One of the top questions companies ask when planning a website design project is: How much does a website cost? While the exact cost will depend on your specific website needs, the purpose of this article is to give you some general website pricing information as you consider a new website for your business.
Determining the cost to build a new website is a lot like estimating the cost to build a new house. Just as every homeowner has custom preferences for their new home (from the number of bedrooms, bathrooms, layouts, and levels) every business has custom requirements for their new website.
This is a very important purchase for businesses and one that often requires a considerable investment in time, energy, and money. Since you don’t want to go through this process again in just a few short years, choosing an agency who can build a website that solves your specific needs is absolutely critical.
The question now becomes- what are the most important factors a company needs in their new website to help them be more successful, and how much is it going to cost?
How Much Does a New Website Cost?
Before diving into the actual prices, let’s look at some of the factors that we at Mannix Marketing consider to be essential for creating a new website, and ultimately influence the cost of our website design and development services.
A quick note: No two companies are alike when it comes to getting a website that will solve their specific problems and help them accomplish their goals, which is exactly why we do not have website “packages.” Instead, we create custom websites whose cost depends on the specifications and custom functionalities you need to be successful.
SEO Friendly: Will Your Website Get Found in Search Engines?
Every website design and digital marketing agency has their own standards for what they consider to be part of the basic website design and development process.
Some agencies simply create the design and then develop a static website; others create the design, text copy, images, and the functionality that lets you make updates on your own.
While your website obviously needs to look great and function at the highest level, it also needs to be optimized for showing up in the search engines so your business can get found where today’s buyers are actively searching for the products and services you sell.
For over 17 years, we’ve been helping companies get found online and our experience has shown there are some basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) elements your new website needs if you want to increase your chances of getting found in the search results. This is one of the top factors that sets Mannix Marketing designed websites apart from other agencies (not only do we know what to do, we have SEO specialists who know how to do it best).
Some of the basic elements our SEO specialists apply for every new website include (but are not limited to): performing keyword research, creating search engine-friendly meta data, retaining the SEO value from your existing website (when applicable), and setting up the code in such a way that helps your website load faster.
You could end up paying a few hundred to a few thousand dollars just to have these basic SEO techniques applied on your website down the road when you start an SEO program. However, by that time, your lack of visibility may have cost you visitors, leads, and new business opportunities.
Your time is money, so you know the value of getting found sooner rather than later.
Custom, Responsive Designs
One of the most important factors to consider for your new website is the design. Do you want a standard, generalized look, or would you prefer a custom, one-of-a-kind design that reflects your brand’s unique feel and personality?
The former option typically comes from using a “template” or “pre-designed” website theme. When you get a website design quote from one company that’s shockingly less than a quote from another company, it’s likely because the lower-priced company is planning to use a template design (if they do say that it’s a custom design, then be advised that the finished result probably won’t stray very far from the general look and feel of a template design).
On the other hand, a custom designed website means that a web designer will be working from a blank canvas to create the look, feel, and marketing appeal of your new website. Because a designer is creating your new site from scratch- and the fact that experienced, professional web designers aren’t cheap- you’re paying for their expertise.
At Mannix Marketing we specialize in designing custom websites that reflect the feel, personality, and uniqueness of your business. From a design and marketing perspective, this means we can determine the best placement of your calls-to-action and lead generation forms, which colors to use for conveying your personality, the best fonts for communicating your tone, and the optimal layout for organizing your content on the page.
By creating your new website from the ground-up we can also ensure that it’s designed to work on desktop and mobile devices. We refer to this as responsive design, which means you have one website that automatically reformats to fit the screen sizes of your visitors’ browsing device- from desktops to tablets to smartphones.
Finally, we also include a revision process during the website design stage so you can see what your new website will look like before we move into the development stage (i.e. building-out a fully-functional website). If you’d like us to make any changes to the initial design concept then our designers can make the changes to ensure your new website accurately reflects your design preferences and branding guidelines.
The way your website’s content is laid-out on the body of a page is defined by what we call the “page layout.” Different layouts are created to visually enhance the way your text copy, photos, calls-to-action, and other pieces of content (e.g. photo galleries) are displayed on the page.
Most websites have one layout that’s been created specifically for the home page and then one additional layout that’s been created specifically for the other pages on the site (e.g. your “About Us” page). While almost every website has at least these two basic layouts, sometimes it makes sense to create additional layouts for specific sections of your website depending on the type of content you want to show your visitors.
For example, suppose you own a hotel and want to display your various rooms or lodging options on a single page. A custom layout would be created to help format this information in a more visually appealing and user-friendly manner, as shown in the example on Scotty’s Lakeside Resort (client) below:
Additional page layouts can drastically improve your website’s user-experience by making it easier for visitors to scan the information, navigate to different sections of your site, and interact with your content.
Of course, not all website design companies take into account the need for creating multiple page layouts, which is one of the reasons for why you’ll get a range of website design quotes when speaking with different companies. As you can probably surmise, the more page layouts needed to properly display your content and improve your visitors’ experience, the more it will cost to build your new website.
However, this cost is really just the price for giving your visitors a better on-site experience. If the information on your page isn’t well-organized or feels as though it’s been force-fit into a standard layout then visitors may have a harder time using your website and feel compelled to leave (i.e. visit your competitors’ websites).
Our developers not only have the insight for determining when it’s appropriate to create additional layouts, they also have the skill to create custom layouts that display your information in a way that makes it easier for visitors to find what they’re looking for, interact with your website, and perform the actions that help them go from a visitor into a lead.
Text Copy and Photos
Whether you’re planning to redesign an existing website or start a brand new website, generating the text copy and images that will fill the pages of your new site can affect the overall website design and development cost.
If you have the time and resources to gather all the text copy for your new pages then you will save money by forgoing the cost of having your marketing agency handle the copywriting. Based on our experience, most companies take this process into their own hands when they have the time and internal resources.
When it comes to photos, we typically recommend the following options if you don’t have the time or the right images for your new website: (1) Hire a professional photographer who can take high-quality pictures of your business, products, and/or people, or (2) Set aside a budget for high quality stock photography that will be used on your new website (a budget of $100-$300 will typically cover the cost of stock photos for the average small-medium sized business website).
A project manager is solely responsible for all-things project management related: from keeping you up-to-date on the status of your new website to gathering content to providing deliverables (e.g. design concepts and the finished website). It’s their job to ensure that all the pieces come together, and that your new website is launched on-time and on-budget.
If you hire a freelancer or one-man show to create your new website then you’re typically hiring the person who’s not only the project manager but who is also designing and developing your website. They usually end up being able to do a so-so job with some things and then an okay job with others (i.e. a “jack of all trades, master of none”). Given the responsibilities of a project manager we discussed earlier, that’s a lot to juggle for just one person, and can make it easier for deadlines, deliverables, and important details to slip through the cracks.
We think it’s best to let our designers focus on what they do best (design websites), our developers handle what they do best (develop websites), and our SEOs stick with their specialty. This is why, at Mannix Marketing, we assign a project manager who can help coordinate all of the moving parts and let you get the best of all worlds.
When you hire a professional website design and digital marketing agency, you do end up paying more for a website because each person who is working on your new website is a specialist in his or her field. By paying for their expertise, however, you can expect a finished website that’s banging on all cylinders.
Okay, So How Much Does a Typical Website Design Cost?
Now that you have a better understanding of the many factors that go in to creating a website that helps today’s businesses be more successful, let’s discuss the typical cost for a new website.
Depending on the size and complexity of the website along with the factors noted above, our custom designed, responsive (mobile-optimized), search engine-friendly websites that are easily updatable typically start around $7,000. The exact price depends on each client’s specific needs and requirements, and there are many other factors that may cause a website design quote to go up from here (for example, adding a shopping cart to the website; developing unique, custom functionality; etc.).
The website design and development cost is a one-time fee, meaning that we do not charge you a monthly fee just so you can keep your website. However, we do charge separate annual fees for hosting your website and performing security updates to the user-friendly Content Management System we build your site on (WordPress Content Management System).
To get a feel for how much you should expect to budget for your new website it helps to meet with a website design company so they can assess your requirements, determine if they’re the right fit for your needs, and then come up with a plan and quote that reflects the cost to create your new website.
Want a Custom Quote for a New Website For Your Business?
If you’re ready to talk about a responsive, custom designed, search engine-friendly and easy-to-use website for your business then we’d love to start the conversation with you today!