One of the first questions any business or organisation will ask, whether they are a start-up business or an established business looking to grow and spread their message, is how much will a new website cost?
Of course, people recognise that this is similar to the old ‘how long is a piece of string’ question, but even in a world full of options, it should still be possible to find at least a ‘ball-park’ idea of a price when setting out your business/organisation marketing plan.
Websites have a wealth of possible extras that are available to you. These optional Extras and additions will obviously add to the overall cost, and therefore most buying decisions have to consider what might be the possible return for those additional costs.
For example, considering the addition of a conservatory or landscaped garden to your new home, or larger alloy wheels and sat-nav to your new car, these optional extras require us to think about the rewards and benefits of such optional extras versus the cost. In the business digital marketing world, it is necessary to try and calculate what extra sales leads might be generated from investing in a better design for easier User Experience, or clearer layout of your facts and figures.
It’s also only fair to tell you right now that there is no point investing time and money in a new website if no one can find it, and therefore no one is going to be looking at it. When embarking on the road of online marketing and setting up your website as the hub of that plan, you should, by at least equal measure, consider the time, effort and money it may take to get visitors to view your website in the first place. That said, there would be no point driving visitors to a website that is poorly set up and with poor information. But how to drive visitors to your website is another post for another day and for now we will continue to consider the costs of a new website.
Many years ago, whenever I presented some super cool software that was going to revolutionise our business, my old boss would say, ‘OK, so explain to me how that is going to sell us more of our product.’
Cost vs Benefit was always his mantra, and frustrating as that was to me as a junior programmer, I now see the very wisdom of these words.
So first ask yourself, what is the purpose of the new website? Is it even required? And you’ll be a big step further in your buying decision.
Nowadays, my personal favourite mantra is, ‘If you can’t measure it you can’t manage it’, but then I am a bit of a geek and my coffee mug says ‘I love Spreadsheets’.
None-the-less, hopefully you can see the argument that it is very difficult to justify a buying decision after the event, if you can’t measure the results and influences of spending that money.
Thankfully, in the world of websites and online marketing, the answers are out there, and that justification of your spend can surprisingly be almost scientifically tested, by using a wealth of information available to measure the success, or otherwise, of each channel of your marketing decision.
So how much does a new website cost, with and without the extras?
First, let’s consider the current size and age of your business and your growth plans.
The Smaller Startup website costs
For all business owners my advice would be the same, ‘you can only spend it once so spend it carefully’ and that I believe is probably even more pertinent to the Small Start-up business.
If you’re a small business and, for example, in the growing market of home services, like home laundry, dog walking, cleaning services, or even a community group or charity, it is important to consider your best route to market, just like any large business might. Similar businesses in the good old days may have left service cards in the local post office window (and that may still be an excellent option for many people), but the modern alternative would be to have a well thought out Social Media presence and make use of this free resource. Certainly, before shelling out for a dream website there are many types of online and offline Networking (networking being the key word here) that can really help you establish a very nice customer list.
However, if you believe a website necessary from the word go, you can also consider the options shown here for the Bigger Startup!
The Bigger startup website costs
For new entrepreneurs with bigger targets and bigger budgets the advice remains the same, you can only spend it once so don’t waste a penny!
Depending on how you are planning your new business and when the future launch date is set, you may well consider some of the excellent ‘build your own website’ options. There are plenty of these options available from Wix and Squarespace to the Hosting and Domain providers offerings from the likes of GoDaddy and IONOS.
Even in these template environments, if you have a clear plan of what pages you need and what you want to say, and with some good quality images and video, you can come up with something that looks pretty good that gets your message across.
However, even these website builders that don’t require any coding knowledge can be a bit awkward for many people, and do have a learning curve with them. But if you have more time than money, or have an organisation with someone who can find their way around a PC quite well, then they are a great place to start.
Website Price: Free to £30 per month (plus the cost of your time!)
The small established business website costs
For all sizes of business, it is important to value your own time when considering how you buy, set up and manage your new website.
Marketeer Ed Rivis, makes a great point in his book ‘The Ultimate Web Marketing Strategy’, even if the CEO of Toyota could build a car on the production line, would that be the best use of his time?
Of course not!
Always consider the value of your time and how it might be more profitably used.
There are circumstances when it is greatly beneficial and cost-effective to have your website designed, branded and built by a professional website designer. But even here there are many ways you can keep those costs down and avoid those ‘optional extras’ we mentioned earlier.
Here the benefits and costs can be set out (spreadsheeted if you will) in a costed ‘Pros’ and ‘Cons’ scenario.
The costs of a professionally designed website may start at around £2,450 can be a significant part of your business’s sale and marketing budget. For many that have had a website for many years and not really seen a benefit, it’s hard to visualise how a new website can do any better.
The benefits are not only that you have a website to be proud off and happy to show off to all your customers and prospects, and that can be easily updated so it is always current and up to date, but also has been designed to convert as many visitors as possible to becoming a genuine lead.
Website price: From £2,480 upwards – depending on how many ‘optional extras’ you may need it is possible to double this figure.
Remember that you can significantly keep costs down by having a well-prepared plan of what you need when requiring extras like: having an online shop, requiring content creation, professional photography, Google management.
The large established business
Even large businesses can benefit from the services of a professional website design and inbound marketing company. The continual improvement required will be at the centre of such an organisation and the idea of a ‘new website’ perhaps doesn’t apply here as frequently.
The website should be an organic part of the business that is constantly being updated and optimised by the PR and marketing of the services and products themselves.
In this case, the design ‘assets’ of the website will be critical to develop a perfect user experience and enhance as good a conversion rate as possible through better content, as well as regular optimising of such things as: font, colours, icons, sliders, videos, etc etc.
Website price: From £3950 upwards depending on the number of products and services you have to offer
Also, for continual updating, maintenance and development of a supporting digital marketing strategy, you should also be considering an annual budget between £8,000 to £20,000, dependant on the reach and engagement targets set.
(This assumes that the business does not have an established online marketing plan and is now deciding to use this method of marketing to grow their business in the new era)
One last piece of advice before you buy a website – ‘Apples for Apples’
Yes, yet another mantra… ‘Apples for Apples’ – there are many website designers and developers out there capable of delivering for you a fantastic website that fits your brief precisely. As with all buying decisions, it’s important to do at least some research and have your own list of requirements to ensure that all your tenders and quotations or like for like, apples for apples. Look at the portfolios of previous work. Are they current? Read the content. Is it interesting, informative and well written?
Very importantly, see if their websites for previous clients are optimised and rank highly on the search engine results page.
For more information on website costs and other marketing costs, please go to the Pivotal Marketing Website Pricing page