What should I pay for a website? Great question. We recently had a sent out a quote the other day for around the $2,000 price point. On the whole as websites go this is fairly low end.
I am amazed when people still look and say – “Oh – I thought it would be around $500”. Let’s dive in and look at the factors of what it takes to launch a website.
The first thing that goes into a great website is research, research, research. We need to research your industry, research your competition, research your target market, research and plan for an effective design structure, research colors, research graphics, research copy (text) for your website. All of this is done before the first line of code is written. Depending on the size of your project, this could take anywhere from 1 week to 1 month, or longer.
After the research phase is done, it’s time to plan. This is where we take all of the research, and compile it into a plan to achieve your goals. We review demographics, target market, what devices your visitors are likely to be using when accessing your website, what colors your target audience responds to, what pictures to use, what font works best, etc. We also take this time to work on navigation and page structure which is actually the beginning of our SEO part of your website. Search Engine Optimization starts before any code is created for your site.
We had a client who came to us, who’s target market was attorneys. This client had a direction they wanted to go, and assumed their target market was middle aged men, who’s median income was $100,000. While the client was right about their end target market, what we determined during our research phase, is that our client was not engaging directly with the attorney’s, they were engaging and making their pitch to the assistants, and secretaries. Their primary target market was actually a female, between the ages of 25-40 with a median income of $40,000. Without the research and planning phase, this particular client would have completely missed the mark with their web development project.
Once we complete the planning phase, and narrow down who the target audience is, we move into the design phase. The design phase is where we get into the graphical components of the website. This phase includes pictures, colors, text layout, navigation bars and more.
After the design of the website is finalized, we start writing the code that runs your website. During this time, we continually check our code and make sure your website confirms to accessibility standards, displays correctly in multiple web browsers on multiple devices, and that the look and feel of your website is not compromised.
For small projects this process easily spans 2-3 months, and for larger projects can involve multiple people, multiple companies, and span lengths of up to a year or more. There is simply no way to produce an effective website without the above process, nor can this be done on a $500 budget.