Asking “How much does a website cost?” is similar to asking “How much does a car cost?”. The answer is generally, “Depends on what you are looking for.” The website cost range is very large. Even if you list the required functionality, while making your question of website cost a little easier to answer, it still misses the mark. To go back to the car analogy, it’s like saying, “I want a car with an automatic transmission, A/C, and an MP3 player.” You can have a Chevy and a Lexus that both match the criteria. So what’s important to consider is what kind of an experience would you like your website to offer your visitors.
The website cost is directly related to how much time it takes to put it together. And while the functionality can be met, you can get a different level of attention to detail and refinement. The more refined the website, the more time that takes, the more the website will cost, even though it inherently does all the same things.
We’ll often approach the website cost from a different angle, asking people, “What would you like to spend?” The most common response is, “Well, I don’t know how much websites cost.” Fair enough. But the number of times we put together a formal proposal only to hear “That’s more money than I planned for.” suggests to us that people do know how much they have to spend without knowing how much websites cost.
The most productive conversation that you can have with a web developer is if you have a list of things you want your website to do right now, what functionality you think you may want down the line, and the money you have to spend. Yes, the web developer will use your budget in the cost considerations, but you will get the most website bang for your buck.
If you are afraid of the web development company taking your for a ride in the odd chance that your budget is too high, we are yet to have a case where the person had more money to spend than was reasonable and appropriate for what they wanted.
Could you spend less than what your budget is? Yes, probably. But it will be at the expense of something. Even though you may still have the same functionality, but the website may be less flexible, less expandable down the line, or less refined. You could get a website for less than $1,000. But it would be something very bare bones or a template filled with content. But if all you have is $1,000 to spend, that’s still better than not having anything at all. But you would be better off spending $3,000-$4,000 and getting something that is what you want. Or if the budget allows, spending $6,000-$8,000 and really having something that is super polished and impressive. Or spending more and having some custom functionality or unique integrations with other platforms or services to offer your customers a much better online experience.
Generally 50% of the website cost is made as a deposit upfront with the remaining 50% due on launch of the website. For larger, more time consuming projects that span multiple months, a custom payment schedule will be crafted.