How much does a website cost in 2017?
Transparency and trust are critical to business relationships, so it’s important to us that our clients understand what it is they’re paying for and how we determine our quotes.
One of the most popular questions we’re asked is how much does a website cost in 2017? Get comfortable because we’re going to attempt to answer it.
Every business is different and every business has different goals so answering how much a website costs is largely dependant on what the business wants, needs and expects from their site. For example:
- Is your site simply a place for existing customers to discover information (brochure style)
- Do you want your website to promote your services/product and win new clients (marketing site)
- Will your website need to integrate with other services, sell products or manage and capture large amounts of data (feature rich, custom build)
- Does your site need to promote and sell products (eCommerce)
Can a site be cheap and effective?
It goes without saying (but we’ll say it anyway) that the online space is competitive and beating competitors to new clients is increasingly difficult. For any type of site to stand out online it needs to look good and be effective. To be effective a business website needs to be easily discovered, either through Google search or via social media, and it needs to convert visitors to engaged, paying customers.
A cheap website is cheap for a reason. It’s an indication of how much time, effort and resources go into a project. The cheaper the site, the fewer the hours, the less effective your site will be. The same process goes into any product or service thats bargain basement. Our experience tells us that the cheaper the website the less effective it is.
It’s also worth mentioning the DIY option. If you’re a new business and need to cut some corners then website builders such as Wix and Squarespace are potential options. Before you take this path we recommend reading our article on why you shouldn’t use a DIY website builder.
When you engage Start Digital you’re hiring us to design and develop an effective website. You might also want us to help promote and market your business online. We charge for our time and the tools we use to create a website that looks good, works well and delivers a return on your investment. Our quotes are based on the amount of time we plan to spend on your web project. We consider every aspect of your business needs, from messaging/calls to action, images and functionality through to ongoing marketing, third party integrations and design.
First things first
Lets cover off some basics:
- Domain name: If you’ve not got one already then a .com.au domain name will cost $25 a year. Note that to purchase a .com.au domain you will need a valid ABN
- Hosting: Basic hosting through Crazy Domains will set you back around $120 a year. A high quality local host will be approximately $300 a year. If you require a dedicated hosting environment expect anything from $2000 through to $5000
- Content Management System (CMS): We use the worlds leading CMS, WordPress. To install WordPress on our Perth server, configure it, set up a template and add our standard suite of plugins will cost approximately $500
- Site maintenance: Maintenance can entail keeping the platform (WordPress) up to date and error free, updating plugins, managing server performance and updating site content. Expect to pay somewhere between $100 and $300 per month for an ongoing maintenance plan.
- Ongoing Search Engine Optimisation (SEO): SEO is the ongoing work it takes to get your site to rank ‘organically’ on Google and other search engines. The higher your site ranks the more chance it will be discovered by future clients. Costs for SEO start at $500 per month.
- Google Advertising: Again, this depends largely on the competitive space but for a reasonably competitive sector expect to burn through $500 per month and up quite quickly
- Social media: Not every social network is right for every business. We work closely with our clients to determine the right strategies that will get them in front of their core demographic. Each quote is dependant on the number of networks and the amount of posts but expect this to cost no less than $350 per month
Content in the form of text and images is undoubtably the most important component of every website. At the risk of stating the obvious, without content there’s nothing.
One of the most misunderstood areas of web design is the role that content plays. Creating engaging content requires an understanding of how to write for the web and a strong knowledge of the business services and competitive space.
We recognise that every business is different and will have a variety of content on hand. For the purpose of this article we’ve boiled requirements down to two options:
- Client provides everything: Start Digital enter the provided content into WordPress. This will involve using an approved web design (see below) to act as a guide for formatting content, resizing and optimising images, installing required fonts, setting up site colours and testing across a variety of browsers and device types. Adding this content will be approximately $95 per page.
- Start Digital create everything: Our team of copywriters and content creators manage everything. It’s a common request and more often than not yields the best results – Floors of Distinction, JOC, Soundlab and a wide range of our other clients will attest to that. The right content creates the best results. We learn about your business and research the competitive space to create content that positions your business as a leader. A ten page site could take anywhere between 3-5 days to build the right mix. Budget between $1500 and $3000
Now lets consider how we can add design and functionality to your website.
- Web design: Incorporates layout, graphic design elements, colour schemes, font types, item placement. All of our web designs are fully responsive meaning they work on mobile, tablet, laptop and desktop machines. A brochure style design will be approximately $750. More functionality up to $3500 depending on the number of pages.
- Custom coding: Where we can’t leverage our WordPress templates we may need to create custom code. This is on a case by case basis and charged at at $95 per hour.
- Sliding headers/slideshow: We license the very best WordPress plugins to extend the functionality of your website. Adding images, text and animation to a slider will cost around $350
- Photo galleries: The cost is largely dependant on the number of images and the number of galleries required. We will resize, optimise and tag all images. Expect to pay between $200 and $500.
- Social Media integration: Integration works best with Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Cost will be between $150 to $500 depending on how many social platforms require adding.
- SEO setup: To give your website the best chance of long term success you’ll need to consider an ongoing SEO strategy. Initial SEO setup $400+ depending on the number of pages that require optimising.
- eCommerce: We provide two eCommerce solutions. One using WooCommerce and another using Shopify. Solutions range from $2000 through to $10000+ depending on the number of products and functionality required.
- Contact forms: From contact forms to detailed surveys. Standard forms are approximately $100, more advanced forms are generally $300+ depending on the level of functionality.
- Event management: We either use a plugin within WordPress (approximately $500) or integrate a third party event management platform such as EventBrite. We can setup EventBrite and handover to the client (approximately $500 for setup and integration)
Ok, Ok, cut to the chase!
How much does a website cost in 2017?
As the above illustrates, building a great website that works well is not like putting together a Microsoft Word document. An effective website is a complex beast with moving parts that all need to work together to get the best results and a measured return on investment.
Using everything we mention above and our experience of working with and promoting Perth businesses, the below graphic indicates some ballpark figures for how much a website costs in 2017.
We’ve seen businesses pay in excess of $50,000 annually for offices, brick and mortar store fronts and traditional advertising methods, and then recoil at the idea of investing in a professional website. Don’t underestimate the value of your business web site and broader digital profile. It can, and should be, your hardest working employee – marketing your business 24/7, educating existing clients and encouraging future clients to engage.
If you’re looking for a digital agency that can manage all aspects of your businesses digital profile, from Perth based web design and social media through to Perth focused SEO and copywriting, contact Start Digital.