project. Then make a priority list of five things to get done. Trust me, it’ll make things a lot more streamlined and introduce way fewer headaches/arguments.

What Do You Want?

As you’ve likely noticed by now, every website is different.

Go on any website you know of, every single one will be different. Each one will be using different technologies and code languages. It’s a common misconception that websites are all the same so the price shouldn’t be any different or that they’re easy to make.

The best way to figure out how much your website should cost is by figuring out your business objectives, but more importantly, how your website will help you achieve those objectives.

Let’s take this website for example. In a basic sense, I make websites, and I do so in a few different ways. Primarily I work with small to medium sized businesses to improve their online presence.

I also make themes/templates and contract for friends and past colleagues. The list is actually quite long. However, what does this website sell? It sells freelance web design for small to medium-sized businesses. It doesn’t try to do any of the other things I mentioned, just freelance web design.

By focusing down on my audience, I’m easily able to target people, and then in-turn converts a higher amount of people to become customers.

Code, Hosting, Project Management…

When it comes down to it, there are a lot more expenses to take care of than just the person designing and/or coding your website. You need to consider web hosting. How are you going to keep your website online? This will be an ongoing investment in your website, so it’s definitely worth taking your time to consider.

What about project management? You can’t get a great website built with no project management involved. Having someone who’s good at project management is essential to getting your website where it needs to be.

But wait…that’ll cost more money because you either hire a web designer and a project manager, or a web designer who also does the project management.

Always make sure you consult with your web designer on everything before going any further than the planning stage. It’s easy to get caught up in “I want a website”, without realising the amount of work involved (this ties in with scope creep, above).

In Conclusion

I hope this article has helped you see the futility of asking the question “how much should a website cost?“. Like I said above, it’s as if you’re asking “how long is a piece of string?”.

Here’s what to take away:

  • Scope creep ruins projects: Always factor in every single thing you can think of in the planning stage, and let your web designer know. This will have a huge impact on price later down the line.
  • Every website is different: You really can’t put a price on every website. Especially since a lot of the time, the price you pay is more in line with what the web designer needs to survive, instead of the actual cost.
  • There’s more tech than you realise: Every website is powered by a host of different technologies. Half of them you’ll never even know to exist. Don’t make the mistake of trying to get the best thing for the cheapest price. Consider this when it comes to shopping around for a new website: Every service has three options, fast, good and cheap. Pick two, because you can’t have all three (more info on fast, good and cheap here).


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