Building a new or updated website for your business is a major decision. It requires a large commitment of both time and money - 2 things that are often hard to come by for small-er businesses.
It is also a big decision because it's outcome could either propel the growth of your business for the next 5-10 years or set you back and leave you feeling depressed.
So, how can you know when you're making the right decision for your business when it comes to your website development? Consider this email that we received recently from one of our clients:
Received a website redesign proposal
We've been thinking about redesigning our company website and received a quote from a local agency offering to do it for us for $4,000. Do you think we should accept their proposal?
What should Tony do? Pay the money to the professional agency? Is $4,000 the right amount or is Tony leaving money on the table?
We'll address these questions below.
How much should a website cost for a small business?
There are obviously a lot of variables when it comes to building a website for a business, such as:
- What services does the business offer?
- What functionality needs to exist on the site?
- What's the desired design, and how much content will the site contain initially?
These and other variables can and will greatly influence a website development proposal.
But let's assume for a moment that we're looking for a simple, basic website for our small business. As a developer, here's how I would approach building a proposal:
- $500-$1,000 for setting up a website account and database, depending on the platform
- $100-$200 per page template - not for each page but for each page that will need it's own, unique design
- $100-$500 for functionalities such as contact forms, search functionalities, login pages, etc
If you're talking with a developer and receive an estimate of less than $1,200, then I would do a lot of research to make sure the developer can and will provide you with a professional and unique design.
If you receive an estimate of more than $2,500, then you'd better have quite a few pages/designs and requested functionalities.
Now, we understand that there are many variables at work here, but hopefully this will give you a good place to start.
Should I hire a developer for our new website?
This question pains us to address since we're also developers. But honestly, it's not always a good idea to hire a developer for your small business website.
If you're a small-er business, even $1,200 can make a big dent in your budget. So it's worth giving this decision some serious consideration before signing on the dotted line.
A professionally designed and developed website is definitely important for future business growth, but what if you or your business isn't ready for that yet?
Here are a few scenarios in which I would actually advise against paying a professional developer for your business:
- Your business is brand new and you're just trying to gauge interest. Hold off paying a professional developer for now - just start blogging about your business on a site like Medium.
- Your business is a local establishment that receives walk-ins, and you wouldn't really have value to add by creating a website. There's nothing wrong with just leveraging platforms like Google Business and Facebook.
- You're not ready to commit to investing in your website POST-launch. If you think you'll just build your website and people will come knocking down your door, think again. If you don't plan to invest in your website after launch by doing things like creating new content, then your website will not make it and you'll be disappointed you spent the money.
Hopefully now you can better negotiate the cost of your next website, or think twice and be better prepared before committing to having a new website built for your business - at least for now!