Probably the most common question that small business owners ask regarding a new website is how much does it cost or how much should it cost.
I wish there was an easy answer.
This is an industry where you can get a website done using a DIY platform for as little as $10/month to options like Yellow Pages who will do it for you for about $100/month to actual web design companies that do it for $500, $5000, $15,000 and even $50,000.
Also, there can be great variations from one project to another, different businesses have different requirements and goals they wish to achieve with their website, and hence, the prices vary from project to project.
This confuses the f**k out of any business owner trying to figure out how much should they be spending on a website.
So, in this 7-minute read I will go over various options and provide some clarity as to what a small business website should cost.
DIY Platforms such as Wix, Squarespace, and even WordPress, are absolutely the cheapest way to get a website up and running. However, you gotta do it yourself, so you are still paying with time. While these platforms advertise that you will have a website up and running in as little as a couple of hours, that website will leave a lot to be desired. Plainly put, it will be trash. Best case, it will be half decent looking trash, but still trash.
I’ve designed websites for a few years and I’m still learning new things, keeping updated with the latest trends and changes in search engine algorithms, improving my copywriting, and on and on. I will never finish learning and the web space will never stop evolving and changing. A couple of hours playing with wix will not get you a professional website, despite the off chance that it might look half decent.
However, if you find yourself in the position that you’d rather spend the time than the money, or not having the money to spend, I recommend you spend the extra time learning WordPress. Even though it is probably the most complex platform, it allows you to later turn it over to a professional or collaborate with a professional.
Cheap Monthly Services (e.g. Yellow Pages)
Look, I’m not trying to knock Yellow Pages but I haven’t seen a single website that they created that impressed me, not even the slightest bit, and I’ve seen a lot of their websites.
I think they have a system that’s sort of like a meat grinder where they just feed business information and tacky stock photos and then crappy hot dogs comes out the other end. No actual web designers, strategy thought process, or significant time involved, just an automated garbage compactor.
My understanding is that these types of companies charge somewhere between $50 and $200 per month to create and maintain websites. If you do the math, this is $500 to $2,000 per year and in 5 years, $2,500 to $10,000. If you decide to cancel, you lose the website – money down the drain. I’ve even heard some of these companies own your domain name so if you want to switch over, you gotta buy the domain from them for however much they ask.
Your business has absolutely nothing to gain from going this route. I recommend just doing it yourself if you can’t afford to spend the money on a professional web designer or company.
Professional Web Design Companies
Here’s where it becomes a bit unclear. There are companies that will create a website for $500, $5000 and even $15,000. There are even companies that charge millions but those websites are usually for larger corporations that require unique functions – not just your typical small business websites.
A lot of it depends on the market as well. Hiring a company in a city where the cost of living is high will translate in a higher price.
Anything over $15,000 for a small business website is overkill in my opinion, but not unheard of.
So, I’m going to use some basic math to explore the $500 vs the $5,000 website vs the $15,000 website.
The $500 website
If a website is only $500 to create and the company takes one week from start to finish, which I believe is the bare minimum it should take to make a great website, then that company can only make $2,000 per month. As an individual, $2,000 is not good money, it barely beats minimum wage and you’re not feeding a family with it. As a business, it’s absolutely unsustainable. If it’s just a dude (or woman) working from home, he or she should be able to make at least $5,000 a month. So, he or she needs to make 10 websites a month, a website for every 2 business days. You can’t expect a great website in just 2 days.
The $5,000 website
If a website is $5,000 and the company takes a week from start to finish, that company can make $20,000 in revenue per month. This price point is reasonable and, whether it’s a very small team or just one person, you should expect an exceptional website that does all the things a great website should do. If you don’t know what those things are, read my other blog post, Does Your Website Do These 7 Things?
The $15,000 Website
At this price point you can expect a small team of experts to spend a significant amount of time on each aspect of your website. This should be a company that has a prestigious portfolio of clients and projects. You should expect an exceptional website that does not lack the slightest from any point of view.
So, how much should a website cost then?
Anywhere about $5,000, give or take a couple grand, is a fair cost for a typical small business website. This price range should ensure that you get a great website that works for you and contributes to your company’s success.
A website that will do the 7 things a great website should do.
However, this is not to say that there aren’t companies that charge $5,000 and even $15,000 and terribly under-deliver. As well as exceptions where they can over-deliver for $2,000. That’s where your due diligence steps in.
I hope you found some value in this blog post and now you have some idea of how much you should spend on a new website for your small business.
If you want to know our price, reach out for a free consultation over the phone. I’d love to learn more about your company, as well as take a look at your current website if you have one. Let’s connect – no obligation or pressure.