Understanding Website Development Costs

Your website is one of the most important marketing tools for your business. You use it to establish an online presence, grow your reputation, feature related content for improved search engine page ranking, and make connections with the industry.

Understanding the different factors associated with the cost of website development services can help you determine which direction you should take your new or existing website. Website development prices are objective; they can be built in many different ways and each website development company has their own techniques, resources, and knowledge.

Here is an overview on what you can expect in website development costs and how you can impact that final number.

Important factors for website development cost

There are a lot of key details that go into determining the cost of your website’s design and development. On average, the upfront cost of a site is $12,000 to $150,000, while routine website maintenance ranges from $35 to $5,000 per month, according to WebFX.

Here are a few considerations and questions to answer as you begin evaluating quotes for services from different website development companies.

  • Do you have an existing site?
  • Do you have a clear layout of what you are looking for or wanting to achieve?
  • Do you want a responsive or adaptable site that works on multiple devices?
  • Do you need special features, apps, or widgets connected?
  • Do you need any performance tools or content management systems setup?
  • Do you already have graphics?
  • Is copy needed? If so, how much copy?
  • Will you need website maintenance after development?
  • Will you need any website documentation or staff walk-throughs?

Do you need a new or redesigned website?

One of the largest decisions you need to make is whether you should start from scratch or build on what you have. If you have an existing website that you’d like to refresh, a new website isn’t always necessary, depending on your goals.

Like repainting a room in your house for a brighter look, a refresh will spruce up what you already have with some adjustments and improvements made throughout. A redesign will take your current site and rework it completely for a brand new look, much like redesigning a home and tearing down or building new walls.

That said, depending on how many changes you’d like to make to your site, a redesign may cost more than starting over with a brand new website.

Evaluating the current status of your website

Before you talk to a website development service, take stock of the current status of your site and available resources that you may be able to use.

Existing content can be updated for better search engine optimization and, with better design elements, improve engagement on your homepage. Available graphics and images also help reduce costs and time spent on creating key branding elements.

Take inventory and mark down what’s missing, what might need to be reworked, and what should remain as-is.

What is the primary function of your site?

The business goals for your website will help determine the areas of focus and thus the amount of work and associated cost.

Is your website:

  • An ecommerce site selling products or services?
  • A brochure working to generate leads?
  • Meant for establishing an online reputation and credentials?

An ecommerce website requires specific plugins, tools, compliance features and more. This may be the most costly in terms of development time and systems needed for a well-operating site.

A lead-generation site still requires some tracking tools, but it can be developed at a lower cost. You can even develop it in segments over time.

An online reputation site is the simplest, but it can have a significant impact on generating opportunities if it’s developed well.

Preparing your new website

Once you’ve determined what will work best to meet your business goals— the type of site you need and your available resources— consider the key preparation details. This will streamline the process, making it more efficient than ever!

Establish key decision makers - The last thing you want as you develop your website is to get caught in a loop of uncertainty. Before you begin, you should name the key decision makers for your business and their areas of focus.

Share this information with your website development team, but be sure that you ask who their primary point person is. This person will be your go-to for questions, confirmations, and changes. A more efficient process starts with clearly defined roles.

Content audit - If you need new content for your site, determine what those pieces are, the length, topics, intended goals and if you’d like to task the web development company with creating that content for you.

Build out a budget - As you step into this process determine your budget allowance. What’s the maximum you can spend on website development and what is your ideal number?

Be sure to mention this in your conversations with website development companies. They should be able to develop custom solutions that meet your website goals while staying in budget. If your budget is tight, they may be able to recommend prioritizing particular elements over others.

Other factors that affect cost

Of course, the website will take up the majority of the budget, but make sure to include some of the smaller details in your budget estimates. Each website development company has their own rate or way of calculating minor costs for miscellaneous items.

Much like maintaining a home, there are associated long-term costs for website maintenance and web hosting as well as minor upgrades as technology develops. Depending on the level of customization of  your website, maintenance and upgrade fees may differ. Some agencies may include it in their development costs. Take long-term costs into consideration as you figure out what you can spend today on upfront costs.

Your website is your business’ digital foundation and 24-hour employee. A website with engaging features and a mobile-friendly layout will give you the leverage you need over your competitors and open up a revenue stream.

Bayshore Solutions, with more than 20 years in the industry, helps you grow your business by understanding your goals, defining customer audiences, creating stories, implementing technology, and learning from outcomes.

Call (866) 352-4791 or email us at info@bayshoresolutions.com to discuss your needs and learn how we can facilitate growth.