How much does a Web site cost?
You’d be surprised to hear how many times someone asks that question with the expectation they’ll get a pretty specific answer. It is based on the belief there’s a “retail price” for a Web site and/or every Web site is created equal.
The truth is that asking how much a Web site costs is like asking how much a car costs – it depends on how many doors you want, the size of the engine, whether it needs to have air-conditioning, automatic vs. standard, leather seats vs. pleather, etc. In other words, there is no standard answer.
So when someone asks how much does a Web site cost, the answer is: “What do you want the Web site to do? How many bells and whistles do you need? Do you have any ideas for design or brand guidelines? Is your existing Web structured well? How much content do you have?”
It’s only when you drill down that the cost of a Web site starts to materialize. Sure, there are ranges depending on how many pages are needed, the features and design requirements, etc. but it can be difficult to provide someone with a price off the top of your head.
The reason the cost question is being frequently asked these days is there’s a huge Web site refresh cycle happening. During the economic boom, many companies paid little or no attention to their Web sites because there didn’t seem to be a need to change them when business was rocking.
Today, however, many companies are scrutinizing their Web sites because more difficult economic conditions have made the marketplace more competitive. As a result, any edge a company can achieve is important.
At the same time, social media (aka inbound marketing) has made it more important to have a Web site that performs well and meets expectations. You can do a great job with social media marketing but if your Web site fails to deliver, social media is a waste of time.
For people like myself who provide Web site strategy, content, development and design, there are lots of business opportunities. As a supplier, the key consideration is being upfront with clients about pricing and, as important, asking a lot of the right questions to determine their needs and budget.