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How Much Does a Web Site Cost?

Cost of a web siteHow 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.

About Mark Evans

I'm the principle with ME Consulting, which provides strategic and marketing services to startups and entrepreneurs. This includes strategic and tactics plans, core messaging, brand positioning and content planning and creation.
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  • Dr. Vibe

    Great points as always from you. Another key with having a website is something that you mentioned as while back, “Core Messaging”. A lot of people have a website but when you look at it, you ask yourself, “What are they trying to say?”. So having a website without a core message is a waste of time.

  • Jeremy R

    I would go as far as saying it is not like buying a car it is more like buying you main source of transportation.

    Skateboard, Bike, Bus or Train Pass, Car, Mini Van, or SUV, etc, etc.

    • http://www.markevanstech.com Mark Evans

      Jeremy,

      Yup, I agree with you! Hope all’s well. Mark

  • http://suitandsixstring.blogspot.com Luke G

    As a ‘student of the game’ just discovering the impact of social media/blogging on a business, I like what this article is pushing forward. You are 100% right in the fact that web-based marketing has grown massively, and it is tough to stand out in the crowd. Any tips on smooth, discrete social media integration?

    Luke

  • http://www.howmuchisit.org Liz @ HMII

    This is so true and I can’t tell you how annoying this can get. While I don’t do websites for clients anymore, it’s not like you can give a flat rate. Think of lawn fertilizer companies.. I made the mistake of asking them how much before they even looked at my yard! haha While people want to know a price right away, it’s tough to give them one without an idea of what they want.