Tag Archives: website cost

Breaking Down The Costs Of Building a Website

Planning a new website? It’s not just the cost of designing and developing it you’ll need to budget for. We asked our community of Web Design Companies for advice about all the elements you’ll need to consider and budget for.  

We’re going to use the idea of a ‘new-build house’ as a metaphor for your ‘new-build website’.

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1. Domain (AKA the address)

Purchasing a domain name is an essential part of owning a website on the internet. Your domain is the website address that will lead visitors to your website.

For example, our domain name is www.whichwebdesigncompany.com.

For many companies, their domain will be the name of their business. You purchase the domain name online from a certified domain registrar, and usually pay for it on an annual basis (although purchasing several years upfront sometimes results in a discount).

Things get a bit trickier if someone already owns the ideal domain name you’re after. Could you get something similar? Picking a different domain ending might help – not everyone needs a dot com these days – .net .org .tv .ninja .london – there are lots of possibilities!

If you’re really determined to get the exact address you want, you can try and buy it from the current owner. Be careful though, this could get expensive.

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2. Hosting (AKA the land)

Once you have your domain name, you then need to pay for a space in which to ‘host’ your website. In our house analogy, the hosting is like the land your house is built on.

Websites live on special computers called servers. When someone wants to visit your website, they type your domain name into their browser or click on a link to take them to it. Their computer communicates with your web server, allowing them to view your website.

A web host provides the technology needed for your website to be viewed on the internet.

It is important to choose the right host depending on the services and features you require for your website. File storage, backup and technical support are all services that can come with hosting so make sure you’re getting what you need and always research before you buy.

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3. Design (AKA the plans)

Web designers are the architects of the online world. The creatives who can dream up beautiful looking websites can also apply technical knowledge to ensure they will be functional and meet your business objectives.

By the time you have committed to work with a web designer you will have already discussed the project in significant detail. The design stage is where the designer brings your joint vision to life. Mock-ups and visualisations – often known as wireframes – will give you the first glimpse of your new website.

This will give you a clear idea of how your content fits with the design and help you plan and produce your branding, visuals, calls to action and copy.

Once the design is agreed between you and signed off, the build can begin.

Design and development often go hand-in-hand and are taken care of by the same company.  Some web designers are also developers.

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4. Development (AKA the build)

By now you’ve probably spoken to your designer A LOT. You’ve agreed a budget, a design, functionality, content, pages, images and more.

Don’t forget to agree on deadlines too (just as you would with builders in your home).

Building a website from scratch can take time and requires a lot of specialist knowledge. Setting milestones and regular opportunities to review progress can help prevent mismatched expectations and keep communication open.

Unless previously agreed, do not expect your Web Design Company to provide the content for your website. Speed up the development process by having key items ready such as a high-resolution logos, suitable images (that you hold copyright for or are copyright-free), videos and written content for all the pages.

Once the build is complete, make sure both your web designer and yourself have tested, tested and re-tested the website, on different devices and operating systems, to make sure it will work as it should for all your visitors.

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5. Ongoing Support (AKA the maintenance)

Congratulations! Your new website has gone live.

However, a bit of TLC can go a long way in keeping your website up-to-date and performing well for your business.

Your Web Design Company will now have detailed knowledge of your business and website and can likely advise on what sort of ongoing maintenance and other work your website would benefit from.

This can range from regular content updates to Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), traffic monitoring to security and software updates, troubleshooting problems and server maintenance.

You’ll also need a marketing plan in place to make sure people find your website. SEO can help your site rank well in search results but there are lots of other things you can do to direct people to your business online, through listings, community websites and paid-for advertising.

Once you have an idea of which services are important to your business, you can decide if a custom support plan is right for you and what other services you might need to buy in.

Most Web Design Companies will offer ongoing support for a fee. Otherwise, you may have the necessary expertise to handle these elements internally within your business, or simply prefer to pay for one-off updates as and ad hoc work when needed.  The choice is yours.

As always, wherever you start your website journey, we urge you to do your research. Take the time to browse impartial reviews on WWDC, research your choices and always ask questions. 

You can also browse businesses recommended by our Web Design Companies.

If you want more advice on budgeting for your website then take a look at our article,  how much does a website cost? 

Or, if you’re struggling on which Web Design Company to choose, we’ve got some advice for you there too. 

Many thanks to Ste Woods of eVolve Web Consultants, Gareth Gillman Web Design and Adam Godsall of A Design Day and all our Web Design Companies for sharing their expertise and giving us feedback to get this article right.

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How Much Does a Website Cost?

Having a realistic budget is essential for planning your website. We sought advice from our community of Web Design Companies to help you get it right for your business.

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How much does a website cost?” It’s one of the most frequently asked questions in web design. Why? Because building a website isn’t like strolling into a restaurant and ordering off the menu. There are hundreds of factors that can affect the cost of a website build. 

How much would my website cost to build?” is a better place to start. But even when you know the ins and outs of exactly what you want, the price can still vary widely.

So that leaves us with the all-important question “How much am I willing/able to spend on my website?”. It may be daunting, but putting in the work up front to outline your precise business needs is likely to save you time, effort and money in the long run.

Here are some factors you need to consider when setting your website budget. 

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1. Be realistic 

Only you know your financial resources, so it is crucial to be honest and upfront with what you can realistically afford at this moment in time.

A good question to ask yourself is “what is the maximum I would be willing/able to spend?”. That figure is your maximum budget. 

You also need to be realistic with what you can expect for the money. Web designers are experts in their field and you are paying for their time, skills, knowledge and resources.

Bespoke websites can start from around the £1,000 mark. Add e-commerce and you’re looking at £2,000 plus. The more functionality you add, the more hours a company will need to spend developing it, so your budget should increase to reflect this. 

It is normal for a web design company to request partial upfront payment but do not be tempted to opt for an unachievable overall budget in the hope that you will be able to afford the remainder in the future. You will be entering a contract, and just as the design company must fulfil their side of the deal, so must you. 

2. Know what you want to achieve

Setting a realistic budget sits alongside what you want the website to achieve. Start thinking about what you want to get from your website. How is it going to help your business? Consider things like Return On Investment (ROI), user experience and what you want a visitor to your website to be able do. 

Framing your website in terms of its goals helps to inform what content and functionality you need. It can also drive what level of spend you put towards it.

Carve out some time to write a wish-list and describe what you want from your website.

  1. Design – how do you want it to look?
  2. Content – what do you want it to say?
  3. Functionality – what do you want it to do?

This will give you a clear idea of what type of message and experience you want your business to promote.

Do you want a custom design or are you happy with a template that plenty of other companies may use? Will the website have 10 or 100 pages? Do you want users to be able to purchase from a shop/play video/search listings/download information? The list goes on!

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3. Communicate

It sounds simple, but talk to your web design company! In fact, talk to multiple web design companies. In very basic terms, when discussing cost a web design company will primarily want to know:

  1. What you want
  2. What you want to spend

There may be the temptation to not disclose your budget and instead wait to see what price they come back with. However, this is only likely to waste both of your time. Imagine how many unsuitable houses would be viewed if an estate agent didn’t know how much their house-hunters could afford!

Be ready to share a ball-park figure on what you’re looking to spend (nod to point 1) and exactly what you want from your website (hat-tip to point 2). Armed with this crucial information, web design companies will very quickly be able to tell you exactly what they can do for you, and at what price.

Feel free to dig into the quote and ask questions – use it as a learning opportunity. This will help give you an idea of costings, but also help you work out if you would like to work with the company themselves (more on how to choose a web design company here).

Importantly, make sure you are absolutely clear on up-front costs as well as any ongoing maintenance or support costs, so that these can be factored into your overall budget. 

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4. Shop around

Prices vary, we cannot stress that enough. Approach 10 different web design companies and you will likely receive 10 different quotes. That is why we always recommend you seek quotes from a few different companies before settling on one. We suggest at least three or four.

Time-consuming, perhaps. But the research will give you valuable insight into the process and enable to you settle on the company that offers you the best balance of price and quality.

5. Provide examples

If you’re really struggling to either to put down into words exactly what you want from your website, or to come up with a firm budget, examples can be your best friend. 

Websites come in all shapes and sizes – if you have seen one that you love then that can be a great starting point for a web design company. It shows them what sort of site you are looking for and begins a conversation. They would likely be able to give you a rough idea of what a similar site would cost them to build. Just remember that bespoke designs are usually copyrighted so do not expect an exact replica!

6. Be flexible

In the event that your perfect website and ideal spend do not match up, you may need to be flexible. Do not be disheartened if you cannot yet afford your dream website. Simply look at where you may be able to compromise instead.

If you cannot increase your budget, take a look at your website wish-list and see if there are any non-crucial items you could put on the back-burner in order to reduce the price. Remember, the more work there is the more it will cost, so prioritising your needs will help keep the spend within budget. 

In the event that you cannot adjust your budget or be flexible on your website needs, it may be that you have time on your side instead. If you’ve spoken to a selection of web design companies you should have a rough idea of what your website will cost. Plan for the future instead and forecast how much time is required to save up the financial resources you need. No doubt your chosen web design company will be happy to revisit the project with you when ready. 

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7. DIY vs Professional

There are numerous options out there for Build-It-Yourself websites that seem to come with almost unbelievably low price tags. A good rule of thumb is that if the price seems too good to be true, it probably is! Always read the small print and don’t make the mistake of being lured in by a small upfront cost when in reality you’re getting tied into a monthly fee and long-term contract. 

DIY options are there because the demand for cheap websites is there and some of the tools available can deliver a great result if you’re prepared to put the time and effort in. For some individuals a basic website with little functionality and a great template is all they need.

However in a digital age where even the smallest business relies on a polished and up-to-date online presence for revenue, well-built websites are a crucial part of professional longevity.

As you can see, “how much does a website cost?” has no single answer. Taking the time to plan, prioritise and set a realistic budget can pay dividends when it comes to finding the right people for your project. If you would like some more advice on how to choose a web design company, read our blog here. Or if you’re ready to delve in, head to our homepage where you can begin to browse over 10,000 user rated companies and request free quotes. 

Huge thanks to the following WWDC members companies who contributed to this article: Phillipa Christie of The Brand Geeks, Tony Williams of TDL Web Developments, Fi Barnes of Moghill Web Services, Ste Wood of eVolve Web Consultants, Pat Barnes, James Petley of FMUK Consulting, Scotia McCombie of PaleGallery Design, Paolo Fino of Draggard, Paul Dowling of Key Designs.

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