Whether starting a business or already running an established business, you know you need a website. But most people wonder what options they have and how much should a website cost to build?
I would like to try and answer these questions in plain and simple English below.
To give you an idea of costs, I will be basing it on the assumption that we are talking about a brochure style website with the following brief (similar to most marketing websites):
- basic brochure style website.
- approximately 15 – 20 pages.
- an image gallery to house around 25 photos.
- contact form.
- WordPress blog and CMS.
- YouTube video integration.
- social media integration.
Before we go any further, you may or may not know that there are two main components to a website:
- the user interface (front end) is the look and feel of your website – this includes colours, fonts, graphics, layout, elements etc.
- the cms (back end) is the control panel which allows you to log in and administer your website.
Typically a creative web designer will tackle the front end and a web developer will tackle the back end, although some WordPress developers can do both.
There are several options available for developing a website but in a nutshell, it all boils down to whether or not you have the necessary technical skills to build your own website. If you don’t then you need to hire someone who does.
Lets look closer at your options and we’ll start with the most expensive.
A) You can hire a web design agency to build a website for you.
As with all things in life, when it comes to website design, it is true that you get what you pay for. If you have the budget and require a truly unique, dynamic website, then consider hiring one of the many local professional web design agencies.
I recently submitted a quote request to 10 leading Irish boutique web design studios for a website with the spec above. The resulting quotes ranged between €5,000 and €12,000. Seriously? Yes, seriously.
How can an agency justify the expense? They have a team of people doing branding, research and development, design, build, CMS, photography, videography and more.
Is that a ridiculous amount for most small businesses and start-ups to pay? Yes.
Can you get a great website for less? Again, yes.
B) You can hire a freelance web designer to develop a website for you.
A professional freelance web designer should always be less expensive than an agency as your freelancer will have less overheads and running costs. As a result this saving should be passed on to clients leading to a more competitive price.
In my experience, I have found most freelance developers I know will typically offer you two price options:
- €3,000 will typically get you the full design package to include wireframes, original photoshop designs, standards compliant code and off course, a customised responsive WordPress website.
- if you choose to go for a pre-designed, off-the-shelf, premium website theme and have it tailored to your requirements you would typically be looking at between €750 and €3,000
Whilst this is nowhere near an agency price, you still end up with a professional website that hits your target market. Cost is not always indicative of quality.
C) Build a website yourself based on a free theme.
Whilst I would never ever recommend this option to any serious business wanting to portray a professional online image, it can suit some amateurs and those playing around with a new hobby.
Siobhan McKeown wrote a great article backing up my belief – why you should never use a free WordPress theme.
It really isn’t rocket science if you are highly computer literate and just want to get your first online presence with little or no budget worth talking about.
The steps are listed below:
- register a domain name (mine is robbiedover.ie) and setup your hosting account to store your website files.
- install WordPress through your hosting control panel.
- source your free theme and upload it from your WordPress dashboard.
- create your pages, galleries and upload all your content – logo, images, videos – the lot.
- launch your site live, get it into search engines (the almighty Google etc.) and promote the heck out of it!
Et voila, you just got yourself a website with no expensive agency, designer and/or developer fees. In fact, following this process will cost you less than €100 – the only expenses being domain name registration and web hosting, oh and many sleepless nights both during the build itself and long into the future.
Finally, if you choose Robbie Dover, how much should a website cost?
Whilst I cannot put specific prices on the websites in my portfolio due to client confidentiality, I can declare that the majority of websites I work on typically range from €500 – €3,000.
Specific costs will depend on:
- how many options you want (1, 2 or more?).
- your turnaround time (2 days or 2 weeks?).
- type of website you want (informational brochure, fully updateable CMS or eCommerce online shop?).
If you are considering me for your next web design project, you now know how much a website costs so contact me and I will send you a short website planner questionnaire to fill out and return. This will create your brief and from there, I can provide you with a more detailed quote.