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The cost of getting a website built can be confusing!

It’s the wild west out here.  With so much of a price gap that you as the client can easily get confused.  For some companies, it’s a race to the bottom with pre-made “one-size-fits-all” websites, large advertising agencies who charge a ton, and everything else in between.  Who wouldn’t be confused?

Whenever I talk with possible clients, price is always a top priority. But exactly how much does it cost to build a website?

I’ve been pondering about assumptions clients make regarding cost. Just the other day as I was speaking to a prospective client who mentioned they had paid a low amount and had gotten a terrible result from their website company. This gave me an opportunity to educate them a on how much it costs to build a website.

What do you get for what you pay?

I’ve seen how in most cases the cost to build a website is often a giveaway in regards to the experience of the person or company who builds your website.

At the low end of the spectrum, any projects below a thousand dollars are often handled by a freelancer, or possibly a developer who builds sites on the side, most likely still learning the craft. As such, the price is reflective of the experience level.  So expect that this could require you to stay on your toes and not be taken for a ride!

As you aim higher you might find someone (or a company) more experienced who charges more.  You’re paying for their experience and quality of their website work. Smaller teams may be able to deliver a high quality product, but are limited in how much time they can dedicate to a project depending on the size of the company and their workload.

Consider compromising on your website goals.

Paying less to start your website isn’t always a bad thing.  You can always compromise on your grand vision and start with your concept to get your website out into the world.  I see this a lot with clients who often want to get all of the features into their first version of the website but are hindered by their budget.  Consider compromising and you’ll set the pace for quality instead of risking a bad experience and possibly wasting time and money!

Planning for your website design is key.

There is a saying that time is more valuable than money. When a client tells me how long they spent making their current site, I can only wonder what the true cost of the site was. How much productivity was taken from the company by focusing on building their website beyond the intended deadline?

Have you experienced a long grueling process building your website?   Have you lost business and revenue because your website wasn’t online?  A client we recently worked with had told us they had lost tens of thousands of dollars by not having their website up soon enough.

What items are crucial to building an effective website?

If you intend to engage an experienced website company they will ask you important questions about your business goals and website.  Going beyond your website there are other items to consider to get to your business goals.  These services would include: content marketing, social media, and SEO optimization.

I cannot stress enough how important it is to discuss these details with whomever you decide to use to build your website, and establish your expectations before kicking off the project. It’s important to really understand what is going into your website development, both during and after development.

Always consider your time first and foremost, and do the best you can to be prepared to ask the right questions with the web developer you choose to engage. Thusly, you can make the best investment of time and resources for your business.

Cody Landefeld

co-founder at Mode Effect. ECommerce consultant. Coram deo.

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