How much does a new website cost?

This is a question I am presented with from existing and prospective clients almost on a daily basis.

What is frustrating about this is not that the client is asking the question – it’s just that the answer is really insignificant.

If a client says, “I only have $1500 to spend on a new website. Can you do it?” I will tell them that we are not the right design company for them. More often than not they are not actually locked in to such a rigid budget, but instead they are looking for the “best value” and trying to compare “apples-to-apples”.

So business owners get on the phone with a number of web design companies and digital marketing agencies to gather a collection of proposals, often with no justification to make their decision. This company charges $3000. That one $6,750. This one $9000. Aren’t all of the companies basically offering the same thing and just charging different prices?

This is where clients get thrown off.

How do you compare apples-to-apples when you don’t know what an apple should be?

Let’s look at it this way. We’re going to go out for dinner. I can tell you that whatever restaurant we choose must have a diverse menu, hot food, a big dining room, plates, utensils, salad and free water.

Well, how much is that going to cost?” you ask.

I respond, “It depends”. This is when my client sighs.

Will we be dining at the “Rusty Spoon Buffet and Flea Market”? It seems like lots of people eat there. They meet all of the requirements mentioned above. Diverse menu, hot, food, big dining room, plates, utensils, salad and free water.

Or will we be dining at the “Silver Springs Resort”? They also meet all of the requirements mentioned above.

Or maybe we will be dining at an establishment somewhere in the middle?

The challenge is to identify what you really want. Is it just “food”?

If so the Rusty Spoon will probably do just fine.

But when it comes to a client expressing their digital marketing needs for their website, they don’t envision much further than “how much is the food?”

To many, a website is just what you see when you look at it on your computer screen. But just like a dining experience there is so much more to consider.

If done well:

  • You will work closely with your digital marketing agency to outline marketing goals for your website and digital marketing strategies. (A great looking website that was created with no specific purpose other than to look good is not a great website.)
  • It will be designed to work well across many devices
  • It will be created by professional, experienced, talented artists that take the time to understand your market
  • It will be created with the goal of optimizing your ability to be found in search results. That includes using proper page titles, headers, image tags and page content. (For the average client, if these things aren’t done well – or done at all – you will never know.)
  • You will be trained on how to update, edit and maintain your site even if you don’t know anything about website design.
  • You will be provided on-going support to make sure your website continues to be secure, function well and look great.

Just like choosing a dining experience, when designing a new website there is so much more to consider than “how much does it cost”. Be willing to educate yourself so you can find a digital marketing partner that will provide you with the level of expertise, service, and abilities that meet with your professional expectations and business goals. Otherwise, you might find yourself scraping off the crusty skin on a big bowl of day old chocolate pudding instead of enjoying an amazing dessert that was made just for you.