There! I caught you looking!
But why shouldn’t you look? You want to have at least an approximate idea of what this is going to cost you and perhaps you’ve never worked with a professional website builder before.
In the many years I’ve been doing this craft I’ve designed and built websites that cost less than $1,000 and I’ve had website projects that, when the dust finally settled, cost their owners over $20,000. So it’s not a simple question when you ask, “What will a website cost?” As is often the case, it depends.
A basic business website can take 30 hours – even for a pro – to develop these days. That’s because a substantial portion of the work you don’t even see.
Based on my experience of developing a wide range of websites, the table below contains a quick rundown of what you’ll get and what you might expect to pay, based on a few common scenarios.
This would put everything on a single, long, web page. Whatever you have on offer would be explained briefly and with few photos or graphics. It would include a simple contact form. There would be no SEO, so you’re probably not going to be easily found through a Google or Bing search.
Here, you’d have your website divided into five logical pages or sections and there would be sufficient SEO to get you reasonably high in search engine rankings. One or two of those pages would be used for showcasing your product and/or service with photos, videos, and detailed explanations. The contact form would be expanded to solicit some extra data from prospects in addition to their contact info.
This would get a nascent or established business all they need to fully showcase and explain its products and/or services. In addition to what you get in the Standard (previous) package would be the facility to have a blog be part of your website. A place for articles, case studies, detailed product information – whatever – a blog is the secret to the best and most affordable SEO possible for a small business! Whether you are the one writing these, or it’s someone else, Google and Bing love websites with informative, rich and growing content and reward them with higher rankings in search results.
If you want to actually sell products or services from your website, then add, at minimum, another $500 to $1,500 to the cost of the project. And keep in mind that this is only to set up the system. The work of adding the database records for the products and services, along with their desciptions, prices, photos, etc., is not included.
You’re an artist, graphic designer, or in a similar trade that requires a high number of visual representations of what you do on your website. If this is the case, add at least another $500 to any of the above costs. Building such a thing into a website, and presenting them in a unique and impactful way, is labour-intensive.
SEO (search engine optimization)
This is the use of techniques, some understood and some speculative, to have your website – and hence your business – be more easily found on search engines such as Google and Bing. In simple terms, with no SEO work being done on your shiny new website it is the proverbial needle in a haystack.
If your sole reason for having a website is to “legitimize” your business or product with a professional online presence and you are always going to drive prospects to your website with other marketing efforts (e.g. advertising or word-of-mouth), then you don’t need any SEO. (But really, almost all business websites require at least a minimum level of SEO.)