When you come to the realization that having a robust and dynamic company website is inevitable, you may have one major question: How much does it actually cost to build a website? While there are a number of factors that can help you get a good idea of what you will pay, there really is no definitive answer.
Website design isn’t a product that you are purchasing. You are paying for a service. The cost of planning, designing and building your site may be completely different than what it cost your competitor down the street. Your needs and desires for your sites are likely different. Because it is a customizable service, there is no black and white answer here. Answering the questions below will give you an idea of why the question of how much it costs to build a website is such a difficult one to answer.
Are You Starting Fresh?
If you are having your site built from scratch, that will often cost more than doing a redesign of an old site. Not only are you starting with a brand-new site, so is your designer. They won’t have any previous content to work with and build from, so the process will obviously be more involved. You will need to have many discussions about your business and your desired outcome with your designer to ensure that you get exactly what you’re hoping for.
Who Will Do Content Creation?
Unless you are planning on doing the content creation for your website yourself, you should plan to budget a decent amount for this as well. One of the most important aspects of a successful online presence is consistently pushing out fresh, relevant, keyword-friendly content. Content creation will likely be an ongoing expense, simply because you should never stop publishing new content. Having a professional create content that is optimized for search engines and will help your site rank higher is a worthy investment. A higher page rank equals more traffic. More traffic equals more potential clients.
Are You Going Mobile?
With the prevalence of smart phone use nationwide, the need to have a mobile friendly website is skyrocketing. Many people now use their phones as their main method of searching for business information. If your site isn’t created to be “responsive”, meaning easily viewed on smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc., then you may be missing out on a large number of potential clients. But of course, creating a responsive site comes with a price. This is yet another expense that you may be faced with when building your new website.
Do You Want All The Extras?
Do you plan on having a pretty basic website, or do you want all the bells and whistles? The answer to this question will make a big difference in the end cost for building your website. Extra add-ons such as blogs, e-commerce features, photo galleries, SEO, etc., are most likely all going to be an additional cost on top of your basic web design fee.
Who Will Maintain the Site?
After the initial set-up of your site you may assume that the work is done. That’s not the case. Keeping your site updated and running like a well-oiled machine takes continual maintenance. Although it might be tempting to try and maintain the site yourself, it’s often much more difficult than you might think. In instances like this, when your business can be directly affected by an error on your part, it’s often best to leave this type of work to the professionals. Signing a maintenance contract with your web designer is something you should absolutely consider.
Although this may seem like an overwhelming amount of work and a large expense, website design is one aspect of your business efforts where you absolutely should not cut corners. Having a user-friendly, informative, and all-around pleasant website experience for your consumers is one of the most important things you can do for your business. Your website is often the very first impression potential customers have of your business, and you want to make sure it’s a good one.
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