Where to start!? You need a website, but how much does website design cost? This article is aimed at small to medium sized businesses and details the costs involved from a business or individual's perspective. I have a similar blog post that explores this topic from a different angle - website design pricing.
What is website design?
I always start my articles with definitions. First of all, if you're new to web design, it involves everything from creating to finishing, and then maintaining a website. If you would like to read more, Wikipedia has a some basic information on Website Design. Let's move onto website design cost.
A website is an investment
To simply view a website as an additional cost to your business is wrong! Your website is an investment and you should at bare-minimum recover this cost in terms of increased sales or brand equity. Most businesses should in fact profit from their websites. Of course, e-commerce sites (whose primary purpose is to profit from the sale of goods) by nature often see a high return on investment. Though even local businesses, who do not have an online shop should profit from their website. Throughout this article we'll refer to a website I recently designed for Lemon Lettings, a Letting Agent in Leeds. They do not sell anything on their website, they do not advertise on their website. They simply use their website as an interface between potential clients and the company. By driving targeted traffic to their site, they aim to receive enquires and new clients. To break-even, Lemon have to gain 3 clients (assuming their client spends the industry average). In the first month alone, Lemon received over 7 new clients from their website.
What should website design cost?
The magic question. It all depends on the scope of the project. A simple 5 page website for a local business can cost as little as £450, whereas a large, complex website requiring several functions may cost thousands. Top website design cost tip - find a web designer who's money conscious and understands small businesses have limited budgets. There is a range of low-cost (even free) software that is perfect for small businesses who want to minimise their website design cost. The main website design costs include the designer's time needed to make the site, any software required to build the website to your specification, the domain (i.e. www.leedswebsitedesigns.co.uk) and hosting (a requirement to have a working website!). Not sure which website design company to choose?
Website design cost and what it includes?
As mentioned in my previous article, the cost depends on two key factors:
- Time - how long will the website take to finish?
- Tools - how much are the tools needed to complete the website?
Though I'm not going to talk about time and tools again, rather what it costs you as a business or individual.
It's obvious. You're going to have to invest in the design of your website. Let's examine Lemon's scenario. Lemon Lettings opted for a new website, optimised for SEO (search engine optimisation). They also purchased a digital marketing service which included social media advertising and email campaigns with the aim to drive targeted traffic to their site. By outsourcing their digital marketing to LWD, Lemon were able to focus on their core daily tasks and grow their business. Their time is better spent, managing on behalf of current clients and signing up new clients, not managing their digital marketing, which leads us onto our next topic.
Every website needs a strategy. Just like every business needs a strategy. MindTools have some great information on how to create 'S M A R T' strategies here. Taking the time to clearly outline your strategy is vital. What is the purpose of your website? Do you want to drive traffic? Do you want to become the #1 in your local area? Or do you simply want to inform? Before website design starts, it's clear that you know exactly what you want from your website and to ensure your web designer is on the same page. Designing a website with a strategy in place allows the designer to focus. The designer can then implement tools to measure progress. These tools allow us to see if we're on the right track to achieving our strategy. Let's refer to Lemon again. By installing Google Analytics and other similar software on their website, we were able to see how many people were visiting the site, which websites they were coming from and what pages they were viewing. We then added how many new clients they signed up from their website. Here we have the data needed to analyse whether their website is achieving what they laid out in their strategy. They are on the right path and with a few small refinements they could even increase their return on investment.
Website design cost varies according to the scope of the project. Large projects that require several weeks or even months to complete with premium software will cost more than smaller-scale projects that take days, or a few weeks with free or low-cost software. I'd like you to view a website as an investment, not simply a cost. If a website is costing you (i.e. not paying back) then you need to reassess your strategic design! A clear strategy for your website is vital and can be assessed by analysing data generated from your website. If you're still unsure, want to check a quote, or need some help, please feel free to contact me. You can also find out more about me. I'm passionate about helping local businesses and would love to add value to your organisation! Web Design Yorkshire