Asking what a website costs to design and develop is a little like asking how long is a piece of string – well, it depends.
The price of a website is based on several variables – these include the specifications and requirements of the website, the experience of the website company and the added value they bring to the table, and the level of custom development required – if any.
This leaves a wide range of pricing. A website can cost anywhere from almost free to $50,000 plus depending on your scope of work and requirements.
For example, you could look into building your website on a free or cheap platform like Wix or Godaddy. If you are starting a new business, have time on your hands, and are keen on keeping your costs low, this could be an option for you. Although typically it is easy to spot a website that was built by the business owner. And additionally, you’ll miss out on having a professional bring their experience to the project which means you may miss the mark on building a website that shows up in search results and helps bring new customers to your business.
Conversely, custom-built web applications have no upper limit on costs. A good web developer can build pretty much anything you can dream up, as long as you are willing to pay them. This of course isn’t the best option for most, and we look at using existing tools where possible rather than building from scratch.
When engaging with a company to work with on your website project, they must offer you a clear scope of work and a detailed estimate on costs.
At Evergreen, we are transparent in our pricing, and while there can be some variables involved, we list our website packages and pricing publicly on our website. Our range starts at $1,950 for a simple website, and to $3,750 for a site with further functionality and additional pages. Of course, there are additional costs for large projects, but we quote every project individually to ensure we consider all requirements and offer you a great price for the value.
Below are some items for consideration when pricing out your initial website project, plus a list of ongoing costs that you should be aware of when you are creating a budget for your website.
One Time Website Costs
When quoting on a new website project, we like to break out the budget based on items that are typically one-time expenses and a list of recurring costs – whether they be monthly or annually. All of these items should be considered and accounted for when reviewing proposals for your new website.
Website Design & Development
Building a new website is the most expensive aspect of website ownership and ongoing maintenance, but thankfully it is a one-time cost. Traditionally, most web design companies quote websites as a fixed project cost versus an hourly rate, and so do we.
By quoting the website as a project cost it allows cost certainty for the business that is purchasing the website. Hourly projects may seem cheaper upfront, but a simple overrun in time can take you over budget.
In this stage, it is important to have clearly defined expectations laid out for the website designer. If you have any specific atypical requirements for your website, it is important to have them listed in your scope of work. Here are a few things we typically include in our scope of works:
- Design and development of the website
- Development environment for the website to built and approved before launch
- List of pages to be built – this is important especially if you have a larger website
- Outline of goals and objectives for the website so appropriate landing pages are accounted for
- Understanding of who is providing the content and images for the site
- Any additional functionality required – online payments, e-commerce, newsletter sign-ups, custom maps, etc.
Having a clear scope of work allows the company from which you are requesting a quote to provide an accurate and complete proposal for you. There should also be a clear understanding of additional costs if the scope of the project changes before the website being launched. This is one area where we provide an hourly rate so that it is clear for our clients what to expect if the scope of work and overall project changes midway through.
Content and Copywriting
Creating content for a brand new website can be a daunting task. And it is an area where we can see a bottle-neck when customers are providing their content for the website. Copywriting is an art form of its own. And having a good writer work on your website can make or break the effectiveness of your site and determine how well you can engage and convert customers.
Pricing on content and copywriting has a wide range. The experience and skill level of the writer weighs into the cost, but a good writer can often work quicker with fewer edits than a novice, so the hourly rate might not be as expensive as it first appears.
When we quote for including the content on websites, we offer a project cost. Again, this allows cost certainty for you and ensures you get the value required. Typically an hourly rate will also be provided for any additional work outside of the initial scope.
Depending on the size of the project, content and copywriting for a new website can range from $1,000 and upwards. Ensure that you get a written quote for writing services so there aren’t any surprises for you.
Images for Your Website
There are two directions you can go when filling your site with images – stock photos or real photos of your business and your services. Real photographs are always preferred but may not always be available depending on the nature of your business. In that case, stock photos fill in nicely. When we price out website quotes we include the use of stock photos from our library at no additional cost.
Having a professional photographer provide images for your project can make a difference in the appearance of your website. And while more expensive than using stock photos, you won’t have to break the bank.
A quick photoshoot of your business can start as low as $395. Add in a few locations and some professional headshots and the cost goes up from here. We do recommend using real images where possible as it showcases you and your business and personalizes the website for the user in turn making you more approachable.
Reporting & Analytics Installation
Google Analytics and Google Webmaster Tools are free tools from Google that provide you with insights into how people find and use your website and monitor the health of your site. These tools are installed and configured at no additional cost in our projects.
If you require third-party tracking, heatmapping, or other integrations it is important to state these requirements upfront so the cost can be accounted for in your quote.
Recurring Website Costs
While the initial cost of having a website built is the largest component of the budget that needs to be considered, some recurring costs need to be budgeted for to keep your website alive and functioning well.
Some of these costs are annual, while others are monthly, but all should be considered when creating your budget. The company that you are getting a quote from should provide you a pricing list and options.
Purchasing your domain is an annual cost, and while not expensive, it is the most important piece of your website. A good memorable domain with your business name becomes the address for your website, email, and home of your online presence. Your domain is also where you’ll build your value for search engine optimization and customers who have visited your site and want to come back.
Using a domain registrar like Godaddy or Namecheap, the cost of a domain is roughly $10-15 per year. One note, please ensure that you set your domain to auto-renew so you don’t accidentally lose control of your domain if it expires.
Hosting costs can vary widely based on the level of service you receive. If you can configure your hosting and are looking for a cheap option you can find hosting for as under $10 per month. However, you’ll normally want more than the cheapest option as in this case cheap does mean no value.
A good solid managed hosting package includes items like nightly back-ups, an SSL certificate, and in our case, we even include updates to your WordPress install and plugins as well as some technical support. Our plans start at $39/mth for hosting and provide you with a worry-free website ownership experience.
Web Accessibility Tools
We believe that the internet should be accessible. And while responsive website design is commonplace in new web projects, responsive websites don’t go far enough in providing full ADA and WCAG compliance. If you are building a WordPress website there are a lot of free or cheap plugins that appear to be compliant, but in reality, they don’t offer the fully accessible solution that we should be aiming for.
We partner with accessiBe for website compliance. They use two applications together to achieve full compliance. The accessibility interface is responsible for the UI and design-related on-site adjustments, and their AI-powered background processes the optimizations for screen-readers and keyboard navigation.
accessiBe is a game-changer when it comes to web accessibility, and at $49USD/month it is also an affordable solution.
Site Maintenance Costs
Website maintenance costs should also be taken into consideration when starting a new project. For a simple brochure-style website, you are likely looking at a flat-rate monthly fee to update your plugins, keep the site backed-up, and any other minor technical issues that can arise. We include that work in our hosting packages at no additional charge.
If your site is more complex or requires frequent updates to your product or service pages there will likely be a charge from your website company to look after these items. Packages can be handy here again for cost certainty if you have standard updates that need to be done monthly, or a flat rate for hourly work can also be agreed upon.
Items for Consideration
Every website has the potential to be a unique reflection of your business. And because of this, there is the potential to add additional items to your website project to make it your own and also serve your business well. We use our website as a way to attract new customers, inform them of our services, and have clear calls to action if they would like to be added to our newsletter list or request a quote for our services.
Below are some items that should be taken into consideration when getting a quote for your new website project.
Landing Pages for Ads
Facebook ads, Google ads, Linkedin, social media, and more – there are a lot of platforms that we can use to advertise our businesses to attract new clients to our websites. As such, we also need good landing pages to send people to if we are paying for ads. In our case, we don’t send people looking at our ads for website work to our home page – we send them directly to a specific landing page highlighting the benefits of working with Evergreen that has a form built right into the page for easy and frictionless contact.
If you are planning on advertising to bring visitors to your website, have your quote include the cost of building landing pages. This cost may fall within the regular scope of work of the company you are working with, or there may be an additional charge per page.
Email Marketing Integration
Keeping your business in front of your current and future customers is key to growing your business online. And there is no better way to do this than having an email list that you can send messages to. But where do we get people to add to our list? Having a form on your website, or multiple forms throughout your site, is a great way to invite your website visitors to keep in touch.
Adding a simple form from Hubspot or Mailchimp can be easy enough, but if you require assistance setting up and configuring your accounts there may be an additional hourly charge.
Are you planning on selling your products and taking payments online? Build that into the cost of your new website. There are a few great platforms that can get you up and running with an online store that we use frequently – Shopify and WooCommerce (via WordPress).
Including e-commerce functionality in your website quote makes more sense than coming back to it at a later date. It’ll also allow the website designer to help you make a decision on which platform is right for your business.
WooCommerce doesn’t have a monthly cost, but there may be more upfront costs for your project. Shopify starts at $29USD/month and offers you a full e-commerce experience that you can have built quickly – but with some design limitations.
Get a Quote Today
Starting a new website project can be intimidating, and the costs can vary greatly from company to company. You must find a team that you feel comfortable working with and can provide you the expertise in building a website that is going to work for your business.
Evergreen Digital Marketing is a full-service marketing agency that specializes in digital marketing services. Let our team of experts help you build the website that will grow your business.
Contact us today to get a free quote.