How Much Does a Website Cost – The 2016 Edition

In website design (as with all design), there are 3 main needs every client has that the design company needs to address: Quality, Timeliness, and Price. Naturally, everyone is always in search of the holy grail of having a high quality product, as fast as possible, at the lowest price possible. In reality, some balance between these three aspects needs to be reached, and the client’s priorities will determine which aspect is given the most importance.
Fortunately, website design is a big industry and is showing no signs of slowing down, which has left companies in need of a new website with a multitude of options. Whether you need a virtual brochure or a fully integrated marketing campaign portal, there’s an option for you.
Website design options range from do-it-yourself solutions, to one-man design shops, to agencies with an entire team of experts. Here’s an overview of these options:

Do-it-yourself

Price Range: $500 to $4,000 (estimated cost based on your time)
This is the most affordable option, and it can work well for those who have a very low budget but have time they can dedicate to the setup of their site.
The crucial thing to remember about these do-it-yourself sites is: free isn’t actually free.
First, you have your actual website expenses such as domain name, hosting, and any premium features you want to add. For most DIY options you’ll want a custom domain for your website. Not only is this a premium feature that you pay for, but most domain name registrars require you to have website hosting to set up your domain name records.
Then, you have to ask yourself, how much is your time worth? $20 per hour? $50 per hour? $100 per hour?
By the time you map out your website to identify the pages you need to build (also known as your sitemap), write out your call to actions, gather all your imagery and format it, and write the content for every page so that it is engaging and invokes action, you can spend anywhere from 8 to 80 hours of work on your site.
If you have a knack for this or a background in marketing or design but no technical skills, a do-it-yourself website may be the right option for you. And, if you’re not sure where to start, an agency (such as Little Jack Marketing) can work with you to develop your website roadmap and help in your discovery and planning phases.

One-man shops / Single freelancer

Price Range: $2,500 to $10,000
The benefit of working with an experienced professional is that you can take advantage of their experience in the industry during the planning and development of your site. However you want to be mindful that you have the right person for the job. Someone who can design can’t necessarily code and someone who can code can’t necessarily design. So, you’re looking for a well-balanced individual who meets the needs of your project.
Typically, issues to be mindful of that can occur with this option are the timeliness of how much work one person can complete, on-going support after the website is launched, or the limitations in knowledge and perspective of a single person.
There are many fantastic freelancers and one-man shops out there. In fact, depending on the project and scope of your site, we may collaborate with reliable freelancers to bring a new perspective to a project.

Small to mid-size agency

Price Range: $5,000 to $20,000
Having a small to mid-size agency on your side can help to align your site with your business objectives and your overall marketing efforts, resulting in a well thought out piece of technology that is a business-generating powerhouse.
A design agency brings a mix of skill sets and backgrounds, from user experience experts to ensure the site content and page layout is structured in a way to entice people to take action, to designers that help to achieve consistent styling, to developers that have the know-how to translate these ideas into a functional website, in a timely manner.
Last but certainly not least, working with a design agency will give you the opportunity to obtain ongoing support and maintenance with a company you’ve built a relationship with, who knows your website inside and out.
Contrary to popular belief, once a website is built, it is not done. There are patches, updates, and external attacks that have to be addressed. There is content that needs to be pushed into it. There are tweaks the need to be made to keep up with your marketing campaigns. These are items that should be calculated into your marketing and advertising budget in advance so you may plan accordingly to make decisions that help your business grow.
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Each of these three options offers a different mix of quality, timeliness, and price, and which one you choose will determine the success of your next website and how well it ultimately aligns with your business goals.
Final thought: After your site is built and launched, the journey isn’t over. Have you thought about content? SEO? Email? Paid advertising? There are many factors that go into a successful website, and the website design is just one of them. For help with all these aspects, contact Little Jack Marketing today.
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