How Much Should I Pay for a Website?

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How Much Should I Pay for a Website?

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TRY NOT TO THINK OF IT AS ‘HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY FOR A WEBSITE?’ AND TRY ‘HOW IS A WEBSITE PRICED?’.

Well both are fair questions! There’s a ton of reasons today that you might want a website, and unless you’re an industry leader or million playboy you probably are working on a budget. In this article we’re going to talk about how we price our websites and what you should be expecting to invest.
Let’s get the first preconception out of the way, that you’re paying for a website. You’re not. You’re paying for our time and our experience to build you the website you want. This is a key factor when deciding on a digital marketing company.

Further to that in the Toronto market alone the cost for a website varies from a few thousand dollars to $20k+. You can request a quote from 10 companies and in some cases you might receive 10 wildly different quotes. So how are you supposed to know what is right for you? Well realistically isn’t a matter of what you need vs what you’re willing to invest. If you’re expecting something out of your price range we’ll let you know, and we’ll let you know why. I’m talking in extremes a bit for the purposes of a compelling editorial piece, so don’t let me discourage you from taking the first step. In many cases the scope of the digital project falls inline with the clients budget expectations, as long as they’ve done their research. So what effects a website development costs?

We look at what you‘re aiming to accomplish with your site. Here are some things we’ll likely review with you right away.

WHAT IS YOUR SHORT VS LONG TERM GOALS WITH THE SITE?

Every site is different. Are you building a personal blog to share stories and photos? Are you building an eCommerce or service platform that requires a user base and/or client retention strategies built in? Is your blog visited by millions of people? Does it require advanced features, contributor structures and advanced security?
We ask a lot of questions, so we can recommend a good strategy. For instance if you’re building a lead page with a budget of 5k we would almost certainly recommend putting some of that capital toward a digital campaign and the rest toward a scaled back version of your site – or even a customized template site. These sites are not a great long-term solution but can work in a pinch.

WHAT IS THE SITE GOING TO DO?

It’s better to invest more time right off the bat on user experience, user flow and user interface. The more of these choices we can nail down at the beginning the more smooth and effective the site build will be. Ideally we want to know exactly the pages and functionality of the site in full before we even start to build. Otherwise even what you might consider a simple addition or request could involve an additional and even substantial investment. Which brings us to the second point.

PRECONCEPTIONS OF WHAT YOU’RE CONSIDERING A SIMPLE REQUEST.

Even what seems like a simple change can drastically affect how a site is/should be built and sometimes what you might consider as a big deal change is actually something we can implement fairly easily. This is the primary reason we encourage clients to invest in a full user journey so we’re on the same page when we build. We understand there can be revisions once you see your working site for the first time – but the closer we are out of the gate the better. A well planned user experience goes a long way for a smooth build and easy launch. Also, please don’t assume that just because you know how to do something like register a domain doesn’t mean a digital agency won’t charge you for it. Digital agencies are businesses and that’s how that works.

SO HOW MUCH SHOULD I PAY?

Consider this:

FOR BLOGS:

If you’re designing a blog for personal use, to share stories or photos with friends etc. We’re probably going to grab an out of the box blog theme and leave it at that. We can help you setup the basics but if you’re looking at starting a blog it’s likely you’ve already got the basics covered. So… good luck to you!
Maybe you’re asking what you would gain from a professional design? If you’re taking your blog more seriously and want to attract better sponsors or bigger advertisers we can help with that. Professionally designed blogs generally are more trusted and well received than templated sites – we can also help you to optimize your blog posts to stand out on SEO on a professional platform. Let’s put it this way, If you’re going to make a few thousand dollars off your blog in few months maybe don’t invest the whole bankroll in building it – if the blog supports an alternative business or (in rarer cases) sees tens of thousands of visitors per week and you’ve got an opportunity to significantly increase your income then what’s investing a few thousand dollars right now to do it right?
Maybe as a blogger you’re considering developing your own site. That’s cool, but remember there is no shame in outsourcing. You’re a blogger and should be spending your time… blogging. There isn’t much point in wasting your time trying to save money when you’re inevitably going to need to spend it eventually – that’s time you could have spent writing or better yet, going after new sponsors.

FOR BUSINESSES:

This is a tricky one as it completely depends on how your business uses your website. Do customers use it to find your brick and mortar locations? Do they use it to purchase tickets or make appointments? Can they buy products directly? In some cases the website is the core of the business itself – in the case of a service website or eCommerce site. We’ve seen businesses spend anywhere from $10k to $100k on a digital environment, in both development and optimization strategies.
You should probably start by ascertaining how your website and digital presence is leading to more business and thus more money. If your website isn’t doing this currently then it’s not doing its job.
There are a number of ways to increase traffic, interaction and visibility on any site and like most things in the digital world it comes down to time and budget. Ideally we would spend as much time as possible learning as much as we can about your business, what you want to accomplish and we would make detailed recommendations on how we would improve your online strategy, website included. This process can be expensive but when you have a site that navigates easily with relevant information it actually works FOR your business – like a virtual sales force.
The more your website can do the better it can passively produce sales or leads for your business. Our advice is to do it right the first time and be prepared to take the time to really explore what your website should be doing for you.

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