How Much Does a Website Cost?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

There is no one answer to the question of how much it costs to design and implement a website. Some businesses have created websites for free, while others have built million-dollar spaces for their Internet visitors. The reason that web design costs vary so greatly is because every website is different. Factors such as the specific features, goals, and size of the website all affect how much it costs. In addition, web design companies face different overheads and labor costs, and use a variety of pricing structures to determine the prices they charge. However, when it comes to understanding website costs, there are a few basic options you can look at that each come with their own price ranges.

Free and Low-Cost Subscriptions

The least expensive web design option available to you is to use a free or low-cost subscription template. These templates are typically DIY projects. This means that you obtain the template and then populate it with all of your graphics and text yourself. The main advantage of these templates is that they are very affordable. For instance, some options (such as Wix) are free, while others (such as GoDaddy) charge a low monthly subscription fee. Some templates also offer you access to customer support to guide you through any problems you encounter

Despite their low cost and potential customer support, these free and low-cost web design templates have a few major disadvantages. Perhaps their biggest drawback is the fact that they offer you very limited options for customizing your website. As a result, they can make it difficult to set your brand apart.

In addition, there is a very real sense in which you get what you pay for. These templates often do not function very well, are limited in what they can accomplish, are not portable, and come with other downsides. You may even find that your website is forced to host ads or sponsor links that you have little or no control over. If you want a truly customized and controllable web design experience, you may want to look at other options.

Buying a Web Design Template

If you want to own a web design template, and enjoy some professional support while using it, you also have the option of purchasing one. Typically, these templates are installed by a part-time web developer. Examples of businesses that sell these kinds of templates include Template Monster, Theme Forest, and WordPress Market Place.

These templates offer you an appealing combination of affordability and professional assistance. As a result, you tend to get a better looking site with your budget than you would if you selected a DIY option. However, as with free and subscription options, the use of templates means that you are limited in your ability to customize your website.

In addition, these templates still fail to provide you with the benefits that a full-time web developer brings. Plus, without ongoing support, performing the frequent maintenance and upgrades these templates require can be inconvenient. You may find yourself frequently needing to hire a web developer or figure out how to do the work yourself.

Finally, you may find that the quality of your template is affected by its low cost. Many templates are poorly coded and do not work as effectively as they ought to. As a result, if you do choose to go this route, you need to make sure that the template you purchase is high-quality and supported by its original creators.

Experienced Web Developer

Experienced web developers offer you many advantages that templates do not. Perhaps the biggest of these is customization. With the right web development services, you can select virtually any feature you want for your site. As a result, you have the chance to create a site that accurately reflects your brand and meets your particular business needs. In addition, you have the opportunity to work with skilled professionals who can help you determine which features will best support the goals that you have for your site. With their help, you can develop a website that is as effective as possible for your business.

Of course, the higher level of experience and skill that a web developer brings to your project means that you will pay a higher cost than if you use a template. The exact price of a web development company depends on many factors (i.e. the number of pages on the site, the features on the site, and the type of site).

You may also find that some businesses charge by the hour, while others charge you a fixed rate. However, basic websites and functionality (such as mobile web design) will often start at about $1,500, while dynamic features, a high-end design, and e-commerce websites can cost $5,000 and up. Interactive features and larger, more complex websites can cost $15,000-$35,000 or more.

SEE ALSO: What to Look for in a Web Design Company

PR and Marketing Firms

Finally, you can choose to hire a PR or marketing firm to help develop your website while they also promote your business. These businesses tend to cost much more than a web development company, and in many cases they outsource the work or temporarily contract with skilled web developers to perform some of the work. In fact, their costs often run anywhere from $30,000-$250,000. The exact cost depends primarily upon the number of people needed to work on the project, the size of the project, and so forth. The most expensive projects can run more than $1,000,000.

Faced with the wide variety of web development options on the market, it may seem impossible to pin down an exact cost for creating your own website. However, the key is to choose an option that maximizes the quality of your website while remaining within your budget. For many businesses, this will mean hiring an experienced web developer who can provide professional guidance and a stunning website. By being able to estimate and allocate the right amount of money to your project, you can enjoy a less stressful and more successful web development project.

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Posted in: Small Business, Web Design

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