You may be looking at a website estimate thinking “Woah! Why is this so expensive?!” If that’s the case, you may need to rethink your website needs and wants. A few simple cuts here or there can help stretch your budget and still give you a website that meets your needs. Costs vary for each web project depending upon the chosen process to build and design the site, the size of the site (number of pages) and the required functionality.
When building our online website estimator we broke down the estimating process into 6 leading expenses:
Would you like a custom built website with consultation included? Or would you prefer a fast design website with less meetings and consultations? This could make quite the difference in your spending.
Custom build type is a more consultative process. Companies updating their identity, who tend to design by committee, or “will know it when they see it” are well suited for this build type. MayeCreate starts this process with a creative meeting before designing, then presents multiple original design concepts, meets with the client to review the designs and allows up to 3 sets of revisions. The additional consulting in this process allows for more interaction with our company ensuring the client is receiving exactly what they want.
Expedited build type is a faster consolidated process. Fast decision makers who do not have a set image in mind work well in an expedited process. It’s great for new businesses who are just trying to get off ground and need a professional looking site without a lot of fuss. This is still a professional and great-looking option, though the designs tend to be a bit simpler and there is only one set of revisions in the process, completed in an hour long one-on-one revisions process with a designer.
More pages generally equals more time and more time costs more money. If your site only has 2 pages it will generally cost less than a site with 22.
For each website we create page layouts, offering image renderings of each page for client revisions. We have a meeting to discuss the pages and complete one set of revisions.
You can often cut costs by selecting the most important pages in the site for your designer to create and then place the content on the remaining pages on your own.
Creating content can be as costly as designing the actual pages. Costs are determined through the amount of time preparing for interviews, interviewing your company, writing the content and editing the content. Content development is more expensive on websites with lots of pages than those with only a few. If you’re looking for a place to cut costs write your own content and ask your web company if they provide editing. This often provides a happy medium, you the expert provide the content and your editor can ask for clarification about areas they don’t understand, correct grammatical errors and suggest alternate formatting for easy reading. Weight the pro’s and con’s of paying for content development, if you’re super busy or need your website done yesterday you may want to pay to have it created instead of delaying or tabling the project in an effort to save money.
We generally refer to programming as the website’s functionality. The bells and whistles. Because programming requires more technically experienced personnel to accomplish it is often billed at a higher hourly rate. For that reason additional functionality can add up quickly. Removing certain functions from the site can reduce the bottom line but can also detract from the site’s effectiveness. Before adding or removing a programming item examine if it’s a nice to have or a must have.
Functionality can be a slippery slope, for example: if you decide not to have a slideshow on your website but all of your competition have slideshows your site may seem lacking. Also, if you opt out of functionality that makes the site easier to update you may spend more time updating the site and your updates may not appear as uniform, costing you more time away from what you do best and leaving your site feeling less professional.
Ask your designer for their opinion on the matter. Also ask what functionality must be included to allow other features to function. For example at MayeCreate you can have a slideshow and an email form without choosing to have a content management system (CMS), however a CMS is required for features such as a blog or events section.
Popular programming options include:
Most businesses build websites with the intention of generating business. If you plan on connecting with potential customers searching for more than just your business’s name you may need to engage in some degree of Search Engine Optimization. The price on this service varies depending on the amount of content and pages throughout your site. Price for SEO can be based on competitiveness for your search terms and the number of search terms for which you wish to rank. For example if you’re a mortgage company you may be surprised at the amount of competition out there for your business. Mortgage terms are some of the most expensive and challenging of any industry. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go after them, it just means your budget will be considerably higher than the people competing for search terms related to bakeries.
Last but not least, would you like to sell items online? If so, there are many avenues to take based on your product type. You may want to allow people to pay for events or services online, sell gift cards or create an e-commerce site. Generally the more complicated your sales process or product the more expensive the online sales integration will be. If you’re trying to cut costs consider simplifying the sales process. For example if you want to sell gift cards perhaps you can generate the gift cards in your store and mail them to the recipient instead of investing in an online system that generates a non-replicable gift card. However, as with everything else, if you plan on selling thousands of gift cards it would be more cost effective to invest in an online system to free up your staff to do other things.
Every website design company charges different rates and prices. Maybe your previous estimate was higher or lower than MayeCreate’s pricing options. In our community, Columbia, MO, most of the companies like MayeCreate (similar in size and experience) charge a comparable price to the data represented in our website estimator, while in larger communities prices tend to be higher for the same services. To stretch your dollar consider tweaking the elements on your website’s must have list and give MayeCreate’s Website Estimator a first or second-go-around.