In my continuing series on “How Much Should a Website Cost” we’ll talk about one of the most critical aspects of website project cost – the development of content. Guess what? In the Internet marketing world – content is king! However, guess what aspect of Internet marketing is the most difficult for our clients to grasp? Yep - Content.
The most important – and time consuming – aspect of a website is the planning and developing of its content. In a website designer’s world, developing website content is a balance between quality and cost for the business owner.
Requiring The Client to Do the Site’s Content DOES NOT WORK!
We have signed numerous clients up with a web design package that is dirt cheap mainly from the stipulation that the client develops and delivers their own content based on a pre-agreed upon outline. However, only a small percentage of self-website creator’s follow through on completing their agreed to tasks. Professional web designers who offer this model also say developing website content is the major drawback for why their projects never get completed in a timely manner.
And yet another example of the drawback of the client doing their own content is the world of the $4.95 a month website. These entities offer packages playing a numbers game that does well for them with nice graphical and layout templates to choose from and a fairly easy editor interface to create pages and insert content and pictures. Some out there have used these types of foundations and actually put the time into figuring the interface out, formatting their content well and actually adding in enough quality content for a great presentation.
However, what we typically see from these sites are no viable content - not much more than an online business card.
The point being – for a myriad of reasons you are really not going to spend the required time and effort to developing website content and you know it. Statistically, maybe 10% of you out there will - and that 10% will tell you it’s an experience comparable to having teeth pulled out with no Novocain.
Please don’t go this route just to get the best price using a promise you can never keep. It just means that your web design project will stay in a perpetual state of project creep which rarely ends well for both parties involved.
So What is This Time and Effort Worth?
Paying a reputable web design company for the time it takes to research, develop and optimize a webpages’ content is a three (3) to six (6) hour per page task. Depending on the page’s subject matter, developing website content typically includes an interview process and/or online research of the topic. It is pretty much a Google requirement to have a minimum of 300 words on a webpage. Ideally it should be in the 500 to 750 word range. For perspective, the end of this sentence pretty much constitutes 450 words so far in this article.
A good web designer can research and create product and service pages without much input. The About Us and other elements pertaining specifically to the company or organization are performed through an interview process.
So, just covering the basics of a traditional web site consisting of a Home, About Us, Product(s) Page, Service(s) Page, FAQ’s and Contact Us can take 15 to 25 hours of time alone for a web designer to effectively develop the content for these six pages. An average hourly rate for web designers is $85.00/hour so you can figure on $1275.00 to $2125.00 just for your content development alone to do it right.
The Focus of Online Content Is Changing
You need to understand that developing website content is a factor more now than ever and the nature of how web content is presented is changing as well. Putting up a site that is overwhelmingly centric in nature is becoming a thing of the past. This means presenting cookie-cutter presentations of typical “who-what-why-where-and very little how” that most sites have always conveyed. What we are referring to as “outbound marketing” is being touted these days as all but dead. I don’t quite believe that however will agree that todays’ technology does make the concept of “inbound marketing” all the more appealing.
We’ll talk more about this topic in my next posting…