How Much Should I Pay for a Website?

by | Nov 9, 2020 | Digital Marketing, Web Design, Website Content

As a digital marketing agency, we get asked this question a lot. But the answer to “how much should a website cost” isn’t one-size-fits-all — nor should it be.

Paying for web design services can range from one extreme to the next. From free website builders and drag-and-drop templates to high-end expensive web design agencies, there are many solutions available on the market that make it difficult for business owners to prepare for the total cost of their web design project.

In this article, we explore the many factors that go into professional web design as well as what influences the cost of development to help you better understand how much you should pay for your website needs.

What Goes into Professional Web Design?

There are a number of factors that contribute to the total cost of building a website. By understanding which elements are necessary to your build, you can get a better idea of how much the total project will cost. In general, most web designers will charge an up-front fee for the project based on the project scope and the level of skill required to achieve your specific design requirements. The average cost for a professional web designer may fluctuate depending on the following:

Images: There are generally three options for website imagery, including free images, stock images, or personalized branded photography. A professional photoshoot will cost much more than paying for a stock image subscription or using royalty-free images.

Content: You can either write the content yourself or pay for a professional copywriter to convey your message. If you decide to hire a copywriter, you can pay anywhere between $0.08 – $0.18 per word. That will add up quickly, especially if you have a blog that has continuing content needs.

SEO: If you’re looking for your website to out position your competition, you’ll need to ensure your site meets current SEO best practices.  We recently explored the cost for SEO, and those factors can play a role in determining website pricing.  

Integrations: Need a POS system set up on the site? Are you a realtor who needs to link to the MLS? These elements will factor into  the cost of your project.

E-Commerce: Adding e-commerce elements to your site will significantly increase the cost of your project since each product page will require unique content and professional photos.

The alternative to professional web design is choosing to develop a site yourself using a website builder, such as Wix or Squarespace. While this option is the most cost-effective, the end result likely won’t be exactly what your business needs — especially if you’re not a trained marketer, SEO specialist, writer, or designer. If you don’t have the time commitment or proper training, the effort you put into creating a poorly developed website may cost you more in the long-run than if you had hired a professional from the get-go.

Additional Web Design Services

Designing the website isn’t the only thing you’ll have to account for: It costs money to maintain and host the website as well. The cost to host your website largely depends on the server that’s being used. Each server has a different price point, and your professional web designer will be able to discuss the options with you to help you reach the best decision.

In addition to hosting, you’ll need to keep up with website maintenance. If you’re doing this yourself, you’ll need to stay up-to-date on installing necessary updates, adhering to SEO best practices, data transfer monitoring, version control, server maintenance, and more. All of these considerations should be built into the cost of your website maintenance agreement with your chosen web designer if you decide to hire a professional.

Lastly, you’ll need to think about additional digital marketing services. In order to get your website in front of consumers, you’ll need to market on social, pay-per-click, search engine marketing, and more. A digital marketing agency will be able to assist with every aspect of your website project, from design and maintenance to marketing strategy and delivery. However, this will increase the total cost for your project significantly.

The Cost of Professional Web Design in 2020

As you can see, there are many different items to consider when determining the cost of your professional web design services. Before seeking out a professional, be sure to consider what your website actually needs and how that will influence the total cost of your project. Find ways to save money by opting to do some of the work yourself or hiring an in-house employee to take care of ongoing maintenance.

Ultimately, your website is the first impression you’ll make on your target consumers. You want it to be compelling, creative, and optimized for conversions. While ensuring your website is built to uphold these standards might cost a pretty penny, it will be well worth the investment to have a stunning site that attracts new business for years to come.

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