Learning Hub | Planning a Website Design Project
How Much Does It Cost to Make a Website?
September 2, 2015 | Jon Teodoro
*But it depends on what you’re looking for in a website!
Here are some general price ranges we came up with. But before you make a website, evaluate why you are creating a website, who your audience is, and what kind of web presence you want to generate as a direct result of your site. So, how much does it cost to make a website? That’s entirely up to you.
This is do-it-yourself territory! For the more agile web surfer, websites like Wix, Weebly, and Squarespace offer free website services. Users can place content (photos, videos, links, text) onto preexisting templates and customize the formatting of their pages – to an extent. Also known as mobile web builders and what-you-see-is-what-you-get (WYSIWYG) content management systems, these service providers can give form to blogs and professional portfolios. But without the premium customization options that small businesses may need, they aren’t designed for everyone or every company.
At this price range, we’re going to assume that you are ready to shell out some Benjis and throw them at a developer. But buyer beware: There’s a considerable chance that you’re going to get a product that isn’t up to par. Inexperienced freelancers and companies that outsource overseas may charge you prices that are consistent with some high-end kitchen appliances. But as the tired truth goes, “time is money.” And if they don’t have the time to send you proofs or deliverables during the design and development process, it’s likely they are wasting your money on a poorly crafted website. And especially if you are a business, this can be a pitfall for your ROI.
Developers at this level will be more experienced freelancers or smaller web design firms. You’ll get a template-based website with a maximum of two deliverables (for design and for development). These are essentially drafts of your website’s pages. If the developer(s) are implementing responsive design (which they should be), creating mock-ups of your website’s pages on the three main formats (desktop, tablet, mobile) should take considerable effort on their behalf. Back to “time is money,” the developer you hire will charge you for their time, but if they are competent, that time will be reflected in the lengths they take to stay transparent on the methodology behind delivering a quality site for you to call your own.
So you want to play in the big leagues, eh? Expect freelancers who straight-up know their shit or reputable web design agencies. Assuming that you are buying based on your needs rather than your wallet, you’ll get a highly to fully customized template-based website. There will be multiple deliverables in the development and design process to keep you in the game through an account manager who should be maintaining an open line of communication with you. Companies in this budget range will focus on your specific needs and project quality as opposed to throwing your product through the same process that it would use to approach the projects of its other clients.
Wouldn’t you rather buy a Rolex? Anyway, this price tag applies to websites designed and developed by medium to larger-sized agencies. You’ll be treated to a holistic strategy that makes your website the single point of the entire buying process. Regarding production, these agencies will kick out a fully customized website, tailored to your brand. You will also sit down with a project manager or Don Draper…err…a creative director, along with a whole team of designers, developers, and content writers who are tasked to your project. Just make sure you get an Old Fashioned before leaving the boardroom.