How much does a website cost?

Think about your current website requirements for your business. How much do you think it should cost to build? £500? £2,000? £5,000? £15,000? £50,000? £100,000+?

Costing for the build of website is complex, especially before a proper briefing can be done. So let’s take a step back and discuss two different types of websites — a website as a product and a website as a promotional tool.

A website as a product

If a website is an integral part of what the business is offering, then this website can be classified as a product.

A newspaper needs their website in order to present articles to their readers. Their product is the content that they write. Without a platform to give these articles to their audience, they have no business, unless they are brave enough to be a print only publication.

A business that sells merchandise online, either their own or as an aggregate of other brands, needs a platform to showcase and sell these products. Even if the website doesn’t allow for the purchasing directly but serves as an affiliate that directs to the source where the product can be purchased, this website still serves as the product for the business.

Having your website serve as your product means that more care should be put into the design, build, and maintenance. This doesn’t mean that it should be more expensive, it simply means that you have a different goal for the platform and how it should be cared for.

A website as a promotional tool

Also known as a promo website. The purpose of these websites is only to serve as promotion for the business’ products or services. This introduces many different goals for the business — clearly communicate the business’ offerings, rank well on search engines, work well, look good.

All of those goals should be met, or at least attempted, because the main goal of these websites is to convert viewers into “customers”. If this doesn’t happen then you’re not promoting your business in the correct way.

The most common understanding of a customer is someone that purchases your product or service. With websites, the definition of a customer expands greatly. A customer could be someone who requests more information, subscribes to your webinar, offers a donation to your cause, embodies the ideas you’re promoting, or visits your exhibition.

So how much should you spend on a website?

A website can be built for any budget. What needs to be understood is that the lower the budget, the more your options and ideas are limited. Here is a breakdown of what we believe should be spent on your website:

Already have branding in place and simply need your information presented nicely on a web page? Don’t spend more than £500, or better yet, do it yourself using Squarespace if you’re up for it and don’t see spending £500 as an investment. This is perfect for new businesses who need to focus their time and money on what they are offering their customers, we’ve been there and still are.

Do you have information that needs to be properly organised, structured, and laid out in a nice design over several pages? You’re looking at around £2,000+.

Are your requirements more complex than the simple examples above and you want to present the character and nuances of your business? Do you need certain integrations with third-party software, functionality to be built in order to give your users a better experience, or do you want a more in-depth organisation and structure of your information? £5,000+ depending on the functionality required.

Does specific functionality, such as user accounts, integrations with stock management or custom databases, a custom CMS, or complex user interactions, need to be built in? With custom functionality the price starts moving past £15,000+. The plus at the end of that “£15,000” ranges all the way up to match whatever functionality is required for your business and your website.

What should, now, be a standard

Web technologies have come a long way in the past decade alone. This has resulted in a basic set of requirements that need to be built into any website. Without these, a website has no place in today’s internet.

Some of these standards are, optimising the website for different screen sizes, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) to improve the visibility of your website to search engines by correctly structuring the content and markup to both increase its relevance and remove barriers for it to be indexed, and SSL certificate setup to ensure that your website is secure through the HTTPS protocol.

How much have you spent on your website and do you see it as a worthwhile investment?