Freelance Web Designer, Leeds. Need a website? Call Abi (0113) 279 7731 / (0781) 805 8158
LEEDS: (0113) 279 7731 MOB: (0781) 805 8158
Web Design Leeds

How much does a website cost?

All businesses, big and small, need a website and presence online but “How much does a website cost?”, is usually the first question I get asked by prospective clients.

What type of website you need will depend on your business and industry. It wasn’t that long ago you could get away with no website at all for your business. About 8 years ago, simply advertising in the local p1ress and Yellow pages was enough to drum up new business. Things have moved on guys, times have changed! Yellow pages are dying a slow death, noticed how thin that big yellow book is these days?

Your website could take the form of a high functioning online store, with hundreds of products and features, or it could be a regularly updated site offering a list of services, with a news feed where you add posts.  Alternatively, it could simply be a simple online business card with only 5 pages, simply displaying your services and a contact form.

The type of website you need will depend on what you hope to achieve by having it. How much websites cost will therefore depend on what you need your website to do, what features you need and the number of pages.

Website technology, styles, features, content relevancy move in dog years. If you already have a site you might have noticed it’s looking dated. Maybe it isn’t mobile responsive and doesn’t work on some devices – by the time you find out about a new technology, a better one is released just a few minutes later.

Maybe you need to change some information on your site but don’t have access or don’t know how. Maybe you have seen a competitor add a new feature and you would like that too. These are all ongoing expenses. Just having a website built isn’t the final cost!

If you want to get the most out of your website you need to keep developing it, otherwise, it’s just a waste of time and money. Be committed, get the site you want, ultimately, it should represent your company online, making any visitors want to contact you and it should pay for itself by gaining new customers for your business.

How much do websites cost then?

how much do websites costWhen a client rings me, the first question that they ask is usually, “I need a website, how much will it cost?”. This is often before they have even told me anything about the business and what they hope to achieve by having a website. Asking how much your website will cost is like asking a builder to quote on a new house extension without providing any plans or details about how large it will be, the price will vary by scale.

Prices I put on my website or on initial estimates are approximate costs because until we do a full analysis of your business and industry we won’t know what you need. You may think you just need 5 static pages and no ability to update the site yourself, but after consultation that might not be appropriate and may well be a waste of money for your business.

I always offer the lowest cost, but best solution for your business, which may cost more than you thought, but if you insist on having a 5 page site rather than a recommended 15 page up-date-able website then so be it, I will always advise on what I think your business will benefit from.

The cost of a website is proportional to features and size?

The more homework you do the less cash you will end up parting with. The more you know, the less you will pay. Research your industry, know what you want, know what you need. Get estimates, get recommendations for developers and ultimately, listen to your developers ideas and recommendations as you would a plumber or electrician.

Functionality beyond a few forms and pages is what takes time for web developers. Do you need to promote regular events? Do you need a shopping cart? Is your site a membership site where each member has their own statistics page? A standard website to use as a simple online business card, with a contact form and 5 pages can cost as little as £500 with full access to update the site yourself. But you get what you pay for in terms of aesthetics and usability of your site.

Ask friends for recommendations of web designers and developers, it’s best to get a good one and pay more than a bad one and get a bad site, even service.

If you’re shipping products around the UK even worldwide, running regular social media campaigns with video services, a shopping cart, stock management, expect to pay more. You need a branding agency, not a web developer. Don’t worry though, I can still help, I work with design agencies and graphic designers regularly so I have a wide network of contacts to help you.

Getting requirements down on paper speeds web development process up a lot. Put as much as you can on paper. Clarity of purpose will also save you money – as developers are likely to over-estimate on a job with unknown factors.

How much will I pay for a website?

How much you pay will largely be determined by who you choose to build your site. Each choice has its own particular advantages and disadvantages. When answering the question, how much does a website cost?, I usually refer to the choices you have when selecting someone to build it, which impact on the fees you will pay. The choices are, roughly;

  • DIY website (free) or ongoing subscription – If you are on a tight (or zero) budget, great!
    • You are limited to the skills you possess and the time you have at your disposal. Note I have rebuilt many YELL, HIBU, Vista Print sites after the client found they couldn’t do it or didn’t have time.
    • Running your own website for a year or more will give you an idea of what you need. In a couple of years you might give someone like me a call, at least you will have a website, style and content ideas.
    • You can use a free service such as Weebly or Wix and build your own website, or if you can afford a small monthly fee you could use like Vista Print or 1&1 .
    • If you’re the sort of person who likes to delegate and hates computers, DO NOT get a free website.
  • Relative, friend or student – If you know someone they may help for a smaller cost, but do they know their stuff?
    • Can they make a valid coded site, do they understand basic SEO, are they actually good at design. I’ve rebuilt several sites for people who used “a friend”. The friend moves on, loses interest, changes career or just doesn’t deliver a great site. Thing to consider when getting a friend or relative to build your website:
      • Do they have the skills? Can they show you other websites they have created? Are they any good?
      • Your designer gets paying clients and your site is demoted to “will do that later” status.
      • Your website may not be maintained or secured properly (opening the door to hackers and crashes).
      • Your website may be forgotten and not backed up, or developed, you may lose everything.
      • Your “friend” changes career and doesn’t have the interest or time to keep at it.
      • Your designer may not give you the code or access and you may lose everything!
  • Graphic or Print Company – Graphic designers often take on web design work, but they often don’t have the skills and actually outsource to people like me adding a charge on top, so it’s best to go direct to a web developer for lower cost website fees. However, if you just want one contact to take care of all your branding then this might be an option than dealing with multiple people. But be wary. There’s lots more to a website than pretty pictures. Yes, you can build a website using Photoshop. I wouldn’t. Your graphic design agency should be familiar with the following terms, if they don’t know what these things are (or at least some of them) you could be spending a lot of money on an invisible website. Too many pretty websites never get found.
    • Search Engine Optimisation (beyond basic tags)
    • Content Management Systems (WordPress, Drupal, Joomla, OpenCart, etc.)
  • Freelance Web Developer – One to one service, but make sure your developer has SEO, web design, and web development skills. Check the fine print first, or read reviews and get in touch with someone on their testimonials list. The best clue is the web designers portfolio of work. Do you like their sites? Is there a wide range of examples?
  • Web Firm, Collective or Company – you may feel comfortable using a large established company who will get the job done more quickly, but be prepared for the cost to be 3-5 times more than using a freelancer – they have overheads to pay for! Nearly half of all my clients have come to me after having bad or below-par experiences with larger web companies and I am often found saying, “HOW MUCH? I could have built that for you for a quarter of the price!”.

Ongoing costs of a website

I advise anyone who has a website to make sure it’s comes with some kind of maintenance plan because if it doesn’t, your site will get hacked or used as a spam farm and then you will need expensive support.

I also use open-source software mainly WordPress and Opencart which allows anybody to expand or update their website over time without having to pay me as well as having the option to use another developer who supports those platforms.  Some development companies sell their own bespoke CMS, which only ever results in being tied to that company for maintenance and support and further development as most designers are not keen having to delve into someone elses bespoke systems due to increased time involved in analysing the system costs go up!

Other than the above the only ongoing costs to consider are hosting fees and web domain renewals, which at the most shouldn’t cost more than £80 a year depending on your sites hosting requirements.

You get what you pay for

You can pay what you like for a website. Or rather, some companies will take what they can get from you. There are too many middle men in this industry and it pays to be aware of that. Not many people actually know what they are talking about so you should ask them directly. Every man and his dog can set themselves up as a web designer for very little cost outlay, it doesn’t mean they are good at it or have yours and your businesses interest at heart.

Final Thoughts

Take your online web presence, production and design seriously. Most potential clients will see your website once. Three seconds is a typical page browse time. You need people to stay longer than that and then come back again later. And you need to have something there for them to come back to.

Ultimately the success of your website solely depends on YOU, not the person building your site. How much time you are able to allocate to the upkeep of your site (adding articles, news, new images and timely content)? Who will write this stuff? Treat your website as if it’s even more important than your actual business. More people could visit your site in one month than you will meet during the entire year. Most businesses have it wrong putting the business first and think of the website last. Your website can do a lot more than your physical business, but it must generate trust and you need to do that quickly. How much do websites cost, well that depends on you and how committed you are to building your online presence.

Imagine. You have less than one minute to make an impression online.

The contact me with your ideas.

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