How Much Should A Website Cost?
Have you ever been baffled by the wide range of quotes for what it costs the design and build a website? How can one person on Fiverr or CraigsList only charge $350, while this other company is charging $10,000? Why do you need a $10,000 website if you can get one for $350, or, better yet…have your nephew build one for free or just design it yourself on a DIY website like Wix? Here, we’ll break down why websites costs different prices, and give you some guidelines on what to expect to pay, and what results to expect depending on what you pay (Retun-On-Investment, or, ROI).
ALL YOU NEED IS JUST ANY WEBSITE, RIGHT?
Wrong. This is what we hear a lot from clients either just starting out, or those who don’t understand the value of a website. Your website is the most important part of your business these days. Why? Because your website, when created correctly, can generate leads for you, provide information 24/7, direct visitors to specific information, sell your products and/or services, get you listed highly on search engines, help you get your money back (and then some) from any Pay-Per-Click advertising, help your website visitors know how to follow you on Social Media and stay connected with you, and also be the main hub for all of your content which you can share across the Internet. Those are just the basics.
Getting just any ole website will only do a couple or a few of those things at most. Also, designing a website for a professional is understanding how to deliver the message of your company to earn the trust and approval of visitors, convince them to input their contact information, and convince them to buy your products and/or services. The professional also understands how to build your website to maximize rankings on search engines. Is a free or cheap website going to do all that? Will the average $350 website “designer” understand your design, marketing, and technical needs all at the same time?
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
Cheap websites are exactly like trying to open a business in a remote part of town and a building which badly needs repairs, is off the main road and up a hill, and has no sign…but the rent is dirt cheap!
Likewise, only caring about the aesthetics of your website is just as bad. One of our clients had an attractive website before coming to us. However, it wasn’t working to sell their products, because while it looked pretty it wasn’t designed with the end goal in mind…to sell the products they had in their Shop. This would be like renting out space in the best looking building in town, but forgetting to tell people how to park or where to walk in, then once they found their way inside, you hid the product on them.
Finally, the best solution. You have to design a website which looks professional and attractive, is simple enough to not confuse people, but robust enough to help them get all the information they’re looking for, and grab either a sale or at least their contact information before they leave. This is the equivalent of having a nice storefront on a main street, with an attractive sign out front and a beautiful window display.
Which of these businesses whould you like to own and operate?
Now that we’ve identified the different kinds of website design philosophies which are out there, and gave you real-world analogies to help you with a frame of reference, let’s talk turkey…or…numbers.
What would be a good ROI on any investment you make? Double your money back? 5x? 10x return? Sure, we’d very much like to have a 100x or even 1,000x return on our investments, but how realistic do we think that actually is? Most would be happy between the 2-10x range, correct?
Well, let’s take the $350 website. A 10x return on that would be $3,500. Not much to live off of, is it? Any you know what? For a $350 website you could probably expect to get about $3,500 back for your efforts, that’s not unrealistic. However, that ain’t gonna put the kiddies through college.
The average Small Business website should cost between $3,000 and $7,500 these days. That is a fair range. Let’s look at our 10x return there…that’s $30k-75k in return. That’s looking better, now isn’t it? Sure, it’s still not going to buy you a yacht, but look at the investment vs the return. With a modest, but serious, investment, you can realistically build a business from these efforts and afford to grow. If you want to open a brick-and-mortar store, you have leasing costs, legal, renevations, staff, inventory, etc. You’re probably spending about $75-100k before you even have the door open for 6 months. So, why would $5,000 be unrealistic to hope to invest on a website which will help you get found on search engines, capture leads for new and interested customers, and help you sell your products and services?
Last point…you usually won’t have to spend all that money up-front if you don’t have it. Many companies will help you break up the payments or divide them out over months, even. This way, by the time you’re on your last payments, the increased revenue from your new and effective website should start paying for themselves.
Now, to be fair and realistic, not every business is guaranteed to make money, and your product may be undesirable. One never knows. However, you believe in your business which is why you’re in business. Why not give it a serious effort and give yourself the best possible chance of making a living off of your business? When you have a good product or service, and you have an effective strategy and build the right kind of website, you can easily expect to make a very solid return on your investment…and then some!