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✿ How Much Does a Website Cost?
❀ First Things, First: Gather All Your Content!
✿ Standard Website or CMS: Which Setup is Right For You?
❀ Meeting Your Timeline
✿ Pricing

If you are seeking to develop a new website, or revamp an existing site, I would like to recommend you take just a few moments of your time to read the key concepts below. This valuable information will help you better understand what you, as a web client, can do prior to requesting a proposal that will ensure your project starts off right.

How Much Does a Website Cost?

One of the most frequent, initial questions I receive from prospective clients is, ‘How much does a website cost?’This is a bit like asking, ‘How much does a house cost?’ and the answer is much the same: ‘It depends.’

Several factors influence the cost of building or revamping a website, including complexity and size. To continue with the house analogy which I often find helpful, one might envision the pages of a website as rooms, and the sections as floors. The special features and functions of a website could be likened to building materials. And, just as a custom home will be more expensive than a tract house, a highly customized website will cost more than a simple, template-based one.

As every website is different, I offer pricing for base packages, and add-on features, which can be tailored to your needs. These are intended as a guide and can be negotiated on a case-by-case basis.

First Things, First: Gather All Your Content!

But, we are actually getting ahead of ourselves. All of this is, in fact, secondary to the real first question a client should have answered before approaching a web designer/developer, which is, ‘What will the content be?’ This is the single-most important thing to bear in mind when starting to plan a website! Without meaningful content, even the most visually captivating website is nothing more than a pretty frame.

Before you ever consider what the site will look like, you should decide what will be on it, then gather those materials (e.g., written text, photos, your logo, other graphics) and have them available prior to requesting a website proposal. Doing so will save you time, money and many headaches down the line. Unfortunately, it is all too frequently assumed that the website will be built first and the content will simply be ‘plugged in’ later, which is akin to starting to build a house without any sort of blueprints — definitely not recommended! The key point to remember is that websites should always be planned and built to accommodate the content, not the other way around.

So where do you begin with selecting your content? Every effective website, from the largest corporate site down to the smallest blog, will usually have these three pages in common: the homepage (the first page, which functions much like the front page of a newspaper), an ‘About’ page (with details about you and/or your business), and a ‘Contact’ page (with information such as address, phone number, email address — even if those appear elsewhere, such as the site's footer). These are very standard website pages. Beyond that, you will need to think about what additional information you would like your visitors to have, and designate pages and sections accordingly.

Does your business or organization have regular events? In that case, an Events or Calendar page would be a useful feature. If your business is a restaurant, then a page or section of pages with menu options and photos of dishes would be very appropriate. These are just a couple of examples, and much of a website's content will of course be specific to the type of business or organization it represents. But, generally speaking, you should think in terms of what information you want your prospective customers to have when they visit your site. A website is a form of online advertising, after all!

Standard Website or CMS: Which Setup Is Right For You?

The next question I usually pose to a client is, ‘Who will be tasked with updating and maintaining the website once it is completed and launched?’ This information directly relates to the complexity of the site and will also dictate the cost. There are two basic options:

Option 1. If the site will not need to be edited or updated very often or very extensively, and will be light on special functions and features, or if you prefer any maintenance and updates to be performed by your web developer or someone with knowledge of web code, then a simple HTML-based or custom-template-based site will be adequate to your needs. This is usually the most straightforward, quickest, and least expensive setup, and your long-term costs will go more towards recurring maintenance of the site than on the initial construction.

Option 2. If the site will need to be maintained by a person or team of persons who have little to no knowledge of editing raw web code (e.g., HTML) and who do not have access to an application that would allow them to do it easily, it is recommended that a content management system (CMS) be used. Some of the most commonly used platforms for CMSs include WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla. At Wabbitt Web Design, I specialize in CMS-based sites developed in WordPress. CMS-based websites also tend to have options for, often free, customizable modules, called plug-ins, which offer additional functionality and features with reduced development time than if they were being built from scratch. A CMS is the more complex and thus usually more costly setup, as there is more to the underlying structure required to allow the average person with minimal web coding experience to maintain the site.

Meeting Your Timeline

While content and structure are two of the primary considerations, I also ask prospective clients about their timeline, i.e., when will the site need to be launched? Except for the very simplest designs, which can take as little as a week or two from start to launch, bear in mind that a quality web site realistically takes a minimum of 8-12 weeks for development — after the initial consultation and proposal acceptance — so please plan accordingly. (If a rush launch is needed, this will of course result in additional fees.) The timeline also depends on how organized your project concept is prior to development — including the previously recommended gathering of materials — and how much planning assistance you will need.

If you have questions at any point in the process, I will be sure to take the necessary time to consult with you, and clarify and address your needs to ensure the vital success of your website project!

Pricing

Standard, Custom Website, 3-5 pages - $500.00
Includes

Standard, Custom Website, 5-10 pages - $800.00
Includes

Standard, Custom Website, 10-15 pages - $1000.00
Includes

WordPress CMS-based Custom Website, base price - $1000.00
Includes

Additional Website Services

Social Media Platform ‘Triple-threat’ Setup - $100.00

Content writing and updates for up to 3 social media platforms - $35.00/hour or $150.00/week (includes regular monitoring and response)
Or, single platform pricing

*Confused about linking/unlinking your Google+ and YouTube accounts? Solutions available, let me assist you! Call or email me for a free initial consultation today!