How Much Should a Website Cost?
So what does a website cost to develop?
Short answer? It depends.
One (loaded) question I definitely hear a lot when talking about online marketing with potential clients is:
“How much does a website cost?”
My response is usually something like this…
“Well, how much money do you want to make from your website?”
This exchange will reliably result in a brief moment of silence accompanied by a blank, deer in headlights stare…Mostly because most business owners don’t see their website design & development, or online marketing in general for that matter, as an investment – rather, they only see themselves as losing that money when spending it for websites, content marketing or advertising online. They see a website as a commodity, a consumable product, instead of a living breathing business asset.
So, I go on to explain what i mean so they will start blinking again…
Your website is an investment, much like real estate. As a matter of fact, that’s exactly what it is – digital real estate. And like all investments, it needs to show you a return on your investment (ROI). So, in fact, it really doesn’t matter what your website costs — IF — it makes you a ton of money. Makes sense right?
You can get a website built for $200 or $20,000 or even $200,000. I mean heck, you can even get one for free if that’s what you’re looking for. Fact remains that if the site doesn’t make you more money than it cost you, either in leads produced or sales made, then it’s just a fancy brochure and not worth the pixels it’s printed on.
Let’s play a game… Let’s say I offered you a website with a polished design so impressive it would win awards and impress your neighbors. It would cost you north of $10,000 to develop, but only made you $100 per month. Would you take it? My guess is, if you’re pausing right now, you’re imagining that shiny award glistening on your mantel…OF COURSE YOU WOULDN’T!!
Look at it like a typical investment anywhere else, and I think you would probably agree with me, this is not what I would call a sound investment.
On the other hand, what if I sold you the worst looking website anyone has ever seen for $10,000, but this one makes you $100,000 per month? Ok, I know you can see where I’m going with this by now, so of course you’re going to say: JUST TAKE MY MONEY!! Who wouldn’t with that kind of return? That’s what i call a NO LOSE DEAL.
When you get right down to it, you’re doing this for the money, right? Right – it’s business after all. So when you need a website for your business you want to talk to a web designer that talks about strategy – not just the costs or features. How your site is actually going to make you money or provide a measurable return for your investment.
That said, I’m not naive – cost is always a factor, don’t get me wrong; but here are a few things you want to hear from your web designer:
- You want to hear them tell you how you should market and promote your site to get seen by more people.
- You want them to tell you what it takes to make money online as it relates to your industry and market.
- You want to know what conversion tactics they’re going to create for you to build your list and eventually turn them into customers.
- You want to hear them say we have done this before and we can do it for you too.
Your website will be the single biggest marketing tool for your business, so don’t limit your potential by crippling your most powerful weapon. Your website will be the single biggest marketing tool for your business, so don’t limit your potential by crippling your most powerful weapon.
Because let’s keep it real for a minute, that’s what we’re in business for, right? To make money. Sure we want to help people, but whether you’re selling puppies or penthouses, you’re in it to make a profit.
Unfortunately a lot of web designer folks overly concern themselves with price alone because that’s what they think clients care about most. So that’s what they allow the discussion to ultimately focus on. Either that or they spout off a whole bunch of stats about all the other technical mumbo-jumbo that completely misses the point.
I completely understand how a websites technical capability can enhance a business’ efficiency, and how a stunning and strategic design can go a long way to improve conversions and build brand equity. But, wouldn’t it be nice to have someone actually speak to you (in terms you can understand) about a website and the marketing behind it? The stuff that actually makes a website work for a business?
Because trust me, it’s not the $10,000 or $20,000 you spend on functionality or cutting edge design that will get you a result, it’s a holistic strategy and it’s execution that net you a positive result. A result that you can be proud of and take to the bank.
Remember when you first launched your business? Remember that feeling of pride? You did it. You made it work. – that’s the feeling of having a website that improves and advances your business 24-7, 365 and never stops working for you day or night. It’s your best paid salesman, and it never takes a vacation or needs dental insurance.
Imagine finally feeling like it’s all (finally) just clicked and come together. Clarity of purpose and seeing the path forward is a beautiful thing.
I’m telling you all this because not all web designers are created equal. Let’s face it, anyone can build a “website” these days. The majority of web designers can create a great looking website, but fail to deliver the results you deserve. The results that will make your website actually “work”.
I’m a little different. I’m ALL about getting results. (I’m weird like that).
So in conclusion, the question “how much should a website cost?” is somewhat of a loaded question. I can give you a dollar figure that would get you a great website. But that’s not the only true cost – there is also a cost of not properly executing an online marketing strategy for that website. If you and your web designer miss this critical piece of the puzzle, even the best site can fall flat; and your cost could be greater than the dollar figure to build it. Lost sales and lost opportunities.
If you want to finally get the results you know your website should be giving you, then I’d love to help!