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How Much Does a Web Site Cost?
As a full-service Web site design, Web development, and Internet marketing company, WebpageFX is often asked the question, "How much does a Web site cost?"
Let’s face it. Today’s economy has becoming increasingly Internet focused, making a professional Web site necessary for companies both large and small. Often, the Web is the first stop for potential customers, and first impressions do matter.
More and more, these customers are placing just as much importance on the quality of the Web site as the products and services it offers. So, it’s no surprise that a growing number of businesses are redesigning their existing sites and asking, "How much does a Web site cost?"
Unfortunately, there is no simple answer. As with other types of projects, Web design has many unique variables all of which can add or subtract from the total cost of the Web site. To gain some perspective, WebpageFX consulted its experienced team of Web designers and developers. The following analysis is the result of their research and should help you to better understand what goes in to calculating website cost.
Basic Web Site Components And Their Costs
Listed below are the four basic components of a Website's cost, each of these is included with a site built by WebpageFX. Before choosing a Web site design and development company, be sure that your package includes the following:
A domain name serves as your Web site’s address on the Internet. You do not actually purchase a domain name, only the right to use it. For example, when looking at www.yourbusiness.com, yourbusiness.com is the domain name.
On average, a domain name will add about $15 a year to your Web site cost. Anything below this probably lacks customer service or has hidden charges. Anything significantly above $25 should at least come with free email hosting or other Web site services.
It’s important to remember that domain names are usually rented on a yearly basis. In other words, if you forget to pay the annual fee to reserve your domain name, you could lose your Web site’s identity on the Internet. This can be an expensive and unnecessary mistake. You can also opt to have several domain names, all of which point visitors to your Web site.
Similar to a piece of real estate, a Web site host houses all of your graphics, text files, and other media on its servers. State-of-the-art hosting, like that offered by WebpageFX, keeps down your Web site cost, while ensuring fast and reliable performance.
Web site hosting services often provide tools that monitor the traffic on your site. Specifically, these tools can track the number of people who have visited your Web site, the pages or media they browse, and the links they click. This allows you to log the activity on the site and evaluate which parts are performing the best. Also, most Web site hosts provide additional services such as email addresses and mailboxes.
For a professional Web site hosting service, you should expect to pay between $100-$200 per year. This is normally adequate for most sites. However, if your site experiences a high amount of traffic or deploys Web applications, you should expect to pay more.
If you already have an existing, high end web site design, then you can subtract this component from your total Web site cost. However, if you are looking for a website redesign or new design, this can be the single largest component for determining how much your Web site will cost.
There once was a time when a new Web design could have cost your company tens of thousands of dollars. Thanks to advances in Internet technology, today’s average price for a professional, business-class Web site is somewhere between $2000 and $7500.
This can vary depending upon several factors including the number of pages on the site, the complexity of the design, logo design services, if multimedia like sound, video, or Flash is required, search engine optimization services, and if any Web 2.0 applications or interactive features are needed.
As a Web design and Web site development firm, WebpageFX offers a variety of options for building an effective Web site design. Our experience has shown that it is possible to cut down on some of your Web design cost. Two ways to do this are by providing concise instructions and writing your own Web site copy. Either way, WebpageFX will work with you to create an attention-grabbing Web site within your budget.
Website maintenance is another component that can vary depending upon your needs. Before hiring a Web design company, you should ask yourself, “How often will my Web site need updated?” If your answer is “frequently,” then it is necessary to consider maintenance on your site.
Updates to your Web site can be done by yourself or though a professional, Web development firm such as WebpageFX. Among other things, updating your site can involve adding text or copy, incorporating pictures, posting more pages, and tweaking the design.
Remember, a Web site is only as effective as its most recent content. Therefore, if your site is older or out of date, it is probably time to update it. Maintenance agreements usually charge by the hour and average between $50 to $125 per hour of service.
Now that you have a preliminary idea about how much a Web site will cost, you should be able to better control your site’s expenses. But be careful not to scrimp on quality, as this could be more costly in the long run. Instead, choose cost-effective Web site components and service providers
Tips For Great Web Design
Knowing the basic components of a Web site is the first step to answering, “How much does a Web site cost?” In order to help you find the best web design company or designer, the WebpageFX team has developed the following list of tips:
Know what you need, then consider what you want.
When buying a car, you can’t expect to get all the luxuries of a new sports car for the price of a used coupe. Instead of trying a one size fits all approach, first evaluate the real needs of your business. Then, determine which components can address these needs while highlighting your business.
To control the cost of a Web site, stay focused. You can always add other features later.
Scout for options
There are literally thousands Web design companies. Try scouting for options before settling on one. Compare the costs and services offered by each company to determine which can best address your business’s Web site needs. Also, ask for a free estimate. Many companies, like WebpageFX, offer a free Web site quote.
Do your homework
It’s always important to know what you are getting into. Be sure to do some research about Web design, Internet marketing and other aspects of building a Web site. By knowing more about your project, you can make an informed decision about which components are necessary for your new Web site.
Make use of what you already have.
Are you a skilled writer and willing to write for your own Web site? If so, then you can reduce your website cost. This applies to other parts of the site including pictures, graphics, and movies. Remember, just because you want a new Web site design, doesn’t mean that you have to reinvent the wheel.
Get professional-quality help.
Finding high end web design, professional help might cost more upfront, but it can save truckloads of money down the road. Locate a well-established Web site design company that has a history of producing outstanding results for clients. This will provide the peace of mind that your site will be done right. Also, investing in professional assistance will ensure a successful project and produce excellent results for your business.
Finding A Professional Web Site Design Service
Now that you know what you need for your website and basically have a rough estimate of how much it will cost you, you should be ready to look for a provider of website design services.
Make sure that your Web site design firm has the experience and professionalism necessary to do the job. One way to evaluate this is by requesting the company’s Web design portfolio, enabling you to look at their previous work. Also, you can ask for references and talk with past clients about the quality of work provided.
Excellent Customer Service
At WebpageFX, we believe that great customer service is a critical component to the Web site design process. Make sure that the company you are choosing comes with a solid reputation and a track record of supplying excellent support and service. This is often the difference between a smooth, well-executed project and a rough, stress-filled one.
Depending upon your needs, you should hire a Web site designer that is equipped with the right people, skills, and technology to meet your requirements. Established companies, like WebpageFX, always provide clients with detailed mock designs, specifications, and descriptions, as well as a timeline estimating the total duration of the project.
Are you a skilled writer and willing to write for your own Web site? If so, then you can reduce your website design cost. This applies to other parts of the site including pictures, graphics, and movies. Remember, just because you want a new Web site design, doesn’t mean that you have to reinvent the wheel.
Costly Web Site Design Mistakes
Two of the biggest considerations when building a Web site are accessibility and usability. WebpageFX’s team of Web design experts has compiled the following list of design mistakes that can cost you and your company:
Some of Our Website Design Successes:
& Speak with a consultant
Unattractive Design and Layout
First impressions matter. It’s mission critical that the visitors to your Web site are presented with an attractive, positive design. If you are unfamiliar with Web site design conventions, try creating a list of your favorite Web sites along with what you like or do not like about each one. Please visit our website focus groups page to learn more about how website focus groups can pinpoint you target audiences web behaviors.
To avoid confusing your Web site visitors, refrain from using non-standard links and graphics (i.e. different colors, fonts, and sizes). Studies have shown that most Internet users prefer clean, uncluttered interfaces. Also, be sure to avoid color schemes which can make text difficult to read.
Many of the best websites are some of the simplest. When developing a Web site design, steer clear of anything that could confuse visitors as they navigate the pages. In particular, avoid having too many distractions such as animated images, sounds, and movies. Your Web site design must be user-friendly. Hiring a fulltime, professional Web design company can provide you with the necessary expertise.
No one wants to wait for slow-loading Web pages. If you want to attract visitors, you should make your Web site lean, clean, and fast. This will ensure that your visitors will return time and time again.
Some Web sites have top-notch designs but hardly any traffic. Often this is because the site lacks quality content. Great content starts with the basics. Make sure that your site is free from grammatical mistakes and spelling errors. Then, work on adding something interesting that covers a variety of topics. If you aren’t comfortable writing your own content, hire a professional copywriter or Web site content service provider.
Also, be sure that your content is reader-friendly. Break large chunks of text into smaller paragraphs and use subheadings or bullets. Great Web site design must be search engine friendly and include appropriate keywords and phrases where appropriate.
The Internet is a fast paced place where users demand current, up-to-date information and content. Have your Web site updated regularly to keep your loyal visitors coming back for more.
Under Construction & Untested Web Site Components
Once again, it’s always important to put your best face forward on the Internet. If your Web site is released when it is untested or not ready for primetime, there is the real risk of alienating visitors, including potential customers. WebpageFX, like the best Web design companies, tests every Web site before it goes live. This avoids having to post “under construction” notices and gives your company a professional online presence.
Hard-to-Find Contact Information
Your Web site is a tool for growing your business. Because of this, it is critical to have your company’s contact information visible and easy to locate. You wouldn’t want to lose customers just because they cannot find how to email or call your business.
Final Thoughts on How Much Does a Web Site Cost
At the beginning of this analysis, we started with the question, “How much does a Web site cost?” Simply put, there is no one answer to this question, since there exist many variables which play a role in calculating Web site design cost. While the above information should help you to determine a ballpark figure, it will not work perfectly for all projects or scenarios. In summary, the easiest way to determine how much a Web site will cost is to contact a Web design company offering free estimates and ask, “How much will my Web site cost?”
Call 888.449.3239 or contact us online today to start designing your dream web site.