How much should a website cost? This isn’t an easy question to answer, despite this being all that most people want to know when it comes to building a website.
It’s understandable that budget is hugely important for people and that building a website will naturally be tailored to your specific requirements.
Even so, it’s important that you strive to fit your budget to the requirements of your website, and not the other way around.
Entry Costs for building a website
Total Entry Cost
Total Annual Recurring Costs
£250 - 450
Small Scale E-Commerce
£450 - 1000
Large Scale E-Commerce
£2000 - 5000
£2500 - 10,000+
Budgeting correctly for the cost of a website
Before you even consider what elements you want on your new site, you’ll need to be aware of the misconceptions around website design and development and what actually goes into this process.
There has to be caution around the true cost of a website build and a real scepticism of cheap offers. Understanding true costs should be your first step when planning a website build and fleshing out budgets.
If the price of a package you’ve seen seems too good to be true, it most likely is.
Be prepared to shop around and see what the average prices are - from reputable companies with clear experience in the field - and compare them with your initial budget.
You will have to provide these businesses with a rough idea of what you’re after in a site build to get a genuine price reflective of your requirements, but simply stating what type of site you want should be enough to start with.
The most common types of website are:
- Completely bespoke
Once you’ve narrowed your price bracket down, you can begin to flex your budget to where it needs to be, or at the very least plan for what you can afford with future improvements in the pipeline.
Don’t let a strict budget dictate the quality of your website - it’s better to start small and build up to where you want to be over a period of time rather than settling for a poor quality site done in one go.
Matt Tomkin, Director of Tao Digital Marketing, says: “A website is never finished, it’s a continually evolving representation of your business, your brand and you.
Make sure you not only look to build a site that functions for your requirements now, but also has the ability for you to expand the functionality as your business grows and doesn’t need a completely new platform built to facilitate future growth.”
What should your priorities be in a website build?
With costs being so important to many businesses and organisations, it’s absolutely essential to figure out your priorities before you have a site built.
How far and how quickly you want these priorities to be met will be largely what dictates the overall cost of your site build.
There’s a lot to consider when you choose to represent your company online. You’ll need to think carefully about:
- How much of your site do you want to be customised and well-branded
- How soon you want your site to be live
- Whether you want a completely bespoke structure or are happy with a standard template
- Whether you want any other integration abilities, such as social media and blog sections
- Your site has to be well optimised for mobile
- How well you want the site to work and how much focus goes into user experience
This isn’t often the case however, and typically, most people will have to take their time with their site build, prioritising the elements most important to them and pertinent to the functionality of the site.
What affects the cost of a website?
There is a lot that goes into building a website and there are a lot of additional elements that can affect costs. As previously discussed, the core of your website and the purpose it serves is where the bulk of your costs will come from.
Starting with the basics of a website, the complexity of your site map and overall navigation will largely affect costs. A simple 5-page website will be easier and cheaper to build than a large scale e-commerce site that houses 100+ product pages.
Next, you’ll need to think about branding and design, customisation and user experience. Not only should your site look good and reflect your brand well, but it should be easy to use, simple to navigate and work efficiently.
- Around 47% of people expect a webpage to load within 2 seconds.
- Around 48% of people see website design as the main determining factor of business credibility. (Adobe, 2016)
Clearly, user experience is hugely influential and important when it comes to building a website, so factoring in enough time and resources to allow developers to have a real focus on this area is crucial.
Additional costs when building a website
Once the basics of your site are built and designs are underway, it’s important that you consider other elements that will run alongside your main site build but will often underpin the success of your business online.
Hosting and maintenance of a website
You need to seriously consider decent hosting and maintenance packages for your website. There are plenty of cheap options available, but most of these will see your website being hosted on a crowded server and you’ll essentially be in charge of maintaining everything else on site.
Through an experienced and knowledgeable agency, you can access hugely beneficial packages whereby your site will be hosted on an efficient and optimised server and your site will be updated regularly and consistently. A good agency will:
- Ensure that your website is up to date with the latest, necessary updates to avoid any vulnerability to viruses and hacking.
- Constantly update your CMS, plugins and create backups of your site for optimum security.
- Deal with errors on site, rectify issues quickly and take preventative measures to keep outage and hacking at bay.
This may be an extra cost you hadn’t considered, but it can make a huge difference to your overall spend in the long run and you’ll have peace of mind knowing that the new site you’ve just forked out for, is well protected and hosted.
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
It’s crucial that people understand the importance of SEO in a site build. If you have your website built by an agency clearly experienced in SEO and search marketing, your site will be well optimised from the start and ongoing SEO work will help your company be seen online amongst the growing competition.
If you don’t build the foundations of the website with SEO in mind, it can hinder the performance of your website for some time to come and mean that any SEO work done moving forward is likely to cost more and take more time.
ContentWhen your website is being built, designers and developers will be focused on making it look great and work great; but what about the content? You’ll have to consider whether you are confident enough to produce well-written, search optimised and brand-reflective copy for each page on your site. If not, you’ll have to factor in the cost of a content writer for a one-off project, or go with an agency who can provide this and all of the above.
How much should a website really cost?
In a nutshell, the cost of a great website build should be based on a balanced mixture of what you can feasibly afford, what you prioritise and how large the scale of the build is.
You have to fit your budget to your needs and not, your needs to your budget. Compromising on quality from the start will lead to costly issues in the future, poor site performance, a lack of engagement and overall, exactly the opposite of what you were expecting.
Speak with the experts, be honest about what you want and what you can afford, and you’ll be on your way to moving your business online in the best manner.