How much does a website cost in 2016

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Offering a website for a fixed price is a tricky task, not as easy as you may think.. More to the point, the trend is now moving away from a ‘fixed price’ model, to a ‘service based’ model now that the demands of a website have increased from a basic online brochure to a fully functioning online sales and communications hub that powers your entire business.

People often ask us “How much does a website cost?”, but unfortunately, there’s no black and white answer. It’s like asking “How much does it cost to build a house?”. Well, it all depends on your needs..

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A trusted ‘web professional’ or a ‘digital partner’ can help you to determine your needs more specifically by using their specialist knowledge and experience involving the latest technology and strategies to keep you ahead of the game.

Not only does your website need to look good to attract new customers, you also need to power your website and run it day to day after the launch.. whether it’s building web traffic, improving conversion or nurturing your leads.

A website is not a one-off project like a brochure, it is an on-going development which lives and breathes in the environment of the internet, and needs to not only survive, but prosper. The internet is always changing around the website, so it cannot stay static. It needs to be regularly serviced and updated to the latest versions of all the multiple software it is using to stay fast, secure and functioning as it should. Once you have ownership of a self-hosted website, it has some needs that need to be maintained so that it does not fall into the past, and prone to attack from viruses or spamming.

When it comes to your website, saving money can often be a false economy, you should be looking for a long term solution that will grow with your business. Many companies make the mistake of not allocating a sufficient budget to their website and assume it can be done cheaply.
If much of your business needs to be done online, you will need a website that can run independently and has all the tools you need to expand your company, and importantly save you time, money and stress about website issues.

For many companies or individuals looking to create an internet start-up business, or make improvements to their current website, the options and features are usually limited by the budget so we have done a short guide on various budget levels, so you can see the true cost.

If you’re new to the web and want to know how to start, run and grow your online presence, we recommend you checking firstsiteguide.com.

There are two main costs in website ownership.
One-off cost: Development
Recurring cost: Domain, hosting, professional support (optional)

 

No budget (£0 – £300)

If your budget is very low or you cannot afford paying, then you should adjust your expectations accordingly.

Generally, you should be cautious if someone offers you to create a website with this budget level. We found out companies offering websites for as low as £250, but only once you read their terms and conditions, you’ll realise that they owe licenses for the technology used and they can release them for additional £250, not mentioning other hidden costs.

You won’t be able to hire a professional, so prepare to spend time learning how to set it all up by yourself. There are services such as wordpress.com. It’s completely FREE!. There are other services such as wix.com or moonfruit.com. You can sign up, choose a template they provide, add content, customise it and be ready to launch. Make sure you have purchased your own custom domain (ie. yourname.com).

With this option you’re sacrificing your time and design of your website. It doesn’t give you the same power and control over your content that hosting independently does, but if you’re on budget, this option may be for you.

 

Low budget (£300 – £1000)

If your budget is low but you have some money to invest, you should be able to hire a professional. There are thousands of free and premium WordPress templates, which you can choose from. We recommend checking out Themeforest, but there are other such as WooThemes or ElegantThemes.

An experienced web professional will be able to help you choose and customise on of these templates and depending on your budget, can provide further tweaks and support. When you are selecting a template, make sure that it has good reviews with happy users, well supported, high number of sales (unless a newly released theme) and is regularly updated by the developer. Generally if there are a high number of users of the theme, the support will be good, and is unlikely to be dropped by the developer.

If you’re looking for decent, starter website for your business which you can build upon, you should be able to afford it within this budget. Having a small, simple store shouldn’t be a problem neither.

Bear in mind that you will also need to buy a hosting and domain for a self-hosted website, so you can install the theme on your own server.

Once your website is ready, your developer should provide you with access details to your website administration panel, so you can upload and publish new content by yourself without having to pay for a maintenance contract. You should be able to do 80% of the updates, but you may require a developer to do custom tweaks or major changes.

 

Modest budget (£1000 – £3000)

With this budget, you can afford to hire website designer/ developer. If you don’t have branding yet, a web designer may be able to help you to develop your branding. Designers can give direction for your website, work on content and prepare mockup design for you to approve, before it gets into development stage.

If you want to have a website with a niche social network or forum, provide online courses, or set up any other kind of membership website, you should be able to afford that within this price.

 

Large budget (£3000 +)

With larger budgets you can make sure, that the end product will be exceptional and able to compete at the highest level in the market place . You will be able to afford web designer, developer and copy writer to make sure your content is strategically positioned and your website message clear and highly convert-able.

If you have offices in different countries and need to be able independently manage your websites, you can turn your website into a multisite and manage it through a single CMS. This will identify the national sites to search engines and avoid any potential issues with duplicate content.

Or you might want to set up a platform, where people can go, sign up and create easy to manage websites by themselves.

If you for example run a property estate business, you could either have users profile on your site, or create micro-websites for your high value properties.

 

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SUMMARY

There are options to suit every budget, but you should be realistic and match your expectations to a budget you have. A DIY option may save you money in the short term, but you won’t achieve the same results as with hiring a professional who can guide you through all the design and development stages.

If you want to know why one-off website quote is nearly impossible, we couldn’t put it in words better than this article:

http://www.forbes.com/sites/ilyapozin/2013/08/07/how-much-does-a-website-cost/

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