An overview of various web design scenarios and prices

How much does a website cost?

By Shannon Sbarra on October 14, 2009

How much does a website cost? 

This is a question that I answer often, and it always requires a full explanation.  Here's the full spiel:

As with most things, you get what you pay for!  All scenarios below are based on true stories:

Scenario 1:
You hire the 8 year old down the street to create you a simple, 1 page website for $5.  And what do you know?  It looks like an 8 year old designed it.  It also doesn't actually display in Internet Explorer. 

Scenario 2:
You sign up for a 5 page site on Go or another web hosting company.   It sounds great- so easy and so quick!  You pay $150 + a small monthly fee (very reasonable!). 

In the end, it looks about the same as the site that the 8 year old designed.  And although they sold you an extra search engine optimization package for $200, your site doesn't show up anywhere near page one for the keywords that describe your business.

Scenario 3:
You hire a freelancer.  He says that he can create your site for $1000 and be finished in 2 weeks.  2 weeks turn into 2 months, and every time you call you get his voicemail.  3 months later, he finally puts up an "Under Construction" page.  When he finds a full time job, he tells you that he will work on your site in his spare time.  A year later, you decide to hire a real web design firm and write off the $1000.

Scenario 4:
You hire a local web design firm.  They quote you $2000 for a fancy website.  3-6 months later, your website is live and the final bill is about $3500.  It has all sorts of cool functionality, but some of the links don't work.  Some of the pages are still missing content or have spelling errors.  The design is... industrial? 

When you request a simple change, they charge you hourly and it takes about a month.   Although you are somewhat satisfied, you don't yet realize that the site is programmed in a language that will be obsolete next year, so nobody will be able to update your site in the future.

Scenario 5: 
You hire a Public Relations firm and they overcharge you for a fancy site that you don't need. You end up paying at least $10k for a simple website that looks decent at best.  Oh, it probably will have some fancy flash features, but the usability will be dreadful.

As I said above, these scenarios are all based on true stories!  Everyone seems to have a sob story about how they tried to go cheap and ended up wasting both time and money. 

That's why Skyfire Studio is more than just a web design firm.  We offer a full suite of creative and marketing services so that every dollar that you spend is an investment in your success.  And when you ask me how much a website costs, I'm going to give you a very realistic number that incorporates not just the price of a website, but also design, search engine optimization, marketing, maintenance, hosting, domain registration & renewal, and more. 

Based on your business needs and goals, we will work with you to find appropriate solutions within your budget!  When you are creating your budget for a professional, successful website, here are some good numbers to start with:

$10/year-  Website Domain (URL)
$15/month ($150/year)- Website Hosting
$2,500-$10,000- Website with Content Management System (CMS)
$200-1,500- Initial Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
$1,000-$10,000- Website Photography (unless you already have photos)
$500-$10,000- Website Videography (unless you already have or don't want video)
$500-$2,000- Website Copywriting (unless you already have text for the site)
$2,500-$15,000/year- Ongoing Web Marketing & SEO
$3,000-$10,000- Ecommerce Shopping Cart (if you want to sell stuff on your site)

Minimal recommended budget:  $3,000

Typical budget:  $5,000-10,000

Full Meal Deal budget: $50,000

Every project is unique and our final prices will always factor in package discounts, deadlines and other details. We would love the opportunity to provide you with a project quote.  Click here for a free consultation or to request an estimate!

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