How Much Does It Cost to Develop or Redesign a Website?
Certainly, today nobody doubts the website necessity. Almost everyone needs the Internet representation: large corporations, small businesses, and even individuals working for themselves (photographers, members of the beauty industry, for example, makeup artists, and, of course, freelancers of all kinds). A web resource is the best way of establishing a regular contact with the existing target audience to find new loyal customers, promote your brand and gain a reliable reputation. So the question about whether you need a website or not, have been solved... and the answer is positive. The question remaining open is how much does it cost to develop a website?. In this article, we have tried to elaborate on this and related issues, explain to you how to make the site development a very good investment, how much you can save during this process, and when it would be silly of you to be greedy.
Individual approach to cost of building a website
It’s next to impossible to derive an average cost of developing a website. The price of a web resource is a variable value and depends on many factors, therefore it should be formed individually for each project and based on specific requirements and desires of the client.
Agree, it's meaningless to compare a major news portal and a laconic web-card for a little company! The website costs for small business and for large one would be quite different, so keep reading to find out what is really important in this matter.
Ready-made template VS professional approach
The ability to create a site by your means may seem a tempting idea. But in most cases, the time being spent carries a bigger value than imaginary benefits. And using ready-made templates would lead to appearing another one typical, boring resource with potential errors that may declare itself later.
So, you should give thought to this issue, the saving is not always fully justified. And in many cases, the high cost to develop a website would be completely appropriate. The most important thing that you will get the desired result – an effective tool to grow your business.
Ordering a site from a good company means to get a product created by qualified professionals who are experts in their fields. They will analyze the activities of your company and your competitors, develop the site concept, define the basic parts and modules and take over the programming, content, and optimization.
Now then, who are these qualified professionals whom you're going to pay your money? Of course, web designers, Internet marketers, web programmers, copywriters, SEO optimizers, and managers, ready to listen to absolutely all your requirements and wishes and monitor their direct implementation. Surely, professional skills and time of such experts must be well-paid…
So how much do web developers charge? It depends on factors described below.
The cost of creating the site depends, inter alia, on the company name. The more untwisted firm, the higher the price of services. However, this exaggerated price (as it may seem) is justified and recoverable. As a rule, well-known companies maintain their reputation and can't afford to offer low-quality products. That is, the probability of an excellent result is worth extra cost.
Define concretely your goal to reduce the average cost to build a website
In most cases, a lot depends on your requirements regarding the future project. Understanding what exactly you need significantly helps to figure out how much to charge for web development.
Let's draw an analogy. No one will give you the exact answer to the question "how much will the car cost?", right? You will be asked about what brand of car it is, what engine size you are interested in, whether you need leather interior, air conditioning, and other options. In general, you know: to get a clear answer, you need to know exactly what you want to have.
Therefore, a clear conception of tasks for which you are creating the website, and an understanding of what functionality should be implemented now and in the future will help you reduce the final cost of the project.
Redesign or developing from scratch?
Developing a website from scratch is usually much more expensive than redesigning. However, there may be exceptions: for example, if an existing web resource is in such poor conditions that it is almost more difficult to put it in order than to re-do!
Now let’s turn to specific stages of the site development...
The design of the website is its “face” or showcase demonstrating the product. And, as the same showcase, it has to attract the attention of a customer and invite him to visit... So it should not only reflect the company's character but also be stylish and modern - there's nothing worse than an obsolete design!
Your web resource is simply obliged to stand out from the competition sticking in user's' memory. Uninteresting boring design made of a layman, costs, of course, pennies, but you should not pay even such a little price for creating another Internet garbage. Remember the saying that the avaricious pays twice! So don't be greedy when defining the cost to build a website.
Believe us, the site design needs to be developed by specialists, in accordance with the site objectives, taking into account preferences of the target audience. If a company has its own corporate identity (corporate colors, fonts, and brand character), then using its elements in the design of the website is also an important factor. And only a skilled designer can properly take into consideration all these and many other nuances.
The main function of a commercial website is to attract customers. Therefore, a web resource should be easy-to-use. That is to say, the client needs to effortlessly understand the whole process of making a purchase or performing another desired action. And the common functionality is quite enough for many sites: catalog, order form, shopping cart, blog, news, photo gallery, and more. However sometimes these extensions are insufficient to meet the customer’s needs: for example, the resource may need a calculator to determine a total order price.The development of each individual module means spending money and increases the overall cost to build a website.
CMS (Content Management System)
CMS (Content Management System) is a special administrative panel allowing even the most inexperienced user to edit the webpage without any problems. And the cost of CMS depends on the factor of functionality explained above.
There are paid and free (public) CMSs. And paid CMS systems are also divided into ready-made and custom-unique engines written specifically for your project. This is the most expensive option with the impossibility to determine the average cost because the latter is formed by the functionality you need. Developing any CMS engine, especially the unique custom one, is the time-consuming complicated process which cannot be cheap.
There may be a logical question: well, is it possible to create a site by using a free CMS? Well, you can use it, of course! But the free engine still needs to be installed, and installed well, so that site would work without "glitches" and curvature. And although the script is free, its installation will result in a hatful of money, often far exceeding the cost of the paid CMS. Besides, all the CMSs use their free site templates, thus sites with the template designs and free CMS are similar to each other as twins. And when wishing a unique design for your website, one will have to search for the expert willing to undertake this uneasy task (if there will be such an expert at all). So these management systems being accessible and free are balanced by their huge inflexibility.
Setting up the design
This is a process of the website revival when the design template, just a picture right now, is being converted by a coder into a fully working web resource. The more complex the design of the site, the longer this stage lasts.
A website cannot serve its purpose without useful information (texts, photos, videos). You may provide your own content, of course, if you're confident in your abilities. But even in this case, it is better to ask experts to modify the material you’re going to publish on the website. Specialists will lead the texts to a single style, prepare photos (choosing the required size and format) and perform other similar actions. The price of preparing the content also affects the overall website development costs, but it's worth it!
Creating and publishing a website is only half the battle. Don't you want people to find your web resource in search engines and visit it to get acquainted with your products and services? After all, it will give you an influx of new clients and customers!
Of course, the initial optimization for promotion in search systems is being performed at the stage of web site development, so its price is taken into account in the original calculations. However, subsequent website optimization and promotion are carried out when needed and billed separately.
This is a very important service, no less important than the development of the site itself - if you want your web resource to earn you money! Therefore, it is desirable that the site be on the first three pages of search results, and even better — get in TOP10. It is the first 10 positions for highly competitive search queries that are being fought for. And one understands why — it is a struggle for a visitor who may become a buyer, which means a struggle for profit!
Website promotion is an expensive project, but such a heavy spending will surely be paid off. Thereby, when calculating the cost to build website consider this important step.
The website created needs support. The site, not being regularly updated is obviously "dead" and visitors choose alive resources with always new and fresh (that equals actual and interesting!) content. By the way, the search engines prefer alive sites too. That's why you should think of website support which includes resolving technical problems and updating content.
Technical support ensures ongoing site operability. The content update means adding news and writing feature articles with keywords relevant to the subject of the resource. Of course, the development of the site and support of it are two different things, but if we are to discuss the cost, then let's do it comprehensively.
There are some more additional factors that affect the website development costs:
- Domain (the Internet address of your website). Domain Registration also influences the total expenses, although not too much. There are free third-level domains and unique domains of really high cost so choose what meets your own requirements.
- Hosting is space on a remote server to host the website. Free hosting makes no guarantees for the safety of your website and does not provide the ability to place dynamic pages (for sites with a CMS is an unacceptable option); even worse: it weights your pages with a lot of heavy and disturbing ad banners, sometimes of questionable content. As for paid hosting, its price varies quite strongly depending on the chosen tariff that takes into account the quality and range of services provided.
One of the highlights for many businesses is the budget issue. Unfortunately, not everyone is able to afford to spend as many funds as necessary to develop the web resource; many businesses have to think of saving on the cost of building a website. So, whether is it possible to save on?
When shouldn't you save on?
- Don't cut the budget on design. As already mentioned, the appearance of the website plays an important role creating the first impression. A resource has only a couple of seconds to hook the visitor, otherwise, the latter will leave your page in spite of good informative component.
- Do not order a website without CMS, if your goal is the Internet promotion. One must be updating the page regularly to have it relevant, that’s why a special and easy-to-use administrative panel would come in very handy helping to simplify the process of changing the text and graphics content. Qualified experts would have executed the project with a simple structure so that you'd be able to modernize the content yourself. But if the site management requires special skills, you will need to hire an administrator or enter into a contract with specialists for further maintenance after the development of the turnkey website. And this means additional costs.
- Do not skimp on hosting. Choose the best option, powerful enough and affordable. High-speed information access, work without interruptions and problems will allow you not to lose a single customer.
- Do not economize on the services of a copywriter who can create the original content for the website. Search engines first choose sites with original content and 100% unique text instead of pages with information copied from other sources. The original article can significantly reduce the cost of website promotion.
Ways of reducing the average cost to build a website
- Unless you are a corporation or a world famous holding company, do not pay the advertised web studio just for the sake of image. Find the appropriate segment under your options.
- Don't waste money on features that won't be used. Not only that you give hard earned money for a useless option, but also you overload web pages. The best way is to define the minimum required functionality and order a basic resource, expanding its possibilities later, as needed. It makes no sense to implement the website of your dreams from the very beginning. By running a web resource with necessary functions only and getting profit from it, you can improve it with no race.
- Do not overdo with the design of the site. Creative ideas are a big advantage for the company but don't get too carried away: a lot of flash movies, bright sparkling inscriptions and pop-ups can lead to an opposite result. Instead of getting interested, a potential customer just can't find the information he needs among all the special effects!
- Do not overpay for urgency. Evaluate deadlines of the site development rationally, allow for all possibilities including time for testing and fixing errors.
All of these tips will help reduce the average cost of developing a website and set priorities correctly when selecting developers and preparing technical specifications. It is not necessary to perform your project just for a tick — try to make it as efficient as possible. After all, a professional website is the key to success in the Internet space.
Ordering a cheap website, you're throwing away your money. In this case, boring template design, unoriginal content copied from other well-known websites, braking and software errors are imminent. You will not get enough users, they simply won’t find your site in search engines. You can hardly strive for such a result, can’t you? Having paid once, you receive a viable project which brings fame, new customers and of course profit.