Many things have changed in the digital industry since we started building websites in 2004, however one thing has stayed the same. The first question on our clients’ lips when they approach us for a new website is ‘How much does a website cost?’.
Spindogs’ Managing Director Liam Giles answers this all-important question and then details the ins and outs that go into costing up a new website, as well as his top tips on how to prepare for that first conversation about cost.
So Liam, how much does a website cost?
If I had £1 for every time someone asks me this question, I would be a very rich man…
As with any other product or service, if you want to know how much a website will cost the answer is in the detail. Costing up a car, for example, needs a lot of thought around model, colour, engine, size, and number of doors you are looking for.
A productive first conversation about the cost of a website project happens when a client has already had in-house conversations about what they hope to achieve with the website and where it fits in their overall business strategy, an overview of project requirements and whether any bespoke features or functionalities will need to be integrated.
Here are my tips on how to prepare for that chat:
Why are you building a new website in the first place?
When thinking through the purpose of your new website, have a clear idea on what it’s setting out to achieve. Does the website need to generate more sales or capture and nurture an increasing number of leads? Or, do you want it to act as a brochure landing page, a digital space that you point people towards?
Nuts and bolts – website features and functionality
Next, it’s important to think through the functions the website is going to need, for example how are you going to measure website performance and effectiveness? Are there any platforms that need to be integrated, such as customer relationship management software? Knowing functionality requirements from the outset reduces the cost of their integration – it’s cheaper to integrate them into a build than add them in at a later date.
Another question to answer is: what do you want visitors to do on your website? Depending on your business, the success of a website can be measured by a number of wins, such as revenue from product purchases, number of enquiries, increased traffic or even event sign-ups.
Do your research
Prepare some examples of websites that you like both visually and technically, as well as some that don’t do it for you. This will help your dedicated project manager to understand your requirements and estimate the costs of the project. Again, this will help us to understand your requirements and turnaround estimated costs a lot faster.
Understand industry costs
Whichever web agency you decide to go with, get a basic understanding of industry charges. Ask to see the costs broken down so you know how much budget is allocated to each leg of the project lifecycle, from the initial discovery through to design, development and launch. The costs of any features and functionalities should be clearly laid out, as well as an agreement on additional services, such as content population (usually charged at a flat rate by day or by hour), content migration and any SEO or analytics set-up on launch.
Consider ongoing costs
Often there will be ongoing hosting and support options available with your web agency. Many web companies insist you host with them if there are more intricate elements to your website. Again, costs can vary, but estimating between 10% – 20% of the project value as a yearly ongoing cost for support and maintenance should cover you.
When quoting for a website project, it really is a case of answering those all-important questions in-house before approaching an agency. So instead of asking “How much does a website cost?” the first conversation begins with “So, how much will my website cost?”
Learn more about website services at Spindogs.