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How much should a website really cost in 2020?

It can be tricky to estimate and budget website costs, especially if it’s something you haven’t priced in a long time. There are many factors that go into website pricing – things such as page count, functionality, design, and copywriting. Without knowing your business’ specific needs, it’s impossible to determine an exact cost.

Still, there are ways to analyze averages and begin to plan your budget when it’s time for a website upgrade.

Related video: 3 things you can’t afford to overlook when hiring a web designer

Keep in mind, in this article, we’re talking about done-for-you, professional design and development. While there are do-it-yourself builders available, if you’re serious about growing your business, and want to turn more visitors into customers, hire a professional. A website is literally a tool that can mean getting the sale or not… day after day, click after click.

Research shows that custom website development can start at $8,000 and go up to well over $40,000 and more. (In fact, in 2014, roughly $2.1 billion was spent on the healthcare.gov website! But that’s another story.)

Realistically, the cost of anything is proportionate to the value it provides. So let’s examine the factors that contribute value to a website, and then we can get closer to estimating a cost.

Good design sells.

A good designer will understand not only how to make things look aesthetically pleasing, they’ll also understand conversion design, or the framework that top designers use to design landing pages that persuade users to take a desired action. Conversion design means understanding how to position elements on a layout, copy, calls-to-action, social proof, credibility, and offers so that they all work together systematically.

Even though most web design companies don’t charge by the hour, as you can imagine, conversion designers bill at a much higher rate than your average designer. Good conversion designers typically bill at more than $100 per hour. For a medium site, which may take 40 hours to design (just for quick math), this skillset alone commands a price of $4,000 as a base cost.

Functionality is dynamic.

88% of users will never return to a website after a poor user experience. That’s why the quality of the talent you hire is important – not just as it relates to design, but also functionality.

Before getting a website quote, a business owner should already have in mind what they’re looking for in terms of functionality. Will the site sell products through an online store? Will it be a tool used for capturing leads? Will it be a membership site which will provide individual log-in access for customers to access gated content? Each of these items comes with its own unique price tag, and that’s why estimating the cost of functionality is dynamic.

For a web design and development company that staffs specialized front-end or back-end developers, the cost may be higher, but the specialized support may be greater than with a company which outsources its development needs on a case-by-case basis.

E-commerce sites (shopping cart sites) that have the necessary tools to accommodate upsells, downsells, and cross-sells will generally come with a larger price tag of $10k+ at minimum. The number of products imported at launch will also be a contributing factor in determining the set-up cost. The more products sold, the higher the cost.

Know your page count.

The number of inner page designs created can also drastically affect price. While custom page design comes with custom price, templating an inner page design of a site is one way some businesses elect to save money. Typically, designers charge an additional $100-200 per page, depending on the complexity. Analyze and map out how many pages your site will have, then multiply accordingly.

high converting website designCopywriting. is. EVERYTHING.

Your ability to capture your visitors’ attention, persuade them to buy from you, trust you, and have complete confidence in your product or service begins and ends with how you communicate through words. That’s why copywriting (or the words on your website) gets its own separate consideration here.

A common mistake business owners make when hiring a website designer is they don’t pay enough attention to creating good, effective copy during the design process. This leads to a lackluster experience for prospects and lackluster sales.

Top copywriters charge thousands of dollars per page, but most good copywriters command between $200-500 per page.

Ongoing maintenance is essential.

Picture this. You just bought a fancy new car (hypothetically speaking), now what about insurance and maintenance? Much like a car, a website is an investment you need to protect, and this is one cost that business owners tend to overlook during the design phase.

Delegating routine website maintenance tasks, hosting, and security to a reliable team of professionals is not as expensive as you might think. In fact, much like serving a car, it’s crucial. For white glove website service, plus the added peace of mind that comes with them, you should expect to pay around $200-$1000 per month, depending on your needs.

While that may seem steep, compared to a site outage, downtime, malware, or customer data breaches – it’s a small price to pay. Broken sites mean lost money and lost customer opportunities. Don’t skimp out! Your business depends on it.

Bundle and save!

By now, your head is probably spinning with numbers and intangible scenarios about website costs. The only way to really know what kind of investment you can expect to make is to get a quote from reputable design companies, then compare not just price, but value.

You could piecemeal all of these components together… cringe. Or you could hop on a call with our team today. To find out what your site will cost, book a free call with us today. It may be less than you think.