[vc_row no_margin=”true” padding_top=”0px” padding_bottom=”0px” border=”none”][vc_column width=”1/1″][text_output]Please pay attention to the date of this post. Because I WILL GIVE ACTUAL NUMBERS. If this post is old when you read it, take it in to consideration.

I’m basing this on my personal experience in the web design business since 1994. These are what I would call “RURAL PRICING” opposed to “URBAN PRICING”. URBAN defined as Boston, NYC, Chicago, LA, SF, Cupertino, etc. Better talent, higher cost of living, up to double these prices for URBAN.

I didn’t do any serious research. I didn’t look up things in the trade journals I subscribe to either. I just wrote.

First This post is for the small business owner or department manager who needs an understanding of website costs. You’re not going to get all the answers you need from reading this but it will help a great deal. You will see a price table further down the page. A seasoned web professional will immediately see these prices are for the sole proprietor up to [extra href=”#” title=”Define: Small Business” target=”blank” info=”popover” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=”The U.S. Small Business Administration defines “small business” according to a set of standards based on industry. | Manufacturing and mining <= 500 employees | Wholesale trade <= 100 employees | Retail and service <= $6 million average annual revenue | General and heavy construction <= $28.5 million average annual revenue | Special trade contractors <= $12 million average annual revenue |  Agriculture <= $0.75 million average annual revenue”] small business [/extra] websites.

How much does a new car cost?

You go first. How would you answer this question with a dollar amount? With a bit of reflection you might say cars cost from $12,000 to $200,000. Realizing this answer is not much help to narrow it down. Cars average $18,000 to $50,000. Most fall in to this price range. Most people buy from this price range. Other price ranges exists at $50-80, $80-125, etc. but they are smaller markets. Well thank you, that narrows it down a bit better.

We all understand car prices and how to purchase one a bit better than website design and build prices. Websites have unique factors to consider compared to purchasing a car. What I mean by that statement is that in order to comfortably afford a $75,000 car, assumptions of your income and the ability to afford the car, etc. are clarified by you and the car sales person within a few minutes.

Herein lies a problem that the auto industry has an easier time with. Cars are categorized, priced and marketed in generally neat groups that we all understand. After all they are a physical object; you can kick the tires. When shopping you know ahead of time the price range of cars. If you don’t know for sure, you ask and research for an hour or so. If you need help a car salesperson might ask you what you want to pay per month and show you what is available.

Adding and removing options from the car modify the price in a predictable way. But look at the website options to be considered below. How do you monetize that? In short, with effort. The best way is to start with a budget. Website are like cars in that there are certain things a car must and should have. After that, add specialization like 4WD to your car or an Email Marketing System to your website project or a sports transmission or staff training. Just like a car you can get these options at different quality and price ranges. But you probably would know the difference between an 4WD Subaru and a 4WD BMW just by sitting in the cars. When sitting in the BMW you might say “Yep! regardless if I buy it or not, I can feel why this BMW cost $35,000 more than the Subaru.” BMW just spent more time on the research, design, component quality, and build. Both have 4WD, Both are good cars at good value. Ah VALUE. The BMW might also be priced even higher because BMW feels they have VALUE. Ya, this is called Value Based Pricing. Will that happen when shopping for a website vendor? Let’s hope so. This is NOT a commodity.

How much does a website cost?

[/text_output][icon_list][icon_list_item type=”check-square-o”]I have to make an assumption list, that you:[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”] have your brand, identity and position all finished and performing well out there the market.[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]have a quality and digital: photo, PDF, MSDS, spreadsheet, text file of every service, product, employee, customer, event, award, press release, license. It’s all inventoried and ready to go up on the website.[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]have skilled and trained staff who also have the time to publish and manage all the above stuff.[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]have strategies, marketing and launch campaigns ready to go for AR, AP, HR, Sales, Support.[/icon_list_item][/icon_list][text_output]All the things on the assumption list  are figured out, done, ready to go. We just need the website. Oh! OK, here we go. That’s a great base that we’ll start from with real numbers.

Here are your website design quotes…

[/text_output]

[pricing_table_column title=”Agency 1″ currency=”$” price=”3-15K” interval=”Launch Cost”][icon name=”check” class=””] Website Design


[icon name=”check” class=””] Production & Build


[icon name=”check” class=””] Content Management


[icon name=”check” class=””] Hosting


[icon name=”check” class=””] SSL, etc.[/pricing_table_column][pricing_table_column title=”Agency 2″ currency=”$” price=”15-30K” interval=”Launch Cost”][icon name=”check” class=””] Website Design


[icon name=”check” class=””] Production & Build


[icon name=”check” class=””] Content Management


[icon name=”check” class=””] Hosting


[icon name=”check” class=””] SSL, etc.[/pricing_table_column][pricing_table_column title=”Agency 3″ currency=”$” price=”30-45K” interval=”Launch Cost”][icon name=”check” class=””] Website Design


[icon name=”check” class=””] Production & Build


[icon name=”check” class=””] Content Management


[icon name=”check” class=””] Hosting


[icon name=”check” class=””] SSL, etc.[/pricing_table_column]

[text_output]

Sleazy_Used_Car_Salesman_Marketing_Copywriting_GuaranteedHow did that happen?

[highlight color=”black”]Did you get estimates for a Hyundai, Subaru, and BMW? Maybe. Or is someone ripping you off? Maybe. Are one of the quotes value based? Maybe.[/highlight]

[clear]What do you think?

Are these numbers ridiculously low, high, or too big a range? What are you getting for your money anyway? If the assumption list is accurate your getting website design, production, SSL and a CMS. Maybe some training, hosting and so on.

Its likely A moderate amount to NONE of these things are included:[/text_output][icon_list][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]Consulting[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]Writing, image editing, content inventory[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]Ecommerce[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]Search Engine Optimization[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]Video, animation[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]Facebook, YouTube, LinkedIn[/icon_list_item][/icon_list][text_output]

How to Price Your Website Project

On the web front pricing is not so easy, is it? Buyers don’t know how to shop or what they’re buying in this arena. Website agencies can appear to be [extra href=”#” title=”Define: Carpetbagger” target=”blank” info=”popover” info_place=”top” info_trigger=”hover” info_content=”In United States history, a carpetbagger was a Northerner (Yankee) who moved to the South after the U.S. Civil War, especially during the Reconstruction era (1865-1877), in order to profit from the instability and power vacuum that existed at this time.”] carpetbagger[/extra]. Design is subjective. Trust is an issue. I hear ya.

  1. Find people you trust, trust them. Do what they recommend.
  2. Protect yourself. Establish and share the budget and timeline with your agency.
  3. I understand the concern of telling a sales person your budget and get sold a $20K website for $25K. Find people you trust.
  4. Start with “I need this, this and this. What do you think of that, what do you recommend and can I get it for $XXX?”
    A reputable person will reply…

[container]

  • Yes, and it will include this and this. You could get it for less $, take away this or do it this way. For more $ consider adding this or doing it this way and getting this benefit.
  • No, because of this. Consider this instead.
  • No, but maybe you could try doing this or asking these folks.

[/container]

If your assumption list isn’t like the one above. I’m sure it isn’t, nobody has their stuff together that well.

[/text_output][icon_list][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]You may have to have to trust your agency even more because their quote will include research. The research will actually determine what the solution will be and how much it will finally cost. Sorry. Stay away from too much custom programming if you can.[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]Make sure your web development team understands what the business objective is for the project. This helps corral the deliverables because they may have to be quoted in general terms at the start of a project.[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]Be realistic. You’re not going to get a website that does everything Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, IBM, Walmart websites do for $40K. Those websites cost $40K a week just to keep them running.[/icon_list_item][/icon_list][icon_list][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]You may have to have to trust your agency even more because their quote will include research. The research will actually determine what the solution will be and how much it will finally cost. Sorry. Stay away from too much custom programming if you can.[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]Make sure your web development team understands what the business objective is for the project. This helps corral the deliverables because they may have to be quoted in general terms at the start of a project.[/icon_list_item][icon_list_item type=”check-circle-o”]Be realistic. You’re not going to get a website that does everything Amazon, Apple, Best Buy, IBM, Walmart websites do for $40K. Those websites cost $40K a week just to keep them running.[/icon_list_item][/icon_list][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/1″][accordion][accordion_item title=”Photo Credits”]

Artwork by nocturnalMoTH

Let’s commission this artist on your next project.

I got the sleazy car salesman from this website. Not sure of licensing.

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