What is the investment for a website?
Are you wondering why websites seem to come at such a cost? We explain some of the reasoning here!
Here we are for another Avidmode Chat blog. This is an edited transcript of part of the session that we did a couple of weeks ago on what investment for a website looks like. If you want to watch the discussion in full, see the video above – otherwise, read our thoughts in the blog post below.
So, how much does it cost to get a website built?
It’s the most popular question that we get from potential clients, and it’s pretty tricky to answer – but we’re going to try, so strap in.
Expectations and Pricing
Clients need to be clear about what their goals are before we can even answer that question. We’ve had many unhappy website clients come to us from where they’ve had their initial website built for £500; then they’re upset three years later because the website’s not doing anything. Essentially, it’s likely that you’ve bought a website that is like your business card. It’s your home on the web. It’s a shop window for you, but it’s not going to do anything else.
In addition to that, the client probably hasn’t been maintaining it. They’ve probably only blogged a couple of times. It’s most likely not got the SEO elements on it. It probably hasn’t been built for conversion. We’re going to be a bit controversial here and say that’s not the original web development company’s problem; it’s a problem with misunderstanding.
Understanding What You Are Getting
Websites aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution; unless you pay a higher price, you can’t expect a website to work for you three, five or ten years after your startup. Your designer/developer will be building you a website that works for you right now – something that shows off who you are, but it’s not going to position you in a wrong way. This is especially important if you’re a new business getting off the ground, you’re target market will be becoming more precise, you might be fitting yourself into a smaller niche, in some case you might even change what you’re doing entirely.
Take Avidmode as an example; when Kittie started up back in the day – she was working as a freelance writer in several sectors. She was also doing some VA-type work, but mostly copywriting for blogs, websites, and article platforms. The business had a different name, a different target audience, a different everything. As the market changed, Kittie pivoted the company and learned new skills in Web Design and Marketing that complemented her business strategy and writing background; Avidmode was born. The website for the original business was rebuilt to reflect the changes.
You might start with a small website, but you have to evolve it. It’s never static. It tracks the progress of your business.
What Will A Lower Price Get You?
If you’ve done a little bit of research on websites and the prices, you might have noticed that there are lots of low-cost options out there. Some will create websites on an hourly basis, and others set a package price sub £200.
When someone is charging a lower price, those low-cost websites are more likely to be something like a brochure website because there’s less time invested in it. The only time where that isn’t the case is where you’ve got a graduate or someone trying to build their portfolio, this doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re going to get a lousy website, but having practical experience in user experience, content and conversion rate optimization are two different things. So I wouldn’t expect to pay the price for somebody who’s been doing it 15 years as somebody coming out of their final year of university.
It’s essential to understand who you’re working with and what they can bring to the table for you and your business. It’s relatively easy to fall into the trap of having a beautiful website that doesn’t work; we hear this all the time.
Why Are Website Costs High?
The more detailed or complex a website, the higher the price will be – if you want a website that works as a membership site, if you want booking systems, if you want the specific bespoke design elements. All of these things take quite a bit of time to develop.
So, for instance, Daniel, at the moment, is working on developing a booking system from scratch. He is now 260 hours into that project, at £120 ph. So if you wanted to buy that, you’d have to be a very large organization, which is why we do it as a plugin, and you just license it annually from us. From the users perspective, the booking system looks simple, and you wouldn’t guess that it had over 200 hours worth of work gone into it.
This is why website prices tend to be high, we don’t price on an hourly basis for our websites, but we do factor in the time and effort that we think a project might need. The example above can be extrapolated to so many aspects of a website; for example, each website we build has consideration time for the wireframing and customer journey. When a client looks at the final product, this isn’t something that you’d automatically notice, but it’s there and will help with conversion once your website is launched.
Questions To Ask Before You Start Building Your Website?
We want to leave you with a list of questions that you can ask yourself and your website agency to understand what you’ll be getting for your investment.
- What do I want the website to be able to do?
- Will the website be helping me reach new audiences?
- Does the website need to have certain functionalities (booking, payments, animation etc.)?
- Where am I in my business journey? Do I need a website with all the bells and whistles yet?
- Is my business likely to drastically change in the next two years?
- What is included in the cost of the website?
- What type of maintenance will the website need, and who will be doing it?
- When do I need to review my website to check that it’s doing what it should be?
- Do I have a clear goal in mind for where I want the business to be in 3, 5, 10 years? How will these goals impact the current website that I have?
We hoped this helped clear up some of the ideas around investment for a website. If you are wondering how much your own website might cost, give us a shout, and we’ll be happy to get you over some details.
If you’re just starting up then, a starter website might be precisely what you’re looking for. We offer brochure, starter websites from £2,250 – and as we discussed in the post, this website won’t do everything for you, but it’ll be suitable for a new business who’s ready to show themselves off online!
You can chat more about this by sending us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org or on any of our social media channels.