The most common question we receive from clients considering a new website is, “How much does a website cost to build?”
Read on to gain a better understanding of the cost and decisions involved in building a website or click here to go straight to our website cost estimator.
Before perusing any investment you have to know whether it’s an affordable venture and whether in the long term, it’s worthwhile. The main problem our clients encounter is that the answer to this question is always different depending on their circumstances.
In this article we will look at the different ways of obtaining a website and why the costs will vary. If you don’t have an in-house web development team, there are four ways to obtain a website.
Online website builders
“You get what you pay for” is often an overused phrase, but it rings true for website creation. It’s becoming more common to see advertisements on the TV offering websites that fall below £500 barrier.
Online website builders offer you a website template, which can be developed further with the addition of text, images and plug-ins without the need for programming. For the one-man band or small business with little to no budget, purchasing from a website builder is a cost effective means to obtaining a website. For a mid-sized to large business, a website builder will offer limited functionality and can make it hard to incorporate brand values into the design.
These builders often provide hundreds of design templates. The underlying problem with website builders is that there will be thousands of websites that have the same layout and a similar design to yours.
Other problems that can often arise when using a website builder include: little to no help with planning, lack of search engine visibility, poor mobile page response and limited support after completion.
Remember, your website is often the first point of contact a customer will have with your business, and first impressions are important. Whether you are in the B2C or B2B market, customers want to see a website with commitment. Businesses that put time into their websites will look more professional than those who choose budget websites.
Outsourcing web design overseas
In an attempt to achieve project completion at a lower price, more and more companies are looking at outsourcing web design. Countries such as India, South America and Eastern Europe are offering web development services to for a fraction of the price UK companies charge.
What we often find is that clients who have previously experimented with overseas web development agencies often end up having to use a UK agency to either correct the project or to start from the beginning. This leads to the overall project cost being far more than what the average UK agency would charge.
Below we’ve listed a few other things to consider before outsourcing your web design abroad:
- Lower hourly rates may mean inexperience
- The language difference could create a communication barrier
- The time difference makes them hard to reach
The initial pricing for outsourcing abroad may seem low in comparison to UK agencies, but the risks are far greater. Clients who have attempted overseas projects often have to walk away before completion, losing valuable time and sometimes an initial deposit.
When approaching self-employed website developers, you often find a wide variety of skill sets. Some developers specialise in design and some functionality. This can lead to a wide range of pricing and the end results you will receive. There are many self-employed developers who have the full range of skills needed for top-end website creation.
For a lone developer, overheads should be considerably lower than that of an agency, so their hourly rates can also be lower. Most skilled programmers will charge at least £60 an hour and for an agency this cost would be higher.
Self-employed developers can be a good choice for small businesses that need lower priced websites. For mid-sized and large businesses or E-commerce sites, a single developer may not be able to deliver the full service, on-going support or meet the timeframes you require. As an example, what will happen when your freelancer is sunning it up in Spain but your payment gateway connection is down on your E-commerce site?
To understand the full cost of the creation of a website for an agency, you have to view website creation as a service, rather than as a product.
Let’s run through the general website creation process:
- UX (sitemaps, wireframes)
- Visual design
- Content support/migration
- Client training/documentation
This process involves your input all the way through to the end. You’ll start with your requirements, then go into every detail about your brand and then most importantly, what your users require. An agency will include you in every step of the process so the end result is the website you had planned.
The idea of working alongside the client is for the end user’s benefit. A website shouldn’t be evaluated on visual appearance alone. It’s about creating a meaningful experience for the end user. This should be incorporated into the minor details of every page design.
An agency will build your website through one of many content management systems (CMSs), such as WordPress or DNN. This is where web design as a service comes into play. Anyone can download WordPress and load a default theme. As we mentioned earlier, this portrays that you put forth little effort, and you’ll end up with a website that looks like countless others. The creation of unique designs, which incorporate your brand, requires hours of customisation.
When the website is near completion, the agency will provide full training on how to manage and update your new site via the CMS. All processes should be documented for later reference.
Website price estimation tool
To give you an idea of the cost of a new website, we have created an estimation tool.
Through the use of our estimation tool, we will try to provide a realistic guide for website pricing, so before you have any engagement with an agency or a programmer, you know where your budget requirements should stand.
Our estimation tool will consider the following costs:
Every website needs to be hosted on a web server. Hosting is an important part of managing a website, and the quality of your host will dictate whether or not your website crashes, how fast your pages load and the ability to expand in the future.
The price of hosting depends on the type and size of your website. For sites with larger audiences or sites that are database intensive, larger hosting packages will be required. For more information on hosting, visit our hosting page.
Continued web support and maintenance
Once your website is up and running and looks the way you planned, it’s important to keep it that way. Continued support and maintenance is vital to keep your website looking fresh and up-to-date. This will improve your users’ experience and your search engine rankings. This is especially relevant for e-commerce websites that need to maintain a great level of service to its customers.
Our estimation tool doesn’t include all the integrations that are possible, as the list is endless. We wanted the tool to be a quick and easy method of receiving a ‘ball park figure’. If you are already aware of specific requirements you may require for integration, it would be best to get in contact with us to request a more accurate, no obligation estimate.
Strategy and design
We don’t use online web builders, and we’re not a one-man-band. We are an agency with an in depth knowledge of what we do and this is backed by 18+ years of experience in the industry. Our costs reflect this.