I never need to argue with anyone about whether or not they need a website. They know they need one. In fact, the main phrase I hear is, “Skot, I need a website, a logo, and a business card, then I’ll be good.”
(Everyone who knows me knows that I have a problem with this statement. It’s missing the foundation of everything I preach – a brand strategy. But I won’t get into that here.)
Yes, you need a website. It’s the hub of your digital marketing efforts and the place people will go first after they meet you or when searching for a solution to their problem. Your website should be easy to understand, easy to navigate, represent who you are as a person or a business, and be Google-friendly (meaning it’s technically set up correctly so you don’t get penalized by search engines. If you want a quick, free report to see if yours is set up correctly, click here.)
In this post, I want to list what goes into building your website.
First, we need to understand your needs
When I get approached to quote someone’s website, we first send a questionnaire that asks anywhere from 20 to 40 questions depending on the scale of the site and the client. Here’s an example of some questions:
Yes, there are more, but this will give you an idea. If people quoting your site don’t ask you questions like this, go somewhere else. They aren’t interested in what you need. They are only interested in building what they think you need.
Building a website is like building a house. You’d never go to an architect or home builder and just say, “Build me a house! I’ll be back in a week with my stuff to move in!”
You need to know how many windows, the square footage, does it have a basement, is there a third-car garage, etc. These details are important in order to build the house that’s right for you.
Let’s get started
After we understand some of the specs of what needs to be done and have initial phone calls with the client to get more clarification on the answers, I can start to put together a quote for you.
Here’s the breakdown of the pricing model so you can understand what goes into building an effective, beautiful digital home for your brand.
For starters, most agencies will charge $75-$150/hr. to design and build your site. The bigger the agency, the more you’ll pay for their expertise, quality, reliability, efficiency, and end product.
Can you find people that are cheaper? Yes. Will you have more problems? Probably. You get what you pay for most of the time.
Can you outsource your website design and development to someone in the high mountains of Asia? For sure! Will they really understand (or care) what you need? No. Will they be easy to get in touch with if you have a problem when the site is complete? No.
The Simple Template-Based Website Cost Breakdown
At the core, it takes around 30-40 hours to build a SIMPLE website. I’m talking about a 3-5-page website, built on a template, with zero extra features, and no content development.
Total hours = 24 - 41 hours (Plan for the worst-case, then if it launches sooner, celebrate!)
Total cost = $3,500 - $6,000
Can you get a site for $1,500? Sure. I’d be VERY skeptical though. If they are quoting you $1,500, they are cutting corners, doing you a huge favor, or they are desperate for work.
But wait! You can’t forget about all the extra “extra costs.” Things like:
A simple site can usually be built and launched in a month depending on whether the content is done and delivered.
The Standard Website Cost Breakdown
Total hours = 58 - 156 hours
Total cost = $7,500 - $17,000
For a “normal site” with around 7-15 pages, forms, high-level messaging, design, wireframes, programming, testing, and helping with all the technical stuff (domains, hosting, plugins, etc.), we estimate around 2-4 months from start to finish to complete the site.
Larger websites with 20+ pages and additional functionality (e-commerce, third-party integrations, etc.) can range from $17,000 - $25,000+ and take up to 6 months.
Why wouldn’t you just use a template-based website?
I’m here to educate you, so that’s what I’ll do.
Template-based website pros:
Template-based website cons:
As you can see, we aren’t big fans of template-based websites. As someone that wants you to think “brand first,” we want you to have the freedom to create what you need without being tied down to what someone else has built. I’m also a big believer in you owning your own stuff! I don’t want you being dependent on people that don’t care about you or offer good support.
Is there a time and a place? Yes. Do we build template-based sites? Sometimes, if it’s a stepping stone in the process of building your brand and your business.
Another word of advice
When getting quotes from different people to build your site, consider these things:
Your website is the front door to your brand online. If people come to your site and they have a bad experience or perceive your site as low quality, that’s how your brand will be perceived. No one wants that.
If you have questions about pricing out your website or just need another set of eyes on quotes you are receiving, email me.
Are you tired of empty marketing tactics that never seem to produce results? Businesses need more leads and sales to survive. So, how do you get more leads and sales? With an effective marketing strategy. And, how do you create an effective marketing strategy? With a focused, strong brand and clear positioning. Click here to start building your brand.
Multiple is a strategic design firm specializing in brand and digital marketing strategy, consulting, and execution.
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