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. This article is based on over eighteen years of experience in this field.
Ok – let’s begin: How do website design agencies charge?
NOTE: Our updated website costs in 2017 article is also available.
There’s only one sensible method to charge for website design and development: you establish a cost for your services and then mark them 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 January 2016) 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 billable 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 five million dollar business, they may calculate a value of the website at X% of your total sales. This approach would never work with our client-base.
NOTE: Here’s a link to our short video on the benefits of going with a web agency.
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 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.