When I’m asked this question right off the bat in a conversation with a prospective client, “how much is the website design going to cost me?”, I cringe because a little bell goes off in my head. Is this person placing too much weight on the price instead of looking at the true value of the website price? It’s my job to educate the person about what goes into a website design price, what is “under the hood”, and how to really compare website prices in order to make an informed buying decision.
I do the same thing too when making a large investment. Besides being over-analytical, I want to be sure I’m getting the best value before I depart with my hard-earned money. It’s a lot easier to decide which vendor to purchase from when everybody is selling the same product, but the decision becomes more complicated when the product varies from vendor to vendor. This is the case when you go shopping for a website designer.
You really have to look under the hood when you are shopping for a website designer because all web site quotes are not created equal. In this post, I’ll go over the factors influencing the web site price, how to compare website prices correctly and also give you some website tools to confirm you are getting the best value for your money.
How Quantity and Content Influences a Web Site Price
The number of pages you want, the number of images, videos, and audio files website will influence the website price. The more content you have the more it will cost you because it will take your website designer more time to add your content. However, if you know your way around a computer, you can reduce the cost by having the website designer build you a template page (a page where the text and images are already positioned) and you can add the content yourself.
Are you supplying your website designer with the copy, the images, and other multimedia files or will you be hiring somebody to do it for you? In my experience, it usually is a 50/50 split between the customer supplying the content or me or a 3rd party providing the content for them.
It all boils down to who is putting in the time to create your content. You will save yourself money by creating the content, but one thing to consider is the quality of the content. Since the website is such a large investment, it is beneficial for you to add valuable content that will engage your viewers. Perhaps you write the content, but hire a proofreader, storyteller, or editor to kick it up a notch?
How Complexity Influences a Web Site Price
Do you have a simple website with a home page, about, services, and a contact form or is your website more complex with a need for individual logins, a customized registration form, or an advanced email marketing campaign? Just like the quantity of your content, the more complex the website is, the more it will cost you.
If you have a complex website, you can reduce the cost by having a WordPress website. I’m partial to WordPress Websites for many reasons an if you want to know why you can read my article Why I Love WordPress. For this article, a WordPress Website will save you money in developing your website. Instead of paying for custom code you can purchase a WordPress Plugin to do the heavy lifting for you and then your website designer will customize it to work with your website. For example, you have a website to sign up for your classes. Instead of creating a custom form from scratch, your website designer can install Gravity Forms and then add the fields you need. This way you don’t have to pay for a website developer to configure the form and get it to work properly.
How to Compare Website Design Prices
Call me old fashioned, but when I price out a big-ticket item I like to get prices from three different companies. I recently had a water filtration system installed at my house and guess what, I got three quotes from local plumbers. Since I didn’t know much about water filters, I had to educate myself before making a decision. Otherwise, I couldn’t compare apples to apples. Price was a factor for me, but I wanted to be sure I got the best value for my money. The same thing is true when comparing website prices from different website designers and website agencies. You need to educate yourself about the jargon used in the website quote and dig deep into what is included with the price and if there are any extra or hidden charges. This is the only true way you can be sure you are getting the best value for your website design.
What content is included in a website price and how is the website being created?
First, look at how many pages are included, how many images, who is supplying the content and multimedia. Second, you need to look a bit under the hood and ask what tools are being used to create it. Is this a WordPress website? If so, is it built with an existing theme and the website designer is just placing your content on the pages? Is it built with a proprietary content management system like SquareSpace or Wix? If so, what happens if you decide to part ways down the road, can you take your content with you?
What are the terms of payment and how do I know there are no hidden charges?
Look to see if the terms of payment are included with your website price and if not be sure to ask for them. Some website designers, like me, are paid when milestones are achieved. They will ask for a deposit to star your project, another amount when they get to the next stage, and then a final payment before the website goes live. Other website designers charge you a monthly fee instead of a set payment amount. This is really a lease on your website, so you need to perform your due diligence and look at the fine print. Most of the time, if you fail to make a payment they wack you with a heavy penalty. I don’t recommend a leased website.
Ways to Test for Hiring A Website Designer
If you still are unable to evaluate the website prices you have, I recommend you flip a coin – no just kidding. I know this is a big investment for you, so you want to be reassured you are making the right decision. What you want to do is test out the other websites the person or agency has created. You can do this by going to their portfolio section and finding the website address or just asking them for a few websites to review. Do you like what you see or are you a bit confused? Do you understand what the website is about in less than three seconds? Does the website give you a direction to follow with a clear call to action or are you left on an island to figure out which page to go to next?
Take The Website Portfolio for a Test Drive
Chances are that your website will perform the same as websites you find in your website designer’s portfolio. I have a pre-launch checklist I use to be sure the websites I build are up to snuff before they are put out to the real world. I test my websites for speed and for mobile-friendliness.
Here are the websites I use to test for speed and site performance:
To test for mobile-friendliness I use:
I hope you have a better understanding now of what goes into creating a website design price and the best way to make an informed decision on which one offers you the best value. If you would like to receive a price from me, please contact me via text/phone at 508-364-7402 or simply complete my website inquiry form. I invite you to read my other blog articles or view my portfolio and take them for a test drive! I guarantee you’ll be happy with the results.