How can I create industry-standard websites
How much does a website cost for a small business?
How much will a professional website cost in 2020?
It all boils down to how much work is involved. In particular, the two factors that determine how much work is required are the size and complexity of your website. This means that a good looking, professional 10 page information website with standard customization costs less than a highly customized 50 page website with all the bells and whistles.
In terms of real costs, the cost of creating a website for a small business could be less than $ 1,000 or more than $ 10,000.
That's a wide range of prices. So let's break things down so you can get a realistic estimate of the cost of designing and developing your website.
NOTE: The following information applies to small and medium-sized businesses. It is not intended for large, deep pocket companies where full-time workers who design, develop, and manage their websites in-house receive EUR 80,000 to EUR 120,000 per year.
What does a web designer homepage cost?
Here are the 2 options (with pricing) for designing and developing a small business website:
Option 1: Work with an agency or a freelancer to create a website
If you are very busy running your business and / or are just not a tech geek, you need to hire someone to build your website for you. As simple as that.
However, if you've searched online and visited website designer / developer websites, you have likely come across:
- No prices given at all.
- Prices across the board, from ridiculously cheap to insanely expensive.
The good news is that I've rolled up my sleeves and done some research for you on what it will cost to build (or redesign) a small business website in 2020.
How much does a professional website cost?
For web designers who have given their prices, I've found that the price to create a modern, professional small business website in 2020 is typically anywhere from $ 3,000 to $ 6,000 depending on the number of pages on the site, but up to to EUR 20,000 (or more) and the scope of the adjustment required.
Website design vs. website development. Website design and website development (also known as UI and UX design) are often used interchangeably, but they are two very different things. Website design is like working with an architect to create the blueprint for your home. Developing a website is like working with a contractor to actually build your home. The 2020 price estimates listed above apply to both website design * and website development (i.e. the full total cost).
Now that you have an idea of what things cost, let's take a closer look at the specific factors that affect the price of a small business website creation:
- Page volume: Let's say a web development company offers a 10-page website package for EUR 3,500, but your website requires 25 pages - how much does it cost? As a rule of thumb, around 100 EUR per page must be added for each page, which is more than what is included in the standard website package. In this example, adding 15 pages (to the 10 included in the standard website package) would cost $ 1,500. Add this amount to the original base price of EUR 3,500 and the revised total is EUR 5,000. Of course, every situation will be different, but at least you'll get a reasonable cost estimate based on industry prices in 2020.
- Custom site layout: Every website starts with a theme or a template. Nobody is coding a website from scratch anymore. This is far too time-consuming and expensive. Often times, with a template or theme, you will hit 50-60% of the finish line. However, there is still a lot of tweaking and coding to make your website look and work the way you want it to. The more adjustments and coding required, the higher the cost. Templates and themes are a major reason you can often create a professional small business website in the $ 3,000 to $ 6,000 range instead of $ 15,000 to $ 20,000 or more.
- Custom images and graphics: Fancy images and graphics can give your website a unique look, but they come at a price. Sophisticated visual effects often require special editing software and the talent of a specialist in custom graphic design.
- Custom logo: While not required, a custom logo is a nice addition to any website. If you're looking to get a decent-looking, professionally designed logo in 2020, expect a price between $ 500 and $ 1,000.
- Custom programming: Sometimes you can find a WordPress plugin that immediately offers the features you want (e.g. image carousel, member portal, payment calculator, etc.). Other times, it will take significant effort to get your website to do what you want it to do. In a perfect world, everything would be plug-and-play and would work perfectly the first time - but that's rarely the case. It usually takes some tinkering and testing to get everything to work as intended.
- Number of design revisions: Most website projects start with an initial concept design (similar to a rough draft). Then it's common to do 1 or 2 rounds of design revisions to get everything right. Some website designers offer up to 3-5 rounds of design revisions. Technically, a website designer can offer as many rounds of design revisions as they want. Note, however, that each iteration of the design increases the overall cost of the project. In my experience, 1-2 rounds of design revisions are more than sufficient 99% of the time.
- Website content development (i.e. copywriting): Solid, thoughtful, and compelling content is the foundation of any great website. If you start a new website but don't have any content yet, it needs to be developed. If you have an existing website but the content is weak, out of date, or out of date, it needs refinement, improvement, or possibly even a makeover. Over the years I have found that the biggest obstacle to starting a website is content development.
PRO TIP 1: If you want to hire a freelance web designer to help you with your website, but don't feel like you can afford a flat upfront payment, see if they offer financing. That way, you have a really nice website "now" that you can use to grow your business without breaking your bank account.
PRO TIP 2: Be careful with budgeting. Unusually low prices often result in poor workmanship, an unpleasant experience, or you pay extra for every little thing.
OPTION 2: Create your own website
If you have a basic understanding of web technology and are good at doing the job yourself, you can be completely by creating your own website.
The raw materials you will need are not particularly expensive:
- Domain name: 10 - 12 EUR a year to register a new domain. There are umpteen providers to choose from. I prefer IONOS.de
- Website hosting: The cost ranges from around $ 100 per year for standard web hosting from companies like BlueHost or HostGator to $ 300 to $ 500 per year for more robust web hosting from companies like WPengine or SiteGround - which is only needed when your website is on traffic volume is available (ie more than 100,000 visitors / month). At this point, you can upgrade to a more powerful web server.
- SSL certificate: Even if you don't plan on selling things directly from your website, you still want to secure your website using the HTTPS protocol. Here is an article I wrote to explain HTTPS in plain English. You can get an SSL certificate for as little as EUR 10 a year or EUR 200-300 a year. Browse around, but don't buy more than you actually need. UPDATE: Some web hosting companies are now offering a free SSL Certificate as an incentive to host your website with them.
- Premium Website Theme: 40 - 100 EUR. There are hundreds if not thousands of topics to choose from. Some free, some paid. I urge you to spend a few dollars and get a quality theme. Don't save here. You will thank me later. We've experimented with many website themes over the years and the ones we now use exclusively for both our own website and our clients' websites are from StudioPress - great design + solid coding.
- Premium plugins: 50 - 100 EUR. As with website themes, you usually get what you pay for. Do yourself a favor and invest a few dollars to get quality plugins. For example, two premium plugins that we use on almost every site we create are WPForms and Envira Gallery. Yes, there are plenty of free plugins out there, and many of them are very good. But there are also a lot of bad plugins that don't work as advertised and waste a lot of time. So be careful!
- Stock Photos: If you're a good photographer or already have high quality images for your website, you're ready. However, there is a chance that you will need to purchase some images to spruce up your website a little. Places I recommend are:
- Unsplash.com (Free images without copyright)
- Pexels.com (Free images without copyright)
- Shutterstock.com (Paying)
How much does a homepage cost per year? Realistically speaking, you will see total costs of EUR 300 to 600 for commissioning.
Obviously, with the DIY option, the main cost is your time.
Even for a "simple" website, don't be surprised if it takes 20 to 40 hours to produce something of decent quality to be proud of. Assuming you're already familiar with building a website. If this is completely new to you, multiply that time estimate by 2x or 3x. I'm not exaggerating.
Building a modern, mature website is a lot more time consuming than most people think. However, if you have more time than money right now and are not overwhelmed by web technology, the DIY approach is a perfectly viable option.
The cost of website updates, upgrades, maintenance, and licenses. Once your website is up, your job isn't done. Just like buying a home, you need to invest the time, effort, and money maintaining it. For example, there are annual hosting and maintenance fees and possibly annual license fees for premium plugins and services. It is likely that as you update and expand your website you will acquire new images.
You can add employees or hire freelancers to create new custom web content or videos and step up your marketing efforts. Your site also requires ongoing technical maintenance to install updates and security patches for WordPress core files and WordPress plugins to keep your site safe from hacking. Yes, small business websites are also targets for hackers.
If you enjoy doing these updates yourself, that's great. But sometimes, routine updates break your site so you need to know what to do when this happens. Are you ready to deal with the following error messages?
You also need an external backup system so that your website can be quickly restored in the event of a catastrophic hardware or software failure (or user error!) That crashes your website. I'm sorry to alert you, but these things really happen!
If you'd prefer not to worry about the messy technical maintenance of your website behind the scenes, you can purchase a website maintenance plan for $ 40-300 per month, depending on the services you need.
PRO TIP: You can avoid annual license fees by working with a freelance web designer who manages a developer license for the premium WordPress plugins used on your website. In other words, the developer's license covers your annual royalties. For a premium form plugin such as Gravity Forms or WpForms, for example, an annual license fee of EUR 59 per year is charged. However, my customers avoid these annual fees as they come under my developer license.
As your business grows and evolves, your website may need more complex features. If you can implement these tech upgrades yourself, that's great. Otherwise, the price of hiring a competent, experienced web developer in 2020 is 75 to 150 EUR per hour.
Expensive website design and development mistakes to avoid:
- Faulty technology: The theme and plugins you use to build your website matter. Bad, untested coding can lead to security risks, software incompatibilities, and site instability. Stick to proven brands that continuously test and support your products. Use high quality digital components, otherwise you may find yourself constantly repairing your site, or worse - creating your entire website from scratch.
- Incompetent web agencies or freelance web designers: Beware of providers who do not have sufficient expertise. In my case, this often happens when a customer contacts me for a website relaunch. Apart from the design, there are outdated Envato themes, at least 10 to 20 unnecessary plugins that are also out of date or could have been a line of code.
- Bad advice and information: That cost me more time and money than anything else. I will never get tens of thousands of euros and years of my life back. It wasn't always directly related to website design and development. Sometimes it was extra things like SEO, Google advertising, Facebook marketing, content marketing, business development, etc. Most of it was hype and fluff that didn't lead to the advertised results. Bottom line: if it sounds too good to be true, it's unlikely. There is no such thing as a magic bullet. Success takes time, effort and perseverance.
Advantages and disadvantages: Do it yourself Muddling around and create from the website avoid costs or work with a freelance web designer / web agency?
An agency or a freelancer to create your website
- You don't have to spend hours, days, or weeks learning the technology needed to build and operate a website.
- You get a modern, professional website that you are proud of, one that accurately reflects your business and brand.
- Visitors will have a good experience on all devices - desktop, tablet & mobile.
- They can help you manage your website once it is launched.
- Professional web designers / web agencies can recommend ideas to you and help you avoid pitfalls that you probably would not have thought of.
- Requires an investment of several thousand euros (most likely in the range of EUR 3,000-10,000) to create a new website from scratch or to redesign an existing site.
- If you don't understand web technology, then to some extent you have come to rely on your website designer / developer to manage your website once it is launched.
Create website yourself
- If you currently have more time than money, building your website yourself is cheaper than hiring a professional website designer / developer.
- You can use a website builder like Wix or Squarespace to get a simple, decent looking website up and running in a day or two. Wix plans are currently between EUR 8 and EUR 24 per month. SquareSpace plans range from EUR 9 to EUR 36 per month.
- No delay time. Any changes or updates to your website after launch can be made instantly.
- If you are not up to date on the latest website design trends, your website may look amateurish and negatively impact the perception of your business.
- Creating a website can feel like a monumental task. Hence, it is common to hesitate for weeks or months.If the reluctance to build your website is great enough, your website may not get built at all.
- It's incredibly time consuming. It may take 2 to 4 hours or more of researching how something works on your website when a skilled website designer / developer can complete this particular task in 5 to 10 minutes.
Hire someone. Whether a freelancer with experience or an agency for the creation of your website? It depends on how much you want to invest in the project.
Yes, I am biased, but I am also honest. Building a modern, professional website that generates leads and sales for your business is far more difficult and time-consuming than most people think.
If funds are currently tight and the DIY approach to creating your business website is your only option, just do the best you can. However, if you can afford it, hiring a skilled web designer / developer to create (or redesign) your website will save you tons of time, money, and headaches - and the finished product will be better than you could have done yourself.
For the same reason, I like to pay accountants, auto mechanics and roofers for their expertise. You can usually get the job done faster, better, and cheaper than I could do it myself.
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