How Much Does a Website Cost

by Chris McCrow

How much does a website cost? Ahhhh, if I had a penny for every time I was asked that! In truth it’s like asking how much a house costs; it depends on size, quality of finish, etc. It’s no exaggeration to say that a website can cost anything from a few £100 to a few £100,000.

So, to give a meaningful answer, I’ll answer the question that I wish you’d asked ;-):

My budget is X, what sort of website can I get for that?

A Website For Less Than £1,000

For a rock bottom budget you’re best off going for a cloud-hosted DIY website builder package, such as 1&1. Using a service like this you can get a basic website online from a generic template for a few hundred pounds a year, without the need to know about any programming, designing, hosting, or any other confusing technical stuff.

A Website Costing Around £1,000

For those who want something more flexible but still on a budget you can look at working with a professional to deploy an open source solution using mainly off the shelf components. Doing something like this has an advantage over the super low budget option above because YOU OWN the source code; and therefore the ability to extend and modify it. By using a patchwork of off-the-shelf and open source technologies you ensure on-going support is readily available as website professionals the world over are well versed in these technologies.

To keep costs low we would advocate using an open source technology stack such as LAMP. On top of this go with a framework such as WordPress with a theme / theme framework.

Stick with the bigger players such as Woo or Elegant so you are sure of quality coding and support.

Once you have produced your content, you can work in some stock photography to add the gloss. You’ll also want some basic plug-ins such as Yoast SEO Plugin and integration with Google Analytics to help drive your post-launch marketing efforts. A few hours of programmer and/or designer time will also be needed at this stage for minor tweaks / customisation to the site and to set up some basic hosting.

A Website For A Few £1,000

With a higher budget comes more possibilities to build on top of the basic WordPress platform above. However don’t make the mistake of getting too carried away with bespoke design and development if your budget is in the low £1000’s. Instead largely follow the design concept of your chosen theme with only minor colour / layout customisations; it will still look great and further investment in customisation of design towards your brand can be made when the £££ start rolling in from your great content; and as any digital marketer will tell you… CONTENT IS KING so focus your investment there.

Spend some money with a Search Engine Marketer and figure out what your optimal keywords are, at least for your homepage and drive your content production from this. Have your content reviewed by an online copywriter if you can afford it.

“Don’t underestimate the work that goes into this stage, its deeply reflective work to write about your own business in a way that drives sales”

Exactly how your budget is used is ultimately up to you, but a good digital agency should advise where your greatest return on investment will come from. To balance what we feel is important from a digital marketing perspective with our clients needs we define a pre-specified website production package at around this budget.

A Bespoke Website Budget – The Sky’s The Limit

Going with a custom-built website / application is like deciding to buy a custom-made suit, you know it’s going to fit your business perfectly but you’ve got to pay to get it done properly. When developing anything bespoke online expect overhead; you will most likely need a project manager, technical architect, quality assurance engineer, designer and programmer all involved. The temptation will be to skimp in places, e.g. not test properly or outsource inappropriately; both of which are rookie mistakes and will cost your far more in the long run.

Does Your Budget Include Online Marketing!?

One more thing; if you build it they will not come. Website production is only half the battle so don’t forget to budget for some online marketing post-launch to drive traffic to you shiny new website.

5 comments on “How Much Does a Website Cost

  • Avatar for Chris McCrow

    At the end of the day you get what you pay for. Being cheap is a false economy and in today’s world where having an online/digital presence becomes increasingly important it is crucial to ensure you have a consistent brand message across all forms of media.

    It is hard to get it right, but with some careful planning with the help of professionals you can trust then you have the support you need to run a successful business or personal brand.

    • Avatar for Chris McCrow

      Couldn’t agree with you more Jason, buying cheap is a false economy because more often than not it takes longer and the quality is poor.

      Even if you do find cheap talent you create a situation where your team are eventually going to become disgruntled over pay. If you want consistency in you brand you must also have consistency in your team; and that means paying whats right and retaining talent.

  • Avatar for Chris McCrow
    Shelley Ham says:

    FINALLY!!! Someone that tells you as it actually is!! I could have done with this exact info 2 years ago… In this form to show the powers that be in the workplace what a website really entails!! :)

  • Avatar for Chris McCrow

    I am extremely impressed with the structure to your blog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it your self? Anyway stay up the excellent high quality writing, it’s uncommon to see a great weblog like this one nowadays..

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.