Six Factors that Can Drastically Impact the Cost of a Website
For many people, especially those less familiar with the world of digital marketing, getting a quote for a new website build or redesign might seem like a simple proposition. However, what you will quickly discover is that most reputable design agencies or freelancers will give vastly different price ranges. It can be overwhelming and confusing to those new to the website creation process.
The first issue is that many people view websites as an end-product despite how much discovery, research and development work goes into designing a website. And while it’s true that the output of all this hard work arrives at the end-result of a live, functional website, the entire design process can be an intensive and involved service and the inclusions of this service can vary greatly company to company.
Web Design Freelancers versus Full-Service Web Development Agencies
There are plenty of freelance web designers who make a living quickly turning over simple, usable websites after receiving very little direction from clients. On the other end of the spectrum, full-service web development agencies will deep dive into every aspect of the web design process from the initial conceptual meeting to regular check-ups throughout the design phase to site launch to monthly maintenance and updates. So, when you make the decision to get a new website, the first question you ask should not be about pricing. You should first determine what you want and need from your website. What are the main functions of your website and what goals do you need it to achieve?
Considerations When Researching Web Design Partners
There are several points to consider as you seek out a web design partner. By evaluating your requirements in advance, you can even avoid wasting time and money on a design partner that would have never been a good fit in the first place.
- Secure Hosting: Despite being the most basic need for any website, people unfamiliar with the digital space don’t usually realize, or factor in the cost of domain acquisition and web hosting. Domain names can vary in pricing depending on several factors including the domain suffix and whether the domain is new or resale. The cost of hosting is also dependent on your requirements and boils down to the three S’s: speed, support and security.
- Website Size & Complexity: Even a small, simplistic website can cost several thousand dollars to build if you hire a developer. The more complex your site is, the higher these costs rise. Number of pages, site structure, interactivity, database integrations and especially the need for any custom-designed interfaces can drastically increase the cost of a website build. Not only do you need to pay for the advanced knowledge of an experienced developer, but you have to pay for the extra time required on a longer project.
- eCommerce Capabilities: Creating a website with eCommerce functionality can oftentimes be a very involved and meticulous process requiring considerable time to set up. Not only does it take extra work to ensure site security is covered but integrating an eCommerce site with an ERP or other third-party systems can be time intensive and expensive.
- Timelines: If you are on a strict deadline and need to have a website up and running by a certain date, an agency is more likely to have the resources (people power) necessary to stick to your schedule. Freelancers are often juggling multiple projects on their own and will need a longer timetable to complete your project especially if they must utilize the expertise of other subcontractors. Since agencies have a variety of experts under the same roof, they are better able to coordinate the phases of your project and deliver on time.
- Content Creation & Optimization: As important as it is to have a website that looks good, style doesn’t beat substance when it comes to website performance. Some marketing professionals would argue content is even more important than aesthetics. Regardless, looks will only get your website so far in the vastness of the internet and, depending on the size of your site, creating and optimizing content for better search engine rankings is an added investment.
- Ongoing Maintenance Needs: If you don’t have plans to regularly update your website in-house, there are countless web design agencies that offer ongoing maintenance contracts. Like a car, websites will require “tune-ups” as they age – like platform and technology updates. Even if you don’t foresee many ongoing changes to your website, it’s always better to have experts available to jump in should there be any problems with your site that are above your capabilities.
Choosing the Best Web Design Team for Your Specific Requirements
Without a doubt, creating a new website from scratch or redesigning an outdated website can be an overwhelming process. That’s why it’s important to consider all factors of your website needs before searching for a web design partner. The right agency or freelancer will align with your website scale, goals and future marketing expectations.