Designing a beautiful yet functional website is critical to driving customers to your business. Understanding how much the average site costs is not always clear cut.
By having an idea of all of the elements involved, you will be better able to plan your site design budget. Here are 6 things to think about when deciding on your budget.
1. Your Site Should be User Friendly
The amount you spend on your website will depend on several factors.
First, your website should work well. It should provide a positive experience for your customer. They should walk away feeling confident that they got exactly what they were looking for? So your website needs to wear many hats. Think about what your customer wants. A way to log in and see their account? An easy to use the shopping cart? A way to subscribe to your content month after month? All of this will factor into the price of your Web design.
2. Your Site Has a Big Job to Do
How many pages will you need for your site? If you are looking for a basic site with only the typical “About,” “Services”, “Gallery” and “Contact Us” pages, you will find yourself satisfied with a low-cost basic site that won’t break the bank.
This way your customers can find you, contact you, and find out what your business is about. If you need more pages–portfolios filled with beautiful photos of your products, expertly written guides, etc., you will find yourself paying a higher price for your site.
3. Your Site’s Design is the Best Way to Catch Their Attention
This is where your business gets to shine.
Have you ever visited a website and been blown away by the opening photo? Ever read something on a site that made you want to read more? Or, have you ever seen a blog page so interesting that you sat and read every single post?
When you invest in good design, you will get these kinds of reactions from your readers. While some design firms use pre-made templates, a custom-designed site tells a story and draws your reader in. With a custom site, you can design the colors, the look, and the feel of the site with ease.
4. Your Site Should Give Them Something to Talk About
Content is king. Most people come to the Internet for information before they decide to make a purchase. They want information, and they want to go to the most trusted source to get that information. This is where your site comes in. Your customer is searching for information about how to get their dog to stop chewing their shoes. They visit your site for your blog post on the topic. While on your site, they see that you sell custom dog collars. You now have a new loyal customer. Your blog, images, stories, testimonials, and videos tell a story and invoke feelings of trust with your customers. Not only will they buy from you, but they will also tell their friends and send them to your site. Your loyal customers will become your own free marketing team.
Your design firm will work with a team of copywriters, photographers, stock photo sites, and videographers to bring you the most compelling content that will draw in your ideal customer and grow your business. One of the best investments you can make in your website is well-curated content.
5. The Breakdown: Website Costs
The price of a web-site varies widely, but there are some elements that are usually factored into the final price.
- Domain name: $5-$100,000 depending on whether the name you want is available. If it is, expect to pay closer to $20 for a one year use. If you have to buy it from the current owner, expect to spend more to get exactly what you want.
- Hosting: $35-$65 monthly. You will need a reliable host for your site, so it pays to research this prior to committing to one host
- E-Commerce function: $100-$10,000 depending on the number of products you will be selling and the added features you will need (payment plans, subscriptions, etc.)
- Content: $100-$10,000 Blog posts, home page text, About Us page, videos, photos, etc. Again, these costs depend heavily on whether you will provide these pieces of content yourself or purchase them from copywriters, bloggers, and stock photo sites. (For more information on why content is important and what it is be sure to read the linked post)
- SEO and Marketing: $0-$100 monthly for keyword optimization, SEO-enriched content, and on-page marketing
- Applications and Integrations: $10-$150 monthly, depending on the application
Can you say YIKES?!
6. Building Your Website: The Essentials
The five main pages that the most effective web sites include are Home, About Us, Services, Contact, and Purchase/Book. Think of these pages as members of the sales team. Each has its own important functions and together they work to draw in and keep your customer.
The home page is like a beautifully decorated storefront window. It offers something eye-catching to get the customer to come inside.
Once inside the store, the owner (about us) introduces himself and assures you that this company has been in business for years and is an expert in the field.
The salesperson, the “services” page, talks in detail about how the business can make the customer’s life better.
The “Buy Now/Book/Purchase” page is like your store’s cashier stand. Conveniently placed and easy to use, these pages help your customer when they have made the decision to buy. Finally, the cashier lets the customer know that the store has a generous return policy and a customer service department in case the customer needs help.
Your Web designer will pull all of these elements together, building a site that not only looks fantastic but instills confidence and loyalty into your customer.
Hiring a Professional vs. DIY
Some small business owners wonder whether it is more cost-effective to build their own websites. If this is something that you have in mind please see our DIY Web Design for the person short on time blog post as it will offer a lot of assistance.
Please remember though, while this may seem like a budget saver, it can often cost you more to do it on your own.
Building a web-site can be time-consuming, giving you less time to run your business. In addition, many business owners underestimate how expensive it can be to piece all of the elements of the web-site together separately and end up paying more than simply hiring a design firm that offers an all-in-one solution. If you are unfamiliar with some programming concepts, going DIY can limit your site’s functionality.
Truth is, there are a million pieces of content on the Web competing for your customer’s attention and dollars. Social media posts, news items, competitor sites, even cat videos.
At this point, the question becomes how do you stand out from the crowd? How can you be different? Well, with a professional, custom-designed site, you can draw them in and keep them there so you can provide them with exactly what they want and need.
So, don’t spend time trying to figure out how to re-size photos, create blog posts, add in meta-tags, integrate applications, and build sub-pages with a do-it-yourself site.
When you trust a competent and skilled design team, they will handle all of the technical aspects of the site build while you focus on running your business. Your investment will include meetings with the team in which you will create a profile of your ideal customer and build your site with them in mind.
You can customize every part of your site, from the colors to the text, content, and widgets. With a beautiful and well-built site, you can enjoy loyal customers who will buy from you again and again.
At the end of the day, a high-quality website is a worthwhile investment in your business success. It is your most loyal employee, working around the clock to promote your company and sell your products.
Here at Quirky Letters Designs we offer custom, beautifully designed websites that won’t break the bank. We have years of experience building websites for companies both large and small.
Call us today and let’s have a chat about making a website as unique as you.