How Much Does a Website Really Cost?

9 June 2017

Website prices vary depending on the site's development and design costs and the web design company's prices. A local business may get by with an economical one page website, however, a major shopping website, with a shopping cart and multiple pages will cost considerably more. Expect to pay anywhere from several hundred for a simple website or thousands of dollars for a complex website. A reliable web design company will meet with clients to discover what the client expects, in terms of design and functionality, before quoting a price.

Development

Website development is the website's programming, the behind-the-scenes work that makes websites run smoothly. Developers may use content management systems (CMS), such as WordPress or Magento, to build a website, as opposed to building one from scratch, which is quite expensive. Programmers still need to tweak the CMS to make it meet their client's unique needs. Custom rate calculators or other interactive features that would require database integration add to the development cost.

Design

A website's design encompasses everything from the logo to the font used for the content. A beautifully designed website with custom graphics and typography is more expensive than a simple, but attractive design. A website's design is responsible for a visitor's first impression of a business; companies selling expensive, high end items or organizations that need to build trust, such as a bank, should opt for a top of the line design (examples from JLB)

Additional Expenses

Typically, a responsive website, one that adjusts to the user's screen size, is standard, however, some web design companies offer non-responsive sites as an economical option.

E-commerce functionality, including a catalog and checkout, significantly add to the website's development costs.

Web design firms may offer copywriting services; typically, the price increases for each page of content the firm composes.

Additional Services

Web design companies may sell domain names and offer hosting services or offer to set up the client's existing domain.

If several of an organization's employees will be updating the website and adding content, the website development company may offer training or a maintenance fee, if the client prefers not to update the site themselves.

While there are numerous DIY website builders, they are more suited to creating personal websites and blogs, since they lack the customization features that companies need to showcase their brand image. They may offer an inexpensive option, however, people do get what they pay for when it comes to purchasing a website.