How Much Should A Website Cost?

Website cost is the bottom line determination for some entities that don't fully appreciate what is is involved with possessing an effective website presence. With the perceived advances in technology and national commercials advertising websites for $4.95 per month,  professional design companies sometimes find it tough to convey to a potential client how much work – and associated costs - are actually involved with putting together a website that generates a return on investment.  This thought was recently sparked after reading an About.Com article concerning the breakdown of charges for various parts of developing a website.

What I found interesting was our time-based method of estimating seems very much in line with the article’s per item pricing.  Which supports my on-going thought that our website cost estimates for a project follow standard time-to-cost ratio protocol.   It truly is an accurate analysis of what is involved with developing a website like it is supposed to be with professional quality graphics and photography, responsive templates for all viewing devices, and great content that employs search engine best practices.

Times are tough for small businesses and website cost is a primary consideration.  They all know that they need a quality web presence that is easy to find online and intuitive for the visitor to get your message quickly and provide interaction effectively once they get there.  However, to truly get to this point and the costs involved, many are truly limited by their budget – and some stick to a dollar amount they perceive is what the site and its marketing should be worth. Thus, what we see a lot is a compromise that falls somewhere in between in fulfilling that goal and falling short of the purpose of marketing online effectively to begin with.

What happens is, at the beginning of the project, we all agree that we have a good foundation to start in relation to the budget and in order to accomplish a good online marketing goal without a lot of cost, we educate the client to take it upon themselves to perform some tasks to get there, as well.  Things like administering their own social media, writing an article/blog, submitting themselves to business directories and more. In many cases, this never materializes. Everyone gets too busy.

So, I’d like to spend the next several blog postings addressing different aspects of gaining the best bang for your buck and having that quality website that you see contributing to your bottom line.  I also want to make clear that the only way to accomplish this is the client has to actively participate in the process.

The bottom line is to not let website cost be a major factor if whoever you are consulting with is presenting good common sense planning to have an effective site.  The presentation should be self-evident to what you should get in return.

Following a critical rule – make your blog short.  I've written enough for now however my next posts will touch on site presentation, content planning and development , why Google’s focus is on content more than ever -  and what it wants to see;  which then leads into blogging and overcoming the difficulties of writing for the client.

Until next time…