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Shafer Design Co | Dallas Web Design Firm
  • Writer's pictureRyan Shafer

How Much Should A Website Cost?

The Real Cost of Websites for Startups and Small Businesses

Many small businesses and startups are wondering how much a website should cost. There is no one answer for what a website should cost, but it may be helpful to understand the different components of web design and development. This blog post will explain the various factors that go into determining the price tag on your new website, as well as provide some ballpark figures for popular packages if you choose to hire an agency.

Costs for Hiring Web Design Agencies

Small businesses and startups need to invest in their future. One way they can do this is by investing in web design for their site. A fantastic website will help them attract new customers, increase sales, and provide a better experience all around for visitors. The cost of good web design varies from company to company but it usually falls on the higher end of the spectrum with package prices ranging anywhere between $1k-$50k+. Though this may sound expensive, it's actually one of the most affordable marketing channels available so long as you're willing to put some money into your online presence!

After all this is an investment. If you are serious about your business and believe in your ability to make it succeed, then spending money on a website shouldn’t be an issue. You can’t be afraid to let the professionals take your business to the next level. The whole point of hiring agencies is because this is what they do. Their knowledge and experience typically is reflected in their prices and portfolio. Of course, you should always look at their portfolios to see if they make websites you like before committing to investing with them.

Hiring agencies saves you a ton of time so you can focus on building your business and not having to worry about learning all the necessary information for creating a good website.

Cost to Build Your Own Website:

Many people believe that building a website is the domain of experts, and it's not possible to build one on your own. However, this is not completely true! Yes, hiring the pros will save you time, but there are many web builders out there that allow you to design your own site without any coding knowledge at all.

With that being said, if you’re serious about your business, you will need to do a lot of research on which web builder to use, web design fundamentals, and what information is important to have on your site. Taking the time to learn these skills will take a lot of time and effort away from your business. And if you just create a poorly designed website, then that will be an immediate turn off for your potential clients/customers. It is very important that your site looks professional. It can still look basic, but from my experience, when people try building their own sites, they typically look like a website from the 90’s. This will give your users the impression that you’re no longer in business or that you’re not legit. You could have a better product than your competitors, but your website needs to represent that in a professional way.

A lot of my clients are those who attempted to create their own website, but realized just how far over their head they truly were. Of all people, I know how the toll that creating your website can take on business owners. That is exactly why I offer my abilities to small businesses and startups to help them achieve their goals faster.

The Real Cost of Websites:

Like I have mentioned before, website costs can vary. If you choose to do it yourself, then the price can be $30 - $400 depending on the web builder and plans you choose. That is the bare minimum. But if you choose to hire an agency, then you’re paying for their knowledge, experience, and speed.

Now you may be wondering how to choose the correct agencies based on your budget. For this, you must know the basics for how professional agencies charge their clients.

First, let’s talk about flat fees. This is most commonly used by professionals in most creative industries. Typically, you will agree to an amount, and you will be charged 50% of the amount up front. Then you will be invoiced for the other half right before the completion of the project. The upfront cost is normally non-refundable in many cases. To put it simply, they could technically refund that money to you, but unfortunately, you can’t refund their time spent on your project. So it’s just a way of protecting them if you choose to go in another direction.

Now let’s talk about hourly rates. Web design agencies do not typically work on hourly rates, and if they do, it will be more expensive and/or will have some sort of minimum. The minimum protects them if they are able to finish the project quickly. It would not be fair to them if they don’t get as much money for this project just because they have the knowledge and experience to be faster than their competitors. If you do go this route, you should still expect to pay half of the expected time upfront. Again, this is just another method of protecting the agency if any client decides to jump ship mid-project without paying anything.

There are a couple other payment methods used in the industry, but these are probably the most common. Something to note, if an agency or freelancer does not have any methods for protecting their time, like I mentioned above, then they may lack some experience in the industry. This may be a tell-tale sign that they might not be a good fit for your business. You obviously need someone who knows what they are doing and can do it for you quickly. That is probably the hardest part. But if I were you, I would start by looking at which web builder you want to use, then look for specialists in that builder. When choosing a web builder, I would choose one that seems like you will be able to update fairly easily without hiring people to make changes for you. That is why I choose to use Wix (Classic and Editor X). From my experience, Wix gives agencies the tools to be as creative as they want, and the editor is simple enough for their clients to make changes after their project has concluded. Not to mention, Wix has a lot of marketing tools built right into the backend of each site. But the choice is yours. I would probably recommend staying away from Wordpress. I know a lot of bigger companies use that, but those larger companies have employees that are good at coding and developing. That is what it takes to make good websites on that platform. If you choose Wordpress, then whatever agency you hire, you will probably need to join their maintenance program so they can make changes to the site for you.

I hope this information was helpful and was able to show you that when hiring agencies, they can be expensive because you are paying for their knowledge, experience, and speed. If you want to go cheaper, there are always options, but keep in mind that the work will always represent the price.

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