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How Much Does a Website Cost in 2016?
You will learn about how web companies charge for their services. We’ll also dig into what different types of websites cost. We’ll explain how to prepare for an efficient, cost-effective website development process. This article is based on over eighteen years of experience in this field.
Ok – let’s begin: How do website design agencies charge?
In my mind there’s really only one method to charge for a website: you establish a cost for your service and then mark it up to a price the market can afford. This is similar to how other professionals change, whether a lawyer, doctor, plumber, etc. Our web agency is based in Los Angeles so we have labor costs for each team member as well as typical business overhead such as office expenses, rent, insurance, bookkeeping, taxes, etc. Based on that, our hourly rate (as of December 2015) is $125 for most services.
Web agencies that use offshore staff have lower costs and so their hourly rate may be lower. Freelancers, one-person shops and website brokers can also be more competitive on price but may have other challenges such as communication, reliability and quality. When a client brings their project to us, we determine how many hours it will take and charge accordingly. So if a website takes 75 hours to build, that translates to a billbable cost of $9,375.
Some web companies (not ours) may promote website costs in “package prices” such as $995 for website “Package A”, $1,950 for the “Pro Package”, etc. This is an effective way to sell websites but we advise you to scrutinize the fine print of what is included. In order to sell a package website and make a profit, the scope or limitations have to be very restrictive. That may not be readily apparent when you scan the list of “included” features. Also, these types of website deals are often “managed” by the company, so there is the potential for them to overcharge you on other basic services like hosting, SEO, maintenance, etc. These solutions tend to be very templated so your website and online brand probably won’t stand out. It will end up resembling every other website that company produces.
Finally, some interactive agencies will look at website cost based on what they think the value is to your business. For example, if they see you are a $5 mil business, they may calculate a value of the website at X% of your total sales. This approach would never work with our client-base.
What are the various levels or types of websites and what do they cost?
When we estimate website cost, we look at the potential complexity in order to calculate the number of predicted required hours. Although every website is different (different brand, different design, different content, etc.), there are certain levels of effort required for certain types of websites. Here are some common website scenarios we often encounter and the associated pricing based on our process.Note: All of our websites are mobile-friendly and have Google Analytics installed. Most of our websites come with a content management system (CMS) so that clients can update their content themselves. Cost includes strategy, original design, programming, testing, SEO-readiness and client training.
Web Agency Warning Signs:
They don’t have an office address. If they do, just for the heck of it, Google-map it. Does it look like a real business or is it a fake address?
They don’t use proper English. We are guilt of occasional typos (that one was on purpose), but some web agencies are obviously not native English speakers – if this is the case, you are potentially dealing with an offshore company or a website broker. These types of companies can develop effective websites BUT you also might have problems with communicating and quality control, not to mention timezone management.