How Much Does a Website Cost in 2015?
Business owners are obviously confused by the wide difference in cost estimates provided by web development agencies, ranging from as little as $4,000 to over $100,000. Read on, for our costs on website design and redesigns.
For a no-nonsense estimate on your web project, please fill out our Inquiry Form and we’ll respond within 12 hours.
NOTE: We just published our website costs 2019 article.
In ALL our estimates below we assume the following:
- Estimates include marketing strategy, interface design, programming, testing and launch.
- All websites will be mobile/tablet-responsive.
- All websites are built on a WordPress or Drupal CMS framework to empower non-technical staff to edit most content themselves.
Please click on the description below that best describes your situation and we’ll jump you down the page for specific estimates.
- I need a new small business website to sell a few products or to promote my services. This is my first real website.
- I need to redesign my existing small business website to be more effective.
- I work for a medium-sized business and we are seeking to redesign our existing website.
- I am the online manager of a large business and our internal team needs to redesign our website and enhance our brand.
- I want to know, what are some of the other associated costs for websites?
Costs for first-time, small business websites:
Our definition of “small business, first-time website” is a website consisting of up to five main sections with the total pages not to exceed 10. There is no need for custom plug-ins or databases. For e-commerce websites, we would use PayPal or a hosted cart solution like Shopify, there are no 3rd-party integrations. If you need any of this explained, please contact us.
If this is your first website you have the greatest potential to fail – but don’t panic yet. Typically, a website budget is determined by the estimated number of hours required to design and build it. Website developers have different rates depending on their overhead. An offshore web company may charge anywhere from $20 – $40/hr while an established US web agency may charge between $100 – $250/hr or more. You may find a solo web developer in the US charging between $30 – $100/hr.
However, we do not recommend that any serious business use a one-person shop or an offshore team. Successful website design leverages several distinct disciplines (marketing, user experience design, visual design, programming, and project management) and these are extremely hard to find in one person. With offshore agencies, communication can be a real challenge: Do they understand your business goals? Do their design sensibilities match your market? Do they understand your instructions? The time difference can prove a difficulty as well.
When hiring a professional agency, you should write up a requirements document for all the candidate agencies to reference in their proposals, so you are comparing apples to apples. This document doesn’t have to be too complex (a page or so in length will do), but it should describe what kind of website you want, what types of pages you want (News, Contact, Services, etc.), desired functionality, and your business goals for the website. It’s also helpful to provide examples of websites you like. Check out our Client Questionnaire to begin formulating your Requirements document.
If you have a “startup” business and your business concept combines features from popular sites like Google, eBay, Facebook, YouTube, Kayak, Uber, Match, etc., then you must carefully define your website. The popular sites listed above spent millions of dollars perfecting and maintaining their core applications. Sure, there are pre-built, open-source “clones” of popular websites that can be purchased and modified but be forewarned – these are mere shadows of the originals. This underscores the importance of a website Requirements document based on a solid business plan.
New Sites Often Cost More Than Redesigns
Remember, when you’re starting a new website from scratch, so is the web designer. With no existing elements to work from, the designer can’t look at an existing site and study your current online brand nor can the design team examine the features and functionality that will be carried over to the new website and improved upon. So, how much will my website cost? Here’s our breakdown for the small website described above:
New, Small Business Website, Cost Breakdown:
Planning – $0 – $600
UX (sitemap, wireframes) – $0 – $1200
Visual Design – $1,200 – $2,400
Programming – $3,000 – $4,800
Content Support – $240 – $600
Client Training / Documentation – $240 – $600
Testing and Launch – $960 – $1200
Total Cost: $5,640 – $11,400 *and up, depending on Requirements
This also assumes a short, streamlined approval process without too many revisions or additional requests thrown in there. Programming for e-commerce or complex websites will be more time intensive and could increase costs substantially. Post-launch we definitely recommend a minimum of $500 per month for ongoing, proactive marketing efforts and SEO. For more information give us a call or fill out our inquiry form.
Small business website redesign:
This is basically a redesign of a small business website fitting the scope of the one described above.
You may be surprised that the estimate for the redesign is almost identical to the cost of the “new” website above. This is because 90% of our redesign projects require a completely new programming effort. Web standards change frequently and websites that are over two years old will likely need a newer framework that supports newer functionality and design specs, such as wider pages, mobile-responsive design (tablet & phone) and the latest plug-ins. Here’s our breakdown for a simple website redesign with no custom database or 3rd-party integrations:
Small Business Website Redesign, Cost Breakdown:
Planning – $600 – $800
UX (sitemap, wireframes) – $0 – $600
Visual Design – $960 – $2,400 (cost depends how much of current website design can be reused or applied to the redesigned website).
Programming – $2,000- $4,800
Content Support – $240 – $600
Client Training / Documentation – $0 – $600
Testing and Launch – $960 – $1,200
Total Cost: $4,760 – $11,000 *and up, depending on Requirements
Medium-size business website redesign:
For this article our definition of “medium-size business website” is a website consisting of up to seven main sections with the total pages not to exceed 30 (except in the case of e-commerce). If you need any of this explained, please contact us.
If you are the marketing or website manager in your company and you have been tasked with upgrading your website then you know how important it is to have an online partner you can work with to achieve your business goals. We talk with many companies who lost their website support person and are searching for a reliable agency to enhance and maintain their online presence.
Medium Size Website Redesign, Cost Breakdown:
Conversion of a website to a mobile-responsive website with no major additional enhancements:
Planning / UX (sitemap, wireframes) – $600 – $ 2,400
Visual Design – $1,200 – $3,500 (visual design elements will need to be modified due to mobile responsive specifications)
Programming – $4,800 – $8,800
Content Support/ Migration – $1,200 – $2,400
Client Training / Documentation – $0 – $600
Testing and Launch – $960 – $2,600
Large-size business website redesign:
For this article our definition of “large-size business website” is a website consisting of up to eight main sections with the total pages not to exceed 80 (except in the case of e-commerce). If you need any of this explained, please contact us.
Larger companies with multiple branches or divisions typically have more complex websites with multiple sections and sub-sections of content. This means that the database and page templates can require more effort to build. If you need website enhancements, we need to determine if your existing website framework can be modified to achieve your goals. In a perfect scenario, we would be able to migrate the current database into a newer, responsive framework. If that’s possible, it will help to reduce the costs, especially if we’re not radically modifying website structure in the new website.
Large Website Redesign, Cost Breakdown:
Planning / UX – $2,200 – $5,400 *and up
Visual Design – $3,400 – $6,600 (visual design elements will need to be modified due to mobile responsive specifications)
Content Support/ Migration – $1,600 – $2,800
Programming – $10,500 – $25,500
Client Training / Documentation – $1,200 – $2,800
Testing and Launch – $2,400 – $4,800
Other Website Components and Costs:
Besides the main cost of designing and building a website, there are other costs that can impact your budget during development and on an ongoing maintenance basis. Following is a list of those associated costs. We also have a good video here about website hard costs.
$10/year (or less)
$50 to $100+ a year depending on traffic and hosting services. For example you may want to pay extra for regular website backups and extra security features. We recommend Pantheon
License or cost of plugins
There are thousands of extensions, plugins, widgets, modules and applications that can add great features to your website at a low cost. In the old days we had to build these from scratch. Now it’s a matter of paying a small fee $0 – $300 or annual license $20 – $1,000+ and adding the feature to your website. Keep in mind that these plugins are mini-applications that have versions so at some point the version will “expire” and need to be updated. Updating an expired plugin can be simple as one-click or complex taking many hours of effort. Usually a professional developer will have to upgrade or update your expired plugin.
Continued website maintenance and upgrades
$1,000+ per year, depending on level of support and updates required.
Royalty-free stock art photos and graphics can range from $15 – $100+ each depending on license fees and usage.
Marketing Your Website Online / SEO
$750 a month and up to proactively market your website. Here’s a short video on budgeting for marketing.