Written by: Tanya Wigmore
Published: 12 February, 2021
Getting quotes for a new website design can be a rollercoaster of emotions and expectations. Some agencies seem extortionate, while others seem suspiciously cheap. So, how can you confidently navigate the highs and lows to determine the right website budget for your needs?
In addition to building hundreds of websites over the last 10 years, we’ve also had the pleasure of working with clients who have built websites with other agencies. As a result, we can give you a reasonably good idea of what you can expect in three different budget ranges:
We’ll break these down for you in this post.
First, let’s be totally clear: ‘cheap’ does not equal ugly, bad, or poorly performing. You can build a beautiful website that is on brand and offers a great user experience for a great price. The key to keeping your budget in check is by using templates and being very clear about what would be ‘nice to have’ and your website ‘needs to have’
There’s a plethora of slick templates out there for WordPress sites, HubSpot sites, and all the other main CMS platforms. These templated sites have done all the heavy lifting for you so your homepage, about page, contact page, landing page, etc. have a well-structured layout that ticks all the boxes. You can usually customize these templates by adding in your logo, brand color palette, desired fonts, and swapping out imagery. Writing your own content for the website will also keep your costs down.
When you work with an agency to build a templated website, you’re paying the agency for their experience and insight to:
It’s these behind the scenes adjustments that ensure your new website comes to life without a hitch. Most DIY websites get hung up on these adjustments, causing hours of frustration and compounding issues further for those who don’t totally know what they’re doing.
Here are some examples of templated websites.
I know what you’re thinking, “is a standard website really $20k?” Yes, it is. Here’s why.
Who is this site for? What do they need from it? How do you need to position your brand and your content to reach them effectively?
This is where a website strategist steps in. A new website build should always start with strategy that informs the rest of the project. Building audience personas and defining their conversion path is the first step of a standard website redesign.
Sitemaps, Wireframes & UX
Your strategist will work with a designer to build the foundation and frame for a website that will scale with your business and create a strong user experience for your audience.
Your content flow should be optimized on each page to speak to the visitor where they are in their buyer’s journey. This is done by combining content (copy and imagery) with context. Content is structured to resonate with the audience, while being optimized to perform well in search engines. Content optimization takes time, and that time is factored into your project costs.
Custom Design & Development
If you want to have custom design on your website, you’re going to need an experienced web designer to do the initial mockup and then translate that mockup into a format that’s usable for the dev team. Your web developer has a heavy lift in a standard website build because they need to take those beautiful designs and make them work.
With a standard new website you’ll likely change your mind about a few things as you go. Having the design and web development team on-hand for your project ensures that those ideas can be implemented. Your design and development team will also bring ideas to the table that you may not have considered.
Here are some examples of standard build websites.
On the high-end of website pricing are websites that need additional considerations, implementations and configurations. These websites typically cost more than $30k and really, the sky’s the limit when it comes to budget as each website build is a custom endeavor with its own scope and requirements.
Examples of custom bespoke websites include large ecommerce websites, services sites that are pulling in large amounts of or customized database content, sites that are multi-national / multi-lingual.
Before committing to any one agency (or individual) to build your website, get a few recommendations and ask for quotes. The initial discovery calls will give you a good idea on who you’d prefer to work with. Having a range of quotes will also help you to understand how well scoped your project is. Most agencies who have been building websites for some time know how much time and effort is needed at each stage of a website build and they base their estimates on those. If one seems way off, dig deeper to find out what is, and isn’t, included.
If you have your heart set on a slick, interactive site but your budget doesn't support it, start with an MVP site. Instead of building out your entire site with fancy new template designs, focus on one or two pages that could use an overhaul and have those pages designed and developed first.
MVP sites are a popular way to launch a custom, interactive design quickly for a lower cost.
Ready to build a new site and want to talk about the process? We’re here to help you get started!
Website examples used in this post may not reflect the actual budget spent on the website build but do accurately reflect the site structure you could expect from a template design, standard design and interactive/animated website design.
Tanya Wigmore is the founder of CRO:NYX Digital and is passionate about growing healthy teams and businesses. With an extensive background in inbound marketing, search marketing, web analytics, CRO & UX, she's always finding new ways to apply optimize and improve.