Ever since businesses started getting online, people have been wanting a clear answer to the question: “How much does a website cost?!” I’ve answered that question so many times that I think I’ll share my two cents on how much a website costs (really). The information you’re about to read is likely worth just as much as you pay for it, but some say I answer this question well, so here’s how much a website should cost in 2017 – according to my standards.
Assume a website cost estimate doesn’t include:
In my opinion, you shouldn’t factor the following into your website design cost because it’s a completely different service:
- Content Writing – so BYOC (Bring Your Own Content)
- Domain Names and Hosting
I say this mostly because content writing is a massive variable when you’re trying to figure how much it costs to make a website and Domain Names can cost as little as 12 dollars and as much as hundreds of thousands if it’s a premium purchase. Hosting, on the other hand, is usually a fixed rate that is recurring and is dependent on your hosting setup so it also can’t be factored into how much your website costs.
Factors that contribute to a website cost
How the Type of Website Influences Cost
Estimating the cost of a website starts with deciding what exactly you need the website to do (if much at all). Although it may seem easy to define the difference between a website and a web application, here’s some simple questions to ask yourself which will help when trying to estimate the costs associated with web design.
- Does the website require users to login?
- Do users save anything to an account on your website?
- Do users communicate with other users using your website?
- Do users interact with graphics or other objects on your website?
If the answer is yes to any of those, there’s a chance you’re wanting to figure out the cost for a web application. Usually websites that allow users to interact with dynamic content cost several times more than websites which only present information (for example a brochure website or a blog) because they usually require a database and a server-side language to present the content from the database to users.
Two Common Types of Websites:
Regular Website Cost – Anywhere from $1,250 to $10,000 (Depending on complexity)
So, let’s get this right: if you want to present text, photo, and maybe video content to a user, you’re probably looking for a simple website.
Even Blogs and eCommerce can be considered a regular website with some added functionality. Most websites which are used by businesses to show off their services are regular websites and figuring out how much a website costs is much easier because you don’t have to worry about bringing in any external data or creating complex web applications.
Web Application Cost – Usually starting at $10,000 (but varies greatly)
Remember, if you’re looking to present dynamic information to a user with special features like user login and account management, or maybe recurring billing and even web game development, it’s going to cost you. Evaluating the website cost for a company like Twitter may be very different than what it would cost to make a website like Moo.com.
How the Number of Pages Influences Website Cost
A website cost estimate is not only based on the complexity of the website, but also the number of pages and how many specialty designs exist on the website. A specialty design is a marketing page or landing page. Some examples are Home, About, Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), Services, and Contact Us.
Why do specialty designs contribute to website cost?
Since your website is being used to show off your brand, service, or product, it’s important to have consistency in presentation of content. – With that said, it’s also important that you don’t have the same layout on every page. It’s a web designer’s job to make your website is just as interesting as it is informative. Combining the two requires unique designs from page-to-page which come together to build your brand image.
Designing pages for a website takes lots of time and that’s why more pages increase your website cost estimate. For each specialty page, your web designer will have to prototype and write code for that page and again, that takes lots of time.
Although website cost doesn’t directly relate to the number of pages on your website (fun fact: that is a conventional way of estimating the website cost), there is a connection.
Converting Number of Pages to Website Cost
The last thing a good web designer wants to do is charge by the page because that’s a very useless way of selling services – so I always make sure to keep it in the back of my head, but I generally base how much a website should cost on the functionality. But, if you’re not planning on working with me or my team, here’s a few thoughts to keep in mind:
- Just one page (basically a landing page with no other content on a website) would increase a website cost estimation very minimally because a single page is an expected part of a website
- A few pages – for example, About, Contact, and Services (in addition to the home page) will hike the website cost up around $2500 depending on the designer.
- A lot of pages – This can bring the website cost up significantly, so be sure to ask how many pages will be designed before signing a web design agreement or web design contract.
Functionality and Features
Website cost is very much a product of the pages and type of website, but even more so, the cost of a website is a result of the features it brings to the table. Here’s some features that are most commonly asked about for a website design quote at our Dallas web design agency:
- Blog – adds between $500 and $1,500 to the cost of a website because it usually requires a content management system like WordPress to allow easy management/editing of the blog.
- User Accounts – adds between $750 and $2,500 to website cost depending on complexity – this can easily become much higher if users can have public profiles and communicate or message each other.
- eCommerce (web stores or online shops) – Simple eCommerce is usually very inexpensive until you begin to integrate shipping accommodations and recurring billing. Expect anywhere from a $500 to a $5,000 increase in website cost.
- Site-wide Search – It’s not uncommon for people to think search is some easy task that shouldn’t cost much because Google makes it look so easy. – Unfortunately, in reality, it’s much more difficult to search and present results to users for anything more than the title and plain-text content of a page or post on a website. Anything more requires advanced search functionality which has steep costs associated with it. Some services, like swifttype cost hundreds of dollars per month, whereas the open-source Elasticsearch costs nothing to use, but may cost a chunk of change to implement. For simple search functionality, you should expect to add $100-$200 to the website cost, but for anything more, you’ll start to see prices starting around $5,000 (in addition to any 3rd party service costs)
When considering website cost…
It wouldn’t hurt to have a general idea of what you want to have done before you go looking for answers to how much your website should cost. – Once you’ve figured that out, drop us a line. We’ll be happy to chat and answer any questions you have when you’re ready to get started. We are a Dallas web design and Dallas Website Development firm located in the DFW area (that’s in Texas). We work with small businesses in Dallas and far beyond – let us know if you have any questions!
Looking for more? Check out this article from our friends: How Much Does a Website Cost to Build? DIY vs. Professionals