This is a very exciting time for you. You have established a viable product or service to sell and may have already begun to operate your business. The time has come to look at one of the most important gateways into its success – your website. But, what will it cost?
To begin, let’s eliminate some of the mystery around the process. When looking at a budget for a new web design, it is most important to keep in mind that your final cost will be based on hours invested. If you are gambling on a new business, and are paying out-of-pocket, you do have choices. The first is to decide if you can afford a custom-designed website, or the other option, a template design. If you do not have a long list of add-ons or special features, you may opt to go with the template option. Sometimes the difference in price can be as much as $5,000 – $7,500 more for a custom design vs. a template.
Just keep in mind, a template is just that – its architecture that is already built, so you will have no room for variation.
A custom web design offers total creativity: the sky is the limit, but you must have the investment dollars to proceed.
What Goes Into Web Design Pricing
Kick Off & Planning
The beginning of your web design journey starts with planning and sketching. The pricing of this stage is generally flexible, as it depends on the competitiveness of the industry and complexity of the website. For custom sites, you and your project managers will work together to create visuals based on your vision, research and information gathered. These are known as sitemaps and wireframes. Each sketch will outline the layout and content of the website in an organized fashion.
In a template website, this stage is omitted as the layout of the website is pre-defined.
Once you’ve approved the sitemap and wireframes, you’ll move on to designing the actual look and feel of the website. The design phase is important because your website is the online face of your business – and represents your brand on the internet. It should reflect your company and energy, while still showcasing your services/products.
For template sites, the design can be limited to picking a theme color, and the font style and size.
Program Development & Content Support
Naturally, this portion of the project is the true substance, where attention to detail and creativity are necessary. Programmers and developers work hard to bring your website to life, writing many many lines of code to create the functionality behind the design.
A bulk of your budget is spent on this phase, and for good reason – no one wants to visit a website that has broken features or doesn’t perform the way it should.
For template sites, their is no real development hours as the website structure is already built. There can be some customization, however a template cannot be manipulated to do more than what it is intended to do.
Testing, Launch & Website Training
During the late stages of development, you’ll start testing the features of the website to make sure they function as they should. Depending on the complexity of the site, the testing phase can take some time/hours. Not only is the site being tested to make sure it works, but testing is also done to ensure the site looks awesome in the search engines, like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.
Included in this phase is the actual launch of the website, and training to show you how to edit and update your brand new site.
Additional Web Design Pricing Influencers:
Submitting Content vs. Copywriting
Your web design investment can fluctuate depending on if you choose to submit your own content vs. having an agency do the copywriting for you. It can further change if would like to have your unique content optimized for the search engines.
It is important to note, while you may have created an incredible website, it is of very little use if it cannot be found in the search engines.
Imagery: Stockphotos vs. Authentic Photography
Recent surveys have proven that your website is far more powerful when created with authentic photos unique to your company or product. However, if you choose to take a more creative approach, understand the research and purchase could change your bottom line.