If you need a site but have never had experience with web design and development before, you may be in for a shock how much website pricing differs from company to company. From the budget perspective, having a website made is not the same as having a house built, for example. When you ask several building contractors about the overall website prices, you can expect to hear approximately comparable figures.
By contrast, when you ask three software firms “What does a website cost?” you’ll most likely be given three, sometimes radically different, quotes. Why is that so?
In this post, we’re going to answer this question by highlighting the most important aspects that shape website pricing no matter what sector of the economy your business operates in.
At Web Peppers, we are always completely open with our clients when it comes to charging them. Over the years, we’ve implemented numerous projects for companies in a variety of industries. What we care about above all is the satisfaction and success of our clients, not just the money we want them to pay for our work.
So, here are the basic website price determiners along with the details about our specific approach to quoting. First, though, let us explain why you need a website at all.
Is a Website Really Necessary for Your Business?
It is! These days, you’ll hardly find a company without a website. With the rivalry in all the sectors of the business world becoming more fierce with every year, to ignore the online space is a surefire way to fail.
More than that: your site must have an attractive look and feel, be functional in compliance with your business requirements, and interactive. A simple page with plain text and visuals to present a company is no longer enough.
Users/customers are much more demanding than they used to be. In particular, it concerns responsiveness. If your website looks like a mess on a handheld gadget, not only will your business reputation suffer, but Google will push your site down its SEO rankings, too, as it gives priority to mobile-friendly resources.
Bottom line: you can’t do without a website, and you can’t do without a good website.
You Know You Need a Website, But What Type of Website?
It all depends on your specific requirements. A website of a medical clinic may be significantly different from an online store. Sites have their specific set of features, performance characteristics, and security restrictions.
Depending on your goals and budget, you can have these main types of websites built (from more to less expensive):
- Web application
- E-commerce website
- Custom website
- Template website
- Basic website
Which of them you select will ultimately determine the website price.
What Does a Website Cost?
WEB APPLICATION PRICING
This is one of the most budget-intensive types of websites. A web application is different from a standard website in that it is used for a particular purpose similar to a desktop application. It just uses the browser for its interface and can be accessed from any device connected to the Internet.
For example, Facebook or Google Docs are web applications. Or take Pinterest, for instance, which lets you search, save, and share images across the entire online space. This type of website is challenging to plan and build and can take months or even years to complete.
The website price, in this case, is hard to calculate since web applications are very different in their sizes and functions. Moreover, a lot of time should be set aside for discussions between clients and developers. The latter must know exactly what the client wants at the start of the project. Rebuilding a web application afterward will be much costlier. Be aware that this communication is not free.
So, expect to pay in the range $2,500 – $10,000 for planning a web app and $30,000 and more for development. At Web Peppers, we take $4,500 from our clients upfront for the time we spend talking over the details of the future application and defining the precise technical specifications. Then, when we’ve finished with the bird-eye-view aspects, the fine-tuning stage begins with a separate quote.
E-COMMERCE WEBSITE PRICING
We continue answering the question “How much does a website cost?” with an e-commerce website. It is on average a bit less expensive than a web application, but building it is as hard and in many cases is as long as a web app.
These days, as we’ve already said, consumers are more demanding. Unless an online store is visually appealing, simple to navigate, fast, and offers a convenient check-out functionality, it’s doomed to sink into oblivion sooner rather than later.
To give an e-commerce website all these essential characteristics, we have to do a lot of research and planning before our developers even start coding. We ask our clients questions about the platform used to build their present site, what information about their customers they want to track if they need autoresponders to send emails to clients whenever they make a purchase, and a host of other questions.
The process of making an e-commerce website at Web Peppers has been refined to perfection. We’ve covered every single development aspect and created a detailed road map for ourselves and our clients, starting from the server setup, obtaining an SSL certificate, and Merchant account set up to launch and ongoing maintenance.
Considering how much effort we have to put in, our standard e-commerce website price starts at $25,000. While it may seem hefty, at first glance, it’s nothing in comparison with the profits that your high-quality online store will bring in the end.
CUSTOM WEBSITE PRICING
If you’re a small or mid-sized business owner who not simply wants to present his or her company online, but also needs a unique, beautiful site that reflects the company’s brand identity and has business-specific features, this is your option.
What does a website cost in this case? $15,000 and more. Why? Again, because it’s a highly professional service that includes the typical stages a large web project goes through: from elicitation and planning to the testing, launch, and maintenance.
Web Peppers employs a team of world-class front-end and back-end developers, UI/UX and graphic designers, SEO specialists, digital marketers, and other pros. All of them play important roles in the creation of a custom website, suggesting the best ways to solve specific problems. No stone is left unturned.
Holding numerous discussions and meetings, handling security restrictions, creating SEO-friendly and interesting content – all this is time-consuming and therefore impacts the ultimate custom website price. In return, you get full control over every aspect of your website and a clear edge over your competition.
TEMPLATE WEBSITE PRICING
Not all businesses can afford a custom website price of $15,000 and more. For companies on a shoestring budget, there’s a cheaper alternative: template websites. These days, there are many content management platforms (CMS) around, such as Drupal or Joomla!. The most popular of those is WordPress (WP).
Instead of building a custom website from ground zero, a business owner can take a WP theme (template) and tweak it to suit their needs (use different colors, replace images, and insert their own content). There are tons of WP themes on the Internet, both paid and free.
While it’s a quick and relatively cheap method of setting up a site, there’s one global problem. Even after modifying a WP theme, its layout will remain the same, making your website look like thousands (or even millions) of other sites that use the same theme.
A template website price is certainly lower: $4,500 and above. We don’t recommend falling into a common trap set by smaller web development companies, who promise to build template websites for just $500. You will simply get what you’ve paid for: a mediocre job without any business value.
Although Web Peppers charges a minimum of $4,500 for a website of this type, we always deliver a high-quality product. Our template website pricing is based on the time it took us to complete similar projects in the past.
BASIC WEBSITE PRICING (PROFESSIONALS INVOLVED)
In the lower end of the spectrum are basic websites. Their main purpose is to let the world know that a company exists and provides specific services or sells particular goods.
Through a basic website, potential customers can learn when the company was established, what is its place in the market niche, how many people it employs, and obtain other important business details. A website like this also includes a contact form or online chat that serves as a permanent point of connection between the business and consumers.
A basic website is not something fancy. Normally, it contains no more than a dozen static HTML pages. One way to create it is to code it from the ground up. These days, though, it’s common practice to base a site-brochure on a content management platform such as WordPress.
In this case, the business owner can update the content of his or her site without professional assistance – time and money saver. At the same time, the development firm has to spend time teaching the client to use the platform. The basic website price with professionals hired starts at $2,000 and ends at $5,000.
BASIC WEBSITE PRICING (DO-IT-YOURSELF APPROACH)
Finally, if you’re an individual entrepreneur or freelancer with a very limited/non-existent budget, you can make use of numerous website builders such as Squarespace or Wix. They allow you to set up a simple website by drag-and-dropping basic web elements like input fields and dropdowns.
The basic website pricing with the do-it-yourself method employed is on average $50 a month. Alternatively, you can take advantage of a free plan that many vendors provide. Keep in mind, though, that you’ll be limited in your capabilities if you choose the free route.
While being cheap or requiring no payment at all, site builders may look simple on paper only. In reality, you still have to spend time learning their intricacies. Besides, you should have a firm grasp of graphic design and a certain amount of coding skills. Thus, you may end up with a higher basic website price than you originally expected.
WEBSITE PRICING: GENERAL ITEMS
Whatever is the size or specifics of your project, there are some general items that make up the ultimate website price. We believe you should know about these too.
Preparing Website Content
The content is the King. We’re not exaggerating here. The more engaging and SEO-optimized the content is, the more traffic you can expect your site to draw. Of course, you can hire a content writer from abroad for as little as $1. However, the quality of the end result will be comparable to this amount.
A more sensible approach is to find a real professional well-versed in content creation. It’s true that you’ll have to pay from $50 to $200 for one page, which may seem a bit expensive. Hear us again, though: “The content is the King.”
QA and Teaching
Testing is an important stage of the web development process. Skip it and you may quickly lose visitors or leads. It’s especially vital for e-commerce websites, where the money is involved. Also, as most sites these days are based on content management systems, site owners need to be trained to use their CMS properly for adding, removing, or editing content.
The share of QA and teaching in the overall website price is from $600 to $4,800.
DNS Management and Domain Name
If you entrust obtaining the new domain and DNS management to the Web Peppers professionals. you’ll have to pay $100 annually. For this money, you’ll get unrivaled service and will not have to worry about any domain-related hassle.
Alternatively, you can get a domain name from any other provider by paying in the vicinity of $10. That, however, doesn’t guarantee you trouble-free life regarding DNS management.
Managed Services for Your Website
This includes a broad range of services, starting from creating and maintaining your content and ending with promoting your goods or services through paid advertising. Expect to pay $75-$150 and above monthly.
There are several types of website hosting. If you don’t mind sharing the same server with other websites (shared hosting), you may have to spend from $200 up a year. This type of hosting is not perfect, though, as the server’s resources are not allocated equally. That may cause your site to run slower.
On the other hand, you can have a server all to yourself (dedicated server). That will be more expensive, you bet: $1,200 annually.
UI and UX Design
At Web Peppers, we normally spend around a day and a half on this essential development stage. We make sure that the best UX and UI design practices are implemented in your site. We collect images, come up with the optimal layout of the pages, and create a site map. This process is rather time-consuming and requires a lot of communication between our professionals and our clients.
It’s no surprise that all this makes the final website price higher. We charge at least $4,500 for this meticulous work, whereas some companies may ask for as little as $2,500 or as much as $10,000 and beyond.
Having a website built is just one part of the entire picture. You also need the site to be easily findable in the vast space of the Internet. Here is when digital marketers and SEO gurus come in. Search engine optimization is a science and an art. It is an ongoing process and can be quite costly. Prepare to spend from $600 to $4,800 on this budget item.
Building Custom Plugins and Integrating Shopping Carts
When you need more features that a bare-bone CMS-based website provides, you’ll have to order additional tools to be integrated into your site. The website price will include this component, which can be over-the-top expensive – $15,000 and above. Simple features cost less – from $200.
Data Collection and PM Services
Building a successful website requires collecting a lot of initial data from all those who are going to be using the site. Instead of conducting interviews and making phone calls, you can shift this burden onto the Web Peppers team.
The project management services are an integral part of website pricing. Depending on the scope and complexity of your project, prepare to pay from $600 to $3,000.
Website price – Conclusion
As we wrote at the beginning of this post, when you ask several development companies the question “What does a website cost?” you will almost never get an answer with the same website price. Unfortunately, we can’t find any reasonable arguments to explain this phenomenon.
Certain firms, believe it or not, take their quotes out of thin air. Others claim they’ve worked with some well-known brands before. That, they feel, gives them the right to bill their clients to the maximum.
We at Web Peppers are absolutely transparent when it comes to the final website price. We base our estimates on our previous experience. Our team is comprised of highly qualified web developers who know what they’re worth. Request your website estimation.
We hope this post can serve you as a helpful reference whenever you need a website for your business.