How Much Does A Website REALLY Cost?
This is probably the most common question we get so I thought I’d work through it showing what goes into each step. The best, worst, and most correct response is “it depends”. You can google this question and find most quotes range from $500 to $35,000. That’s quite the range! But just like construction - if you are simply building a table, no sweat - but a whole house? That’s going to cost quite a bit more. If you are a new business you may not know what you need. Chances are, you will need something simple and that range will be much smaller. So, let’s break down what exactly is happening when a website is built. Hopefully, this will help you figure out what you may need. Note: location is also a large factor. These prices are what I've found to be common in Portland, Oregon.
Do you have a branding strategy and a logo? Logo design and comprehensive branding strategy (depending on how many hours of back and forth and redesign) typically range from $450-$2000. It involves doing extensive research into the business and competitors. Often, there are a few iterations. Do you simply want your business initials in a cool font? Cheap. Want an image that is unique and has never been done before? Expensive. Beyond the logo - does your message make sense? Is your brand consistent across the board including social media? A good branding expert will take all of these things into account.
Do you have a website design or architecture (UX) design? This typically involves a PSD or similar design file that needs to be “developed”. Design and development are different skills and costs. Typically the design will range from $500-$1000 (depending on how many hours of back and forth and redesign). It involves doing extensive research into the business and competitors. Typically, a wireframe and mock images are shared and re-worked of what the website will look like and how it will flow. The user experience, or UX, is gone over extensively. A good UX experience encourages the user to return to your site and/or navigate the site in a positive manner to reach their end goal.
Business Development (continued UX). This is the vaguest section because it really depends on how confident and how far along your business is. This is most entirely optional, but honestly the most essential. Are people buying what you’re selling? Do you need a newsletter and/or email drip campaign? We can find flaws and holes in your business strategy and help think outside of the box to make it work. We meet a lot of people “in the weeds” and can’t see why things will work or won’t. By combining the goals of the business with UX, we create a cohesive structure to the site to encourage growth, whether that is a signup or purchase etc. Range is typically ($200-$800).
Website Development. This can be the largest variant cost-wise. How many pages is your site? Is it e-commerce? Do you want a blog? Some pop-ups? Animation? All of these things can rack up hours for the developer. For most simple 1-5 pages with a CMS (WordPress) or non-CMS sites this will range from $500-$2000. The cheapest I’ve seen for a bare bones PSD to HTML site (typically a VERY simple one-pager which you then configure and host) is $250. Normally, a new business needs at least 4 pages total. At least one of these will need a contact form, and likely they will want a blog. A blog requires a CMS (content management system), most commonly using WordPress. If e-commerce is your jam then either a Stripe/Paypal configuration is required and most likely you'll want a “cart” option which WordPress also can be used for. There are other site options for e-commerce like Shopify or Squarespace (good options if you want to DIY and are just testing the waters) - they may take less time initially to set up, but overall take just as much time to customize as a WordPress theme. 9/10 we recommend WordPress for a business that intends to stick around. BTW, you can do this yourself too! For around $60 you can buy a great WordPress theme and go to town. We encourage autonomy and can work with you to make those tweaks you can’t figure out with the setup you choose. We also provide documentation with every website we build to enable you to make changes yourself in the future.
SEO. This is often not included in website development quotes. Why develop a website no one will ever visit? SEO is a complex and frustrating challenge. Trying to break into the travel industry? That’s going to be hard. Trying to sell images of horses with hats? That will be much easier. SEO is Search Engine Optimization and is constantly changing. But, the goal stays the same - how to perform better within a google search. As of now, the most work goes into injecting “keywords” into general content, headers, metadata, and even URL structure. Extensive work goes into looking at search results via Google while comparing competitor rankings and usage. This can also include analyzation of google analytics data (if a website already exists). Average costs are $300-$800 for a basic setup to a new site. To learn more check out our Marketing Services page.
Marketing! This is often not included in website development quotes. If you already have a website with analytics, we analyze the data and make development recommendations from there. If you don’t - we implement analytics (including event tracking) that we can analyze together down the road or show you the metrics that you should be paying attention to. Google Adwords and Facebook Ads: For businesses that already have a website or are just looking forward - we provide examples and filters (and tutorials) so that you can get going and be successful on an ad campaign directing traffic to your site. This involves looking at competitors but also at your current market, and includes optimized images and metadata. Average costs are $300-$800 for basic assessment, strategy work, and implementation. We also offer marketing consulting for an hourly cost which is recommended for consulting and ongoing optimization. Check out our Marketing Services page for more info.
Biz Dev with UX: $200-$800
Website Development: $500-$2000
A common range for all our services for a simple new business website that includes business strategy, marketing strategy, and SEO: $2250 - $6400. And without SEO, marketing, and Biz Dev the cost of a basic website including the most minimal cost of each section is $1450. On average, for a new business or startup, we estimate you thinking about spending close to $3000 to get a responsive, 2-6 page elegant site that includes marketing, business development, and SEO to put your best foot forward. This price structure assumes a simple site, not one that requires member logins or custom features that would need a custom plugin built. The more interactive features and database needs start pushing the cost over the $10k range. For larger projects, you can check out this rundown of how larger agencies may price things.
We try to maximize your budget with your needs. We will never try to sell you something you don’t need. Need all of these things but don’t have the budget? That’s understandable. Just click below and fill out our worksheet. We will take the time to help prioritize a need-based plan that will help you get to your next level of entrepreneurship.