Ah, this old question.
When I’m speaking to someone who is interested in a website, it doesn’t take long before they ask, “how much will this cost?”
And honestly, that’s a good thing. It’s important to have a conversation about money early on, and it makes things a little easier for me when I don’t have to bring it up! There’s no point having a long chat about website features if our expectations about cost don’t match up.
The trouble is, when you create custom websites like I do, it’s impossible to nail down a price without knowing about those website features!
So what’s the solution? Before I explain what I do, I’d like to ask another important question.
What is a website worth?
Presumably you don’t want a website for the sake of having a website. You want a website because it will benefit your business.
Maybe you’ve only recently set up your business and you know that a good website will go a long way to showing your potential customers that you are a professional and you’re here to stay. Maybe it will function as a portfolio to reassure your visitors that you do good work and you’re trustworthy. Maybe it’s going to allow your customers to purchase from you, directly making you money.
So, a website is an investment, from which you want to get a good return.
Some returns are tangible and easily measurable, others are harder to measure but give important long term benefits. Both are important, so start by thinking about which of your business goals could be met through a professional website and then consider what a successful outcome would look like.
Can you get a website for free?
You could use any of a number of drag-and-drop editors or simple content management systems to create your website, within whatever limitations they impose. You could get a something.theirdomain.com website address and you could choose their free hosting package, again, with whatever limitations they impose.
Maybe that’s enough, and the limitations wouldn’t bother you too much. But would it come across as professional? Would the website address be memorable enough? Would the website be able to grow as your business and needs grow?
When you consider your goals, would that kind of website benefit your business?
You get what you pay for
So you could get a website for free by doing it yourself.
You could pay someone hundreds of pounds to use a website template, maybe tweak it a little and fill it with your content.
You could invest thousands of pounds in a unique website from an experienced developer who can advise you on what is likely to work well for your specific goals.
You could spend tens of thousands of pounds on extensive consultancy, a unique website and a comprehensive marketing campaign from a web agency.
You could even part with literally hundreds of thousands of pounds if you run a large, high profile website.
The question becomes, what is your budget?
I know. Very few people like being asked that question! But with a vague idea of costs in mind, if you choose your own budget you can then find a web professional who can use that budget wisely.
It becomes about who can offer you good value and advice, whose portfolio you like most, even who you get on well with.
By the way – it’s not ridiculous to have concerns about revealing your number and getting back a quote for just shy of that amount. You don’t necessarily have to disclose your exact budget upfront when you first speak to a web professional.
Ask for a ballpark
If you ask me how much I charge for a website, I can’t give you an exact answer. It’s like asking me how much a car costs! Do you want a second hand base model, or a new top of the range model with all the added extras?
What I can do is give you a ballpark – a range which the majority of the websites I’ve recently built fit into. I currently give a ballpark of £1,500 – £3,000.
It’s purposely a wide range because there can be a huge amount of variation from one website to the next, but it immediately tells us whether or not it’s worth continuing our conversation.
What budget should you choose?
Obviously I can’t answer this question for you, but these are some things which you should take into account when you’re considering your budget:
- How much can you actually afford to spend?
- What goals do you have for your website?
- What is a website worth to your business?
- How much professional advice do you need?
- Is your website going to be immediately high profile, or will it grow gradually?
Are you looking for a new website?
If your budget is in my ballpark range, then I would love to talk to you about your website needs.