“How much should a new website cost?”

The most popular question we get from all potential clients when they walk into our office is “how much should a website cost?”.  It’s great to want to a website, but at the end of the day, we all want to know the price!

We are not surprised. It’s what we ask for work we want done, too. When it comes to websites, the answer is not a simple one. To be done RIGHT, your answer will depend on many things.

Even though we have been involved in the web business for a while, and collectively have worked on hundreds of websites, we still can’t give a quick answer to this question. We can give you a straight answer; we just can’t give you a quick one.

When we first sit down with any client, we ask a lot of questions. We need to get inside their head, figure out what it is they see, what they are looking for, what they really need, and what their customers will be looking for. We also need to find out what they want their website to do.

Remember, building a website is not like walking into a store and picking up a box off the shelf (though some think it is). Web development is a service we provide with a team of people working together, with you, our client, to build your ultimate website.

This is why it is tough to give a quick answer to the question, “How much should a website cost?

Regardless of its difficulty, it really is a fair question to ask. You need to make sure you are spending your money wisely.

In one way, you can think of building a website like buying a new car. We’ve been trained that you don’t just walk into a dealership and ask how much a car costs. If you did, you would have the salesperson scratching his head. Instead, you talk about your needs, what the car is meant to do, how the vehicle will be used. Is it for a family? Does gas mileage matter? What are the interior options? What colour is it available in? Finally, you may even cover how much budget you are working with.

This would all come up in the conversation, and it is simply to help the salesperson deliver you a solution (car) that fits your needs and your budget.

Here is why budget is so important up front. Let’s say you wanted a good reliable car that will carry your family of four around. The first car the salesperson shows you is a new Cadillac with a sticker price of $96,000.00. Some of us would LOVE a new Cadillac, and the $900/month payment plan is just fine. However, some of us might be more apt to go for a Chevrolet Cruze around $15,995.00 and a monthly price tag of $275/month. The salesperson needs to know where to start, so you can get what you need.

As web developers, we need to know if you want the Cadillac, or if you want the Cruze. Both provide the same basic function – they take you from point A to point B. However, there is a massive difference when it comes to design, comfort, engineering, and quality.

So, how much should a website cost?

By now we have all seen the advertisements for websites that cost $10/month and you can build it in 3 easy steps. I wish I had Jedi powers and could assure you, “These are not the websites you are looking for…” websites and drop type web sites are selling web presence. They are something you can point clients to, but they don’t do a good job of actually acquiring new clients.

If all you need is a site for people to notice once in awhile, then the rest of this article isn’t really for you. Head straight over to wix.com and grab yourself a free website.

If you are looking for an online partner to work with, who will develop a dynamic website for you, create a professional video, write content that will convert readers, establish your business as an authority in your industry, and help you generate quality leads that can turn into real money, then keep reading.

Now that you know what a real website should do, I will explain all of the things that go into quoting “how much should a website cost.”

Words, words and more words

People type questions into Google because they want to find an answer. We research keywords for your industry. Not just the words YOU are using, but also, and more importantly, the words that your clients are using. Once we have established the keywords, we can create blogs and targeted SEO content around those keywords. This helps to ensure that when Google is asked a question, your website will count in the ones that Google delivers in search results.

This website is awesome

A website with great user experience (UX) can help you land that next big client. BUT a website with bad user experience can scare away that next big client. We think about your pages: the navigation, usability, and the best way to get visitors from home page to answers. Once there, you have a better chance of converting a visitor into a lead, and ultimately into a paying client.A website with great user experience (UX) can help you land that next big client. BUT a website with bad user experience can scare away that next big client. We think about your pages: the navigation, usability, and the best way to get visitors from home page to answers. Once there, you have a better chance of converting a visitor into a lead, and ultimately into a paying client.

What is optimization?

Optimization is delivering the most cost effective, yet highest achievable performance, within any given constraints such as time / budget / quality / competition. Before anything goes up on your website, it needs to be optimized in order to help search engines find, locate, and ultimately deliver your business to potential visitors. Remember, you are trying to cut through the online clutter and noise. You are who Google says you are. We use optimization to help Google better understand who you are.

A picture is worth 1000 Words

The web is a multi-sensory journey. With the use of words, pictures and video you can deliver answers in the way your visitor best receives them! We know that you learn quicker through visual aids, and we no longer want to be burdened by overwhelming text. Whether you hire a photographer, take a selfie, shoot a video, or use stock images, your content needs to be sized properly, and optimized correctly, to best fit your website.

Website Design

Richard Seymour said that design is “making things better for people.” Web design is what we use to translate your idea into a portal online that makes life easier for your clients. We start with the needs of the end user. No design, no matter how beautiful, is any good if it doesn’t fulfill the needs of the user. This may sound obvious, but this is where so many websites fail! If the person doing your design doesn’t understand your customer, they simply can’t execute a winning website. Finding out what your customer wants is our first step. Then we build on those results with a mixture of creativity and commercial insight.

The 3 B’s of Business Success

Be Seen – Build Trust – Be Top of Mind

Page Layout

Page layout is a result of website design. The location of headers, footers, sliders, sidebars, opt-in boxes, even social media icons, need to be placed where these functions provide the best possible chance of converting your visitors into clients.

Coding

No two website are ever the same. Yes, we see similarities with non-developmental items or add-ons to websites. Social share buttons, sidebars, footers, YouTube embedding are examples of coding add-ons. Since your business is unique to you, then your website delivery will also be unique to you. Usually, this requires additional coding to achieve your desired goal.

May the Fourth Screen be with you

It is no longer about one screen and one browser. Today’s web savvy clients want information and they want it now. This means that they might be at their office desktop computer, their smart phone in hand or their tablet in front of them, all while they are looking for information. We have surpassed the Windows era when nearly everyone was using Internet Explorer to surf the net on a PC. Everything changed.

When determining your website, we also have to consider that clients are using PC’s, Macs, Tablets, and Smart phones. They view the web using Explorer, Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Opera. Now consider the combinations possible. We want your new website to run on all the possible configurations, without a glitch. This means coding, testing, and fixing any issues to provide the best experience for your web visitors – regardless of what they use.

Future So Bright, I Gotta be Mobile

Did you ever imagine the computing power that is now in our pocket? The data shows that mobile usage on smart phones will overtake desktop usage in 2015. So what? Remember this: Mobile users are mobile shoppers. Shoppers on the move! Smart retailers like Target have recognized this trend and have created incentives for mobile users with special in-store discounts. Your website needs to be mobile friendly. Period.

Let's Get Social

Developing a social media strategy is the first huge step towards using social media to help you succeed in business. A good social media strategy, when utilized correctly, will bring you closer to the most important connections in the world of business — your customers.

Video as a Business Card

Did you know that we retain 90% of information when viewed on a video, but only 10% when we read it? Video creates impact. Video is also a great trust builder. Our goal in building your website is to provide you with more leads, but to also build trust. The window of opportunity for video is growing daily and it should be an integral piece to your communication strategy.

It's Alive!

Before your website can go live, we will determine your domain name, secure the purchase and registration, install your site on a secure server (not just some computer under a desk), set up the DNS, code for your analytics, establish your webmaster tools and sitemaps and, simply, make sure everything is working as it should.

So, then, how much should a website cost?

As you can see, there are many things that we do to ensure you get the best possible website. Regardless of budget, the above list is a necessity for every website. If this was a new car, our work will provide you with the frame, design, some moving parts, the look and feel, and get you pointed in the right direction.

Now, we build the engine.

Where is your budget allocated?

As technology keeps advancing, we are seeing better and better frameworks and templates available to get started from. Think of a template as the frame of your vehicle. Many frames come pre-assembled. For you, this means that the “coding” for your website has actually been started, eating up much less of your budget than iut would have just a few short years ago. It also means that we can build your website faster today than ten years ago! “Sweet!” I hear you shout. “Will I save money on my website?”

Not quite.

With the change in User Experience, the work on your site has shifted from the coding end into the marketing end of your website. Your site needs to attract visitors and to convert them into clients. That is, after all, the point of having a website. With shifting the workload from coding to marketing the overall web costs are about the same, but now that budget works more directly towards getting new clients.

We have worked to develop different levels of websites for our range of clients. As mentioned above, your website is as unique as you are. You might need a simple 5-page website to get you up and running. Or you may choose to go with all the bells and whistles.

Below you’ll find our ranges for developing your Starter Website, Smart Website, our Smashing Website, and the Sky is the Limit Website (SMASHING Website +)

Things to Consider before Purchase

Before you move ahead with any purchase, you need to make sure you understand what it is you are buying, when the work will be completed, and how much it will cost you.

To better assist our clients we put together a Statement of Work (SOW) that outlines what work needs to be done, milestones that need to be met, and the budget that is agreed upon.

Having a statement of work before we begin the work will ensure that you know what we have to do, and what you have to pay. It helps keep everyone “honest”.

How long will it take to build my new website?

This is a great question. Generally, the smaller the website, the faster it can be built. The start time for a website will depend on a number of things. First off, you need to know that the web team you are going with is available. Are they already busy working on a few sites right now? We are generally booked up 6-8 weeks in advance, so if you came to us tomorrow, and needed a site built within a month, we might not be able to help you out. The other obstacle to delivery is how fast you, the customer, can provide the required info we need to complete any projects. Once a start time is confirmed, then you can expect delivery between 6 to 12 weeks depending on the package you’ve selected.

How do I pay for my new website?

This is another great question, and selfishly, our favourite part. Our recommended billing is a 50% deposit to start the order, with the balance of payment split over the timeline of the project. It is common practice that your website be paid in full before it goes live.

Now we want to hear from you…

If you are interested in finding out how much should a website cost and how Smashing Pixels can help you with your website design,

then book a FREE 30 minute consultation?

There is never any obligation, and we always have great coffee.