You’ve got a great idea! Now, you need a website designed. Your first phone call leads you to a website cost that is twice as high as your budget for a website project. Your second call sounds like they’re giving their services away for free. Who do you hire? What’s the standard website cost?
Depends who you ask.
The good news is that website costs today (in 2015) are much more reasonable than they were 15 years ago and for very good reason too.
There was a time when code was gold and coders were paid the big bucks. After all, every website, every functionality and every page had to be hard coded. When we first started in 1999, building a site took several months. Content management sites could take months to customize. Building an e-commerce site took nearly a year.
“You got quoted how many thousands? I’ll do it for $50.00” – said every basement web designer in the history of Wordpress.
Times have changed. Websites can be launched as quickly as a week. Custom CMS sites have been replaced by WordPress and as for e-commerce sites, you as the customer have your pick of off-the-self shopping carts that will exceed your expectations and needs. So how can the prices NOT change?
Websites that were information based were once sold for as much as $25,000. Yes. You read that right. The same websites today are more efficient, responsive, customizable, and cost one-tenth the price.
BUT. The price still depends on who you ask.
So, Who Do You Ask?
(Note: CMS is a “Content Management System” such as WordPress where an information based website is managed by you, the client.)
Your cousin/brother/sister’s friend/nephew/grandson/neighbor
CMS website cost quote: Free to $500.00
Maybe they’re just starting out. Maybe they had time to learn a little bit of WordPress or HTML on their spare time. Maybe they’ve been working on their personal site and they can help you launch your business. Ask yourself how important is your project? If your project is fun and not a priority, then go for it. If after you ask yourself how important is the success of your project and you answer FAIRLY IMPORTANT, then the person you hire for the project should reflect that level of importance.
Pros: You know where they live and how to find them when things go wrong.
Cons: Where do we begin? There is no vested interest on the part of you cousin/nephew/neighbor/grandson. They don’t lose much if they don’t finish or deliver your site. There is no timeline, and no expert help or advice. This is where the old adage YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR holds true.
Students and/or Newly graduates
CMS website cost quote: $500 – $1500
The lower the price, the more insecure they feel about their work and delivery. The price usually reflects their experience, their limited portfolio and their desire to corner a market and increasing their presence by offering competitive prices.
Pros: If you find students or newly graduated web designers with a great portfolio, strong testimonials, good business acumen and ethics, hire them. They are rare and hard to find.
Cons: Students and newly graduates are not yet savvy troubleshooters. They also don’t realize how much a project should cost and undercharge in order to get your business. They in turn, end up working more hours for less and feel underpaid for their time. They become harder to reach, harder to find and the project stagnates.
(This last scenario is the number one most common complaint we hear from customers who then call us to design their website.)
Web Design Team
CMS website cost quote: $2200 – $4500.00
Web Design Teams are the most common type of web designers you will find. They usually consist of at least 2 people: one graphic designer and one programmer. Extra people will include aproject manager and a couple of programmers. When you deal with a team of this size, you usually speak directly to the owner of the company who is also part of the development team. This means you have direct contact with the person working on your project. Ensure that they are organized, have a strong business acumen and that someone in the group has some background in marketing.
Pros: Small teams mean no red tape. Web design teams have a huge vested interest in pleasing the customer. The good ones have a strong business acumen and deliver what they promise. They do the same work as web design firms and can be outsourced by pr firms and ad agencies.
Cons: The amount of projects and project size they take on are limited because of the size of their team.
Web Design Firm
CMS website cost quote: $5000 – $10,000.00
Web Design Firms are companies that expanded from web design teams. The owner is generally no longer one of the creators and there are multiple graphic designers and programmers who work on the site. They’ve automated their system and have a sales team to answer your queries. If you are a medium sized business or corporation with a bigger budget for online marketing, this may be the team for you.
Pros: They’re able to deal with multiple projects at once. They can handle big projects that take several months to build or develop. They have a strong business acumen.
Cons: If you have a smaller budget, then the biggest drawback is the cost.
PR Firms and Ad Agencies:
Price Quoted: $10.000 +
PR firms can handle web design projects as part of a bigger marketing plan. They generally outsource their projects to web design teams or firms (depending on the size of the client and project). PR Firms are great at pairing online and offline campaigns and knowing which web design company fits your project best.
Contact us for a Free Quote and Consultation