How much does a website cost? Here’s a guide to lead you through this journey
A website – just like relationships – requires time to plan, develop and feed so that it can achieve the desired goals.
That said, it is fundamental to define, from the start, two things: how much money are you willing to spend? and how much time do you want to dedicate to it? Yes, because besides creation cost, technical development, and maintenance – all the requirements associated with security, hosting, design, etc. – it is necessary to understand if you are willing to do it yourself or if you want to have someone’s help, meaning hiring a professional.
But let’s break it down:
There are 5 questions that you should make to yourself that are fundamental to determine the cost of a website working 24 hours a day, 365 days per year:
- Why do I want a website?
- How much time and money can I spend?
- What do I want the website to do?
- What kind of content and appearance do I want it to have?
- How do I intend to keep it?
For each question, there are, effectively, numerous answers, but let’s look at essential elements that contribute to estimating the total price of a website.
1. Define your goals properly: why do you want a website?
Apart from time and money, you need a plan that should contain your actual goals regarding the website.
Thereby, if you plan to have a website, it is because you want to achieve certain objectives: you might want to sell your products online, promote your brand and services, create content to place the brand in the international market and interact with the customers. It all depends on the reason why you want to develop your website.
At this stage, it is also important to understand what your competitors are doing. And there is no problem in doing prior research in order to realize what the others are doing and how can your brand differentiate from them.
Moral of the story: think wisely about the time, tools and abilities you have available. If on one side, you can save money doing it alone or with the help of a friend, without any major costs, the result, however, might not be what you are looking for and you might also have to spend the time you don’t have. Assess what will benefit you more, according to your goals.
2. How much time and money can I spend?
This is a crucial question that will define the entire process of developing and maintaining a website. Here you should be thinking if you are going to do it alone or if you need help. Because building a website takes time, but it all depends on your objectives.
If you have a brand or company and you want to promote it through a website and you don’t have the desired time, maybe you should search for a professional, but that has a cost. In addition, the person who makes the website will also influence its price:
- Making it alone: through platforms such as Wix, WordPress or Google Sites;
- Familiar or friend: you might be lucky enough to know someone that does it for a very low price or even for free;
- Student or newly graduated: generally practice more attractive prices;
- Freelancer: has more experience although the cost will also be higher;
- Creative agency: tends to be more expensive than the rest, but relies on a larger team (designer, web developer, copywriter, strategist).
Moral of the story: understand that no matter who makes your website, your goals should be prioritized: if you prefer a more complex website, that conveys a more professional image or a simpler website that in turn might transmit a less professional image.
Maybe if your company already has a distinct placement in the market, your website might have specific characteristics like multi-language translations or even adding forms or, for example, a shopping cart.
3. What do I want the website to make?
Here we speak about the features of a website: what it does and how it is done? How do I want the visitors to interact with me? Do I want a blog associated where content is constantly being produced? Will I have an application form? Will I sell products online? Just one language or several? These are some questions that need answering before doing anything technical.
“Small details” have a cost
It is not something that, usually, people have into consideration but when it comes to developing a website: a “small detail” is, in fact, a big detail. Let’s look at an example:
- Let’s assume we want to offer visitors the option of registering themselves on our website and we want them to receive an automatic and personalized reply on their email after finishing it. Sounds simple: “it is just a button” or “it is just an automatic reply”, but this process takes time and effort on the part of those who develop it.
And we don’t want, obviously, to remake everything, just because we forgot a “detail”, so the best is to plan exactly everything we want and the functionalities that better fit our goals. As insignificant as they may seem to us.
Moral of the story: the more and more complex the features are, the higher the price and a “small detail” also costs money (alias: time).
4. What type of content and appearance do I want it to have?
The quantity – and quality – of information that you want to put on the website matters. In fact, that is what is going to communicate and make the visitors – and potential clients – interact with your brand. That can have a huge influence and impact on the business [LINK PARA ARTIGO]. Thus, the more user-friendly and appealing your website is, the bigger the chance of attracting and retaining visitors.
Content can be presented through text, photography, illustration, infographics, animations, the sky ‘s the limit – or not! It depends on the budget. You decide how you want your content to show up.
And where can the price difference?
Well, it depends on how you want the photographs to be, for example. Do you want to take them yourself? If so, remember that a photoshoot can take, at the very least, 4 hours. Do you possess equipment and time for it? You will also have to edit the photos and publish them online. Do you know how to optimize a picture for the web? With SEO strategy? Can you assure me that it will show up in any browser with the same quality?
Or, in case you don’t have time, you might obtain the images through a free platform. That way, your website cost might decrease. But is that the best thing to do? Will it create empathy with the visitors? Remember that images coming from databases are, most commonly, quite impersonal.
However, if you don’t have the necessary time or capacity, it will be better to hire a professional who does so: creative agencies are here for that. You have at your disposal a team that organizes the sessions, selects the best shots, edits them and publishes them.
The same happens for videos. Quality video production requires time, planning, equipment and the capabilities needed to do so.
Working the text also requires certain specifications: do you have the time and quality (creative and technical SEO) necessary to devote yourself to content production? It is a task that demands a lot of research, creativity and review time. Think also about all the categories you need to feed. Leaving that to a professional might not be a bad idea.
Remember that other graphical elements such as illustrations or infographics seek also the correct skills. Reflect on what each element will add to your content and to your communication and if that will contribute to your brand’s purposes.
Moral of the story: the more elaborate, professional and complex the content is, the more expensive your website will become, but also more interesting, according to the professional that develops it. If the price is reduced or even free, features and performance will also be short.
5. How do you intend to keep it?
Everything we do deserves to be maintained and well cared for – if we want it to work in the long-term, obviously: cars, houses, relationships, shoes and, of course, websites.
We know the value of having an absolutely updated website: people want new things, freshly made contents, they want to feel that behind that huge amount of information there are people working, daily, to serve that purpose.
Outdated information causes a lack of compromise and little professionalism. Apart from that, having an outdated website can jeopardize the website’s security: plugins stop working or, for example, it can become the perfect spot for fishing.
Feeding a website entails, by itself, a cost that can vary according to the objective we have in mind: do we want to post regularly? Have current photos or videos? That requires time and money. We want to generate flow and increase page visits. Maybe we should think about a strategy.
For this purpose there are 6 things to have in mind that will raise your website’s cost:
- Domain: will you use .pt? .com? .net?, etc.;
- Hosting: where will you host the website? On your own serves or on an existing one? Faster or slower?;
- Content preparation: texts, images, videos, translations, etc.;
- SEO: optimizing content and user experience must be the number 1 concern, in order to increase the number of visitors and maximize the content produced;
- Online advertising: publicity to capture traffic for the website has a cost;
- Others: languages, security updates, etc.
Moral of the story: you can create a website by yourself or ask someone to do it. If you ask someone you will have, effectively, to pay for the time and skills of that person or team.
If you are still in doubt, get in contact with us, we can help to think, develop and maintain your website: firstname.lastname@example.org.