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How Much Does A Website Cost?


T
here is no easy answer to this question. The best way to look at it is that the cost can vary just as the cost of a car can vary (i.e. the size, the features, the engine, etc). Here are some of the first ideas you should think about:

  • How many pages of content will there be - and how much content?

  • What features do you need on the site (auto responders, shopping carts, etc)?

  • Do you know the answers to these questions or do you need the guidance of a consultant?

  • What kind of design are you envisioning? Do you have photos or will you need them?

  • Do you know what you want and need execution or need someone to present creative ideas to you?

  • Will you do your own content writing? Or do you need someone to help you with that?

  • Are you going to maintain the site yourself after its launched, adding and editing content?

  • Do you have a domain to match your business name - and do you have a business name yet?

  • Do you have a logo that you will brand your site with?

And that’s just the beginning!

Then, you have to ask yourself what your budget is - how much money do you have to invest in your start up web presence? Do you have access to credit or enough cash on hand? Or are you on a shoestring budget and intend to do this as cheaply as you can?

Then, you get down to the "who" you contract web site services from. There is an incredible assortment of web designers out there, from people who just purchased a site builder and a box of clipart and hung a shingle, to veterans with design or programming degrees and years of experience. Obviously, prices vary, as does the level of service, professionalism, creativity, responsiveness and expertise you can buy.

But that is not to say someone just starting out, offering "dirt cheap" design, is going to be a bad fit - it just means you HAVE TO do your homework. View sites they've done before. Look for testimonials. Get references - but don't just call who the designer tells you to call - consider contacting a variety of clients, ask to speak to the person who is responsible for the site being built, and ask how they felt it worked out with their web designer.

Then, ask the web designer for their policies - in other words, find out how they operate. For example: Who owns your site design? What happens if the web designer drops the ball - or you do - who pays who what? What are the guarantees?

If you decide to go forward, you MUST have a contract. That should tell you, at the very least what you are paying and when it is due, what you will receive for that payment (in detail!) and when you can expect completion of the site

There is some truth to the old saying that "you get what you pay for" - but it's not a law. Most talented, experienced and professional web designers who are running a business (read: they are serious about it, and have a solid presence) are going to charge AT LEAST a couple hundred dollars for the most basic site - probably more like $400-750.

It really truly depends on what they are providing, designing, how much consulting and strategy is included, and so on. On the flip side, I've seen people online offering starter web sites for $50, $100, and I have to ask myself, what kind of work are they doing? And, how long will they be able to stay in business like that?


 

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