How Much Does a Website Cost?

People frequently ask, "How much does a website cost?" I've heard one web designer reply, "How long is a piece of string?" Others use the car analogy: "How much does a car cost?" I like to use a house construction metaphor. I say, "Building a website is like building a house. I can build you a cabin, a two-story, or a mansion. It really comes down to what you want and what you want to pay."

Process versus product

You see, the websites we build are custom creations, just like a custom-built house. They're not a commodity you can pick up at the store, like a gallon of milk. As others web professionals have said, a website is a process more than a product.

Initial questions

When I talk to a prospect about a website, I have a questionnaire that guides the conversation. It helps me learn about the prospect's business and their goals for the website. Here are just a few of the items on that questionnaire:

  • What's the website's purpose or goal?
  • What's the target launch date?
  • What's your budget?
  • Who will create content (text, images, video, etc.)? Do we a need to involve a copywriter, photographer, graphic designer, videographer, etc.?
  • What functionality will the site need (e-commerce, forms, calendars, forums, etc.)
  • How will social media be integrated?
  • What does the design need to look like (logo, colors, fonts, graphics, etc.)?
  • What level of SEO (search engine optimization) do you need?
  • Do you need to be trained to use WordPress?
  • Who will maintain the site (security, updates, backups, etc.)?
  • Do you need ongoing consulting to make the site effective?

The answer

Based on the prospect's answers to these and other questions, I can provide an estimate for creating a website that's customized to them and their goals. As you can see, the answer to "How much does a website cost?" is always, "It depends. Let's find out."

Do you have questions or comments about the cost of websites or web services? Please leave a comment. Want to talk about what your website will cost? Contact us.

Featured image by Wonderlane

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