How Much Will It Cost To Build My Web Site?

If only we had a dollar for every time this question comes up. That said, we completely empathize and understand; it’s a very reasonable thing for any potential client to wonder. At the sake of sounding trivial – the standard answer is always: “it depends.

“Price is what you pay, value is what you get.” – Warren Buffett

The truth is, there are several factors that will determine the cost to develop your web site. Understanding these variables and how they affect time and cost is prudent of anyone looking to launch an online presence. Here are some of the major factors that determine a websites’ cost:

  • What type of web site are you building?: The single biggest variable of a website budget depends on the type of site you’re building. For example, will you be selling products online? Will you have a complex back-end systems or functionality that will require significant development? What degree of visual aesthetics will you require? Are you simply creating a fan web site or personal blog or are you launching the next Silicon Valley startup?
  • UX and UI of the site: (Abbreviations for User Experience and User Interface) — Building a website includes the site’s general concept, but it also likely requires a significant amount of planning before a single line of code is written. The general rule: the more complex the intended functionality, the more time you’ll need to invest in thinking about the architecture and site flow.
    • Common Items To Consider:
      • What exactly happens when a visitor clicks (a link, banner, promotion, or button, etc.)?
      • What is the expected behavior of said button?
      • How will the site behave differently on mobile versus a computer monitor?
      • Will it accommodate different languages or integrate with services like Google or Facebook?
      • Will there be sign up forms or secure sections of the site to access?
      • How complex or graphically intense will the visuals be, and who will be providing the materials to use?
      • Who will write the written content for the web site?
      • Are the graphic assets high quality or will we need to procure photography or video partners to create the content on your behalf?
  • Ongoing Maintenance: Many customers naturally focus on the costs of building the initial web site. Seldom do they also factor in the cost of maintaining it. There are certain responsibilities that come with owning a website. These include security, system updates, regular backups, search engine tuning, and of course — updating the site’s content.

 

The above represents just a few of many general factors that determine price, but inevitably you will ultimately arrive at two decisions for how to proceed:

 

Hire a Professional Or Develop Your Own Web Site?

This is a very common question. And the answer is quite simply: “yes.” There are no wrong answers in the equation. The “right” answer is the solution that’s most right for you.

  • Do it yourself (DIY): Building a website by yourself is the least expensive way to create one. It’s fairly easy if you’re willing to put in some time and effort. There are many DIY web site management services like WordPress, Wix, or Squarespace you might consider. These services offer generic templates that may be plenty for what you’re trying to do.
  • Professional Freelancer: If you do not have the time or interest in building your own website — and you have a budget — you can hire a freelancer to do it. The caveat here is to completely understand what it is (exactly) you’re paying for. Be careful to distinguish between paying someone for menial labor you’re too busy to do and/or paying someone to truly help you solve a problem. Not all solutions provide the same value, even if they’re the same price.
  • Creative Agency: This is easily most expensive way to build a web site— but almost always for a reason. Creative agencies specialize in solving problems and often staff an entire team of people wholly dedicated to each nuance of your project. Hiring the right creative agency for your web site ensures you’re utilizing experience and expertise to truly help you achieve your objectives.

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and then tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” – Steve Jobs

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