How much does a website cost?
Pretty much every business NEEDS a website and certainly all of them could benefit from one. Whether it’s a large enterprise you run, or a market stall, you should use a website to help people find you, contact you and most importantly do business with you. However, one size most definitely does not fit all.
As The Honest Agency and as a social enterprise, we’ll be far more open about what a website costs than other agencies – today is where we’ll start. We’re also working on an online instant website quote generator – we’ll come up with a catchy name for it later I promise! In the meantime, this should help guide you.
Content Management System
The first factor in the cost is whether you have a CMS (you really should) and if so – which one. Some CMSs come with a huge price tag themselves, while others like our favourites; WordPress, Drupal, Magento and LocomotiveCMS are all free. The complexity of the CMS / ease of development is also a factor here. I’ve had experience with a closed source CMS that I would literally triple (maybe more) the estimate if I had to hook a site up to it!
DIY vs Professional
We’re far more honest than other agencies and will tell you that sometimes a DIY website using services like Wix, or 1&1 will do the job. Please note here though that this is for the smallest of businesses! A 1&1/Wix site is so obvious, looks like thousands of others, has poor styling & functionality and tends to perform terribly in the Search Engines. So far we’ve only told 2 businesses that their best move is to start with a DIY site. If you’re serious about your business success, this should only ever be a temporary measure and a proper website should be built to replace it as soon as the business is big enough to justify it.
I know several small business owners that have also done DIY builds on the easier CMS systems such as wordpress, using pre-built templates. This tends to give better results than the Wix/1&1 alternatives, but again – if you want good results, hire a professional.
Template based vs custom
Even some agencies use the above templates to build ‘custom’ sites – some are very poor at hiding the fact. Sometimes these premium templates are perfect for a particular project and can save a lot of time & money. We’re not ashamed to say that while we don’t actively promote using these templates, if our clients have a very limited budget (or tight deadline), we will offer the client the option of using one of these as the basis. Our recommendation here though is to spend a decent amount of time on customising the theme to make it unique.
Custom functionality & Integration
Obviously it goes without saying that a site that needs some innovative functionality, or integration with another service, is going to cost more. A lot of smaller web design agencies don’t even have a developer, they simply have a ‘web literate’ who can use wordpress and rely on Google when they need to do something custom! In this instance, you’re best to go for someone a little more experienced in web development.
Freelancer / Agency / Large Agency
The bigger the team, overheads and skill level – the higher the price tag. From start-up freelancers who are willing to do a basic site for £200-300, to large agencies that wouldn’t entertain a site unless it’s over £30K.
Small businesses – don’t be afraid to use these single freelancers. As long as their skill level and experience fits in with your expectations. I’ve seen an ecommerce store built by a ‘web designer’ that didn’t even encrypt the users details and emailed the credit card details to a googlemail account! If you want to avoid embarrassment (and large fines) use the correct person for the job. There are some hybrid individuals that can design and are proper developers, but if you want something great, you’ll need at least one of each trade.
Medium businesses and internationals – You’re likely to need more back-up and structure than a single freelancer can offer. Don’t be afraid of going with a small agency though – they’re less restricted by ‘policies’ and are more likely to give you the personal service you deserve. Ultimately, look for one that fits your brand (and business size/type) well. Is there one that specialises in your industry? Is there one nearby?
Huge brands – someone from a large international brand is unlikely to be reading our blog, but if they are – you don’t want us. Put simply, you need a large agency that can keep up with requests from your legal department, key contact managers for your various departments, etc. You need a large agency such as BBH, who we love for their Audi work!
Mobile site, or fully responsive
You really should ensure that any new site you have built works on all mobile phones and tablets. This can be through a separate mobile site, or ideally a responsive site – meaning it adapts to the screen size. In my experience, having a separate mobile site will cost more and tends to make managing the site much harder (unless you have a very clever developer!).
How many pages
Well actually – no. We don’t think that should be a huge factor any more. Using a CMS means that pages can be set up very quickly and often it is the customer who does this anyway. How many different page layouts is more of a relevant point today. Each one will need to be set-up by the developer. Of course with a CMS like WordPress, a lot of the hard work is done for you already.
Copy (page text) writing
Do you want the agency to write all of the page text for you, edit/source images, popular the pages, etc? It all takes time and so costs money. This is often a part of the site – as long as you have a CMS – that you can save a lot of money by doing yourself.
Don’t forget to add the cost of domain names (£2+ / year) and website & email hosting (from £5-20/month for an average site). If it’s an ecommerce store, you’ll want to get an SSL certificate and of course you’ll also have payment gateway & merchant bank fees to worry about.
So come on then – how much does a website cost?
Ok, so we can’t really give you a price as there are just so many factors to consider. However, using our collective experience, we’ve put together the following table. Please remember this is just a ‘finger in the air’ – however, why not ask us about your particular site?
|Site type||The Honest Agency Guide Price||Start-up Freelancer||Experienced Freelancer||Small/Start-up Agency||Medium Agency||Large Agency|
|Simple one page (business card style)||£100-500||£50-300||£300 – 1K||£200 – 1000||N/A||N/A|
|One-page website (with parallax, etc)||£250-£1K||£100-500||£750-2K||£750-3K||£3K||N/A|
|Entry Template based WordPress site||£300-1K||£300-500||N/A||£750-2K||N/A||N/A|
|Template based WordPress site||£750-£2K||£500-£3K||£1500 – £3K||£1K – 3K||£3K – £5K||N/A|
|Entry Custom WordPress site||£1500 – £3K||£1K-£4K||£3K-5K||£3-5K||£4K – £10K||£15K+|
|Custom WordPress Site||£2K – £10K||£2K – £5K||£5-12K||£5-12K||£8-22K||£20K+|
|Charity Website||FREE – £2K (funding available)||£300 – £500||£1K-3K||Free – £8K||Free – £15K||Free – £25K+|