Why Does Building A Website Cost So Much Money?
Table of Contents
- If you are wondering why developing a website costs a fair bit of out-of-pocket investment, here are some points to keep in mind:
- Dollar For Dollar
- Get The Bang For Your Buck
When you decide to build a website for your personal use or business, you may be shocked to see the prices that many website design firms and agencies charge. After all, don’t the commercials for popular web development platforms claim that you can build a “Great Looking Website For Cheap!”?
However, in today’s digital marketplace, your website is one of your most significant marketing and sales tools. It’s often the first time that customers will find your business, and as more companies move to online sales, a high-functioning website is absolutely necessary for ensuring that you exceed customer expectations.
If you are wondering why developing a website costs a fair bit of out-of-pocket investment, here are some points to keep in mind:
More Than Meets The Eye (& Wallet)
When it comes to designing a website, you have two options at your disposal:
- Build It Yourself
- Hire An Experienced Website Designer
With so many point-and-click website builders available on the market today, it can be tempting to simply buy a domain name on hosting sites such as GoDaddy or Wix and use a pre-built template. With a couple of bucks and a click, you can be live on the internet today with a brand-new website.
However, is a ready-made template with some text replaced the best route for your website? Using your website as your leading marketing tool, merely creating a free website builder will leave you high and dry without the necessary tools and development for reaching potential customers.
Here is where an experienced website designer can be a huge asset. A skilled and experienced designer will have a good deal of experience building websites of all shapes and sizes. Not only will they have the expertise to create your new website from scratch – coding included – but they can build a site that will engage potential clients through useful digital marketing tools and customization.
Here is a short list of must-haves for a website that really shines:
The Site Needs To Work, & Work Well
This may seem silly to point out, but there is a shockingly-high number of non-functioning websites running on the internet today. Website visitors expect sites to work well, and if they struggle to access your website, you can guarantee they won’t be back. A website needs to load quickly and be easy to navigate or you face losing a prospective customer. Moreover, with the ever increasing popularity and use of mobile devices, your website must be optimized for these devices.
Don’t leave your first impressions up to chance. With a professional web designer, you can rest assured that your website is equipped with the latest patches, updates, and coding to ensure that it opens as smooth as butter each time someone visits. Beyond simple HTML, a well-functioning website goes beyond the surface to the more in-depth coding that allows for engaging content such as parallax images, video headers, Q&A popups, and more that will hook viewers the moment they arrive on your site.
While you can use a free online website builder to create a site quickly, you will discover that your options or customization are limited. The last thing you want as a business is to create a website that looks 75% similar to your competitors because of limited template options.
A website designer will have experience working with website coding and CSS stylesheets that will bring your brand to life on the digital page. This is where your investment in a designer pays off – a well-built website can take your company vision or mission and use a website to share that story with the world.
User Interface & User Experience (UI/UX)
Not only does your website need to match your branding and design expectations, but it is vital that it is user friendly. We have all been to that company or business website that is almost impossible to navigate – filled with bad graphics, non-functioning links, and terrible ad placement. If a website is too slow or unattractive, it is unlikely that visitors will remain for long.
An experienced website designer will have the skills to build your website so that it runs seamlessly from page to page, with text, images, and videos working perfectly. If you are looking to sell products or services through your site, highly-functioning user experience is vital to ensure that visitors make it from the landing page to the checkout page in a few short clicks.
Most small businesses are owned by the average citizen and don’t hold law degrees, but some of the legal liabilities that come with owning a website are technical enough to make you think you need to have a law degree! Some of the laws and regulations that affect websites are data privacy and accessibility. There are new laws being passed every day and not all states and countries adopt or have the same standards. As a business owner you have to ensure that your website conforms to the laws of not just the state you have your business in, but to the state or country of the person that is accessing your website and online services.
Professionally Connected & Maintained Domain Hosting
Once your website designer has created the site of your dreams, there are a couple of last steps that need to be taken. First, your designer will work with you to develop a custom domain name that is catchy and memorable.
Once you’ve landed on the perfect name, they will find a home for your website on a hosting platform. This is where your site’s development files and the database will live, as well as the server by which visitors can access the site. An experienced website designer will have a history working with a variety of hosting platforms and will know which ones will be best for your traffic expectations and budget. This is another area that the DYI website services mislead potential customers. They offer low cost hosting services that leave you wanting/needing more. What this means is that you usually do not get any support except email support that could take days to get a response, meanwhile your site is down or not functioning correctly. They also have so many websites hosted on a server that your website loads at a snails pace instead of immediately and that leads to the loss of potential customers and possible penalties by Google in your ranking.
There’s the old saying that “time is money.” You are busy enough trying to run your business and your personal life, do you really want to be handed another task to be responsible for? Website maintenance is a vital, ongoing process. If a security patch isn’t installed in a timely manner, then your website can be susceptible to a hacking attack. There are people out there who have nothing better to do than try to find ways to infiltrate website apps so they can wreak havoc on unprotected websites. Moreover, just as I’m sure you strive to always continually find ways to improve your business or services, so do app developers. With these improvements they release updates that can improve on the customer experience of those visiting your website. Unfortunately, with a very few updates things don’t go as planned and your website may experience some downtime or loss of functionality. Are you prepared or equipped to spend the time to troubleshoot and fix these issues? Can you wait for tech support to eventually respond back to your email? This is where hiring a professional web designer to not just build your website, but maintain your website that’ll pay for itself!
Dollar For Dollar
So now that you see why investing in a quality website designer may be the best route for creating an engaging and highly functional website, how does the pricing stack up? Let’s first talk about what goes into creating a website.
There are three main stages that go into producing a quality website. The first stage is the “Discovery” phase and can take anywhere from one to three weeks depending on the complexity of the website design requirements. This is where the customer and designer come together and hash out what is desired and what is possible/functional. Usually this begins with a questionnaire that delves into the business model and demographics of the customer base. This phase gives the web designer a foundation in which to visualize what the website will look like and how it will function. The designer will also lay out what is needed from the customer such as content and photos. A key to remember is that a web designer does not know your business like you do. They take what you give them and create a highly functioning and quality website, but only if you give them what is needed. A saying that is used to emphasize this is “garbage in is garbage out!”
The second stage is the “Design” phase, and this takes the longest and can be anywhere from three weeks to six weeks or more. The designer has to take what they conceptualize and turn a blank canvas into something that people can see and interact with. This entails not just what looks good on a desktop computer, but on all screen sizes of mobile devices too. They will take the content and photos you provided and configure the look and feel the website into something that your visitors can appreciate and interact with.
The last stage is the “Development” phase, this is where the designer works their magic on the back-end of the website. The development phase can take a week or two to complete. The term “optimization” is the keyword for this phase. The website is optimized for performance and speed. Google will penalize websites that do not load in a few seconds. Speaking of Google, the web designer will also perform technical search engine optimization (SEO) on the website such as creating and submitting site maps of all the pages to the search engines. The designer will also configure the schema of each page so it is classified properly with the search engines and many more technical processes involved in fully optimizing your new website. Lastly, the designer will install and implement security features of your website such as intrusion and spam protection.
Next comes the actual website launch. The web designer will move the website from the development server to the actual live server for the world to see. Although there has been some back and forth between you and the designer throughout the design phase, there needs to be a period of modification. You may want a different photo or something tweaked here and there so there will still be time spent working on the live website. Any professional web designer worth their salt won’t stop there! To help your website be seen and rank on searches they will provide guidance on whether paid advertising is right for you. They should also assist you in signing up for services like Google My Business and other business listings along with review sites.
So why are website so expensive?! The bottom line is TIME! As you can see, there is a lot of time involved in creating a quality website. It takes hundreds of man hours before your new website is ready to be published. Again, you can spend a few hours on one of those DYI website builders and have a flashy website, but how functional is your website? Furthermore, is your website performing and optimized? Most professional web designers have taken the sticker shock of advertising hourly rates and time involved out of the picture and have come up with fixed-price based pricing. Based on their experience they can estimate the amount of time a type of website build will take and provide you a set price. Some websites are less complicated than others and the workflow on some goes smoother than other builds and they will base the price of each project on the goals and requirements of each particular customer.
When it comes to designing a website, there are many site-specific pricing available:
- Single Page Website:
- Average Cost $1,000-2,500
- Blog/Portfolio Websites:
- Average Cost $1,500-3,000
- Team/Company Websites:
- Average Cost $2,000-3,500
- eCommerce Sites:
- Average Cost $2,500-$5,000 or more depending on services required
Ok, take a breath. Those numbers may seem outrageous at first glance, but it is essential to remember that in today’s digital marketplace, your website is an online brick-and-mortar representation for your company. Consider the average costs involved with opening a physical location:
- The cost of monthly rent for a physical location, as well as insurance costs.
- Average Cost: $2000+ per month.
- Licenses and permits required to operate as a business according to state and local regulations, due yearly.
- Around $200 – $2,000 to renew licensing fees.
- Physical store equipment and permanent fixtures to display products, including Point Of Sale systems.
- Minimum of $2,000-$5,000 and up depending on specific company needs.
- Possible Renovations & Re-fabrications.
- The cost of contractors can vary from $50 to $100 per hour based on work required.
As you can see, setting up and running a brick and mortar location for your business can add up quickly. With most website design firms or agencies, you will pay a one-time fee for development, where physical locations can require high expenditures over time.
You wouldn’t hire a cheap-as-free contractor to lay the foundation of your business’s flagship store, so why would you do the same for your digital location?
Get The Bang For Your Buck
Remember that saying… “time is money?” Can you afford investing your time in trying to do your own website or are you convinced of the need for a well-skilled website developer? Due to the importance of having a website that is fully equipped to help you increase your earning potential, website designers are becoming increasingly busy – and the premium on their time is going up quickly!
If you are ready to start building a new website with the expertise to give you real results, check out the team at Shaka Web Design Services. At Shaka Web Design Services, our experienced and talented team of designers will walk with you through each step of the design process to ensure that your brand is represented online with a fun and functional website focused on conversion.
Ready to get started? Contact Shaka Web Design Services today to learn more about this and other elements of digital marketing and design you need to master to become successful!