How much does a website really cost?

Here’s a question that we never get sick of hearing; “Why does a website cost so much?”

Why do we never get sick of hearing that? Because it gives us the opportunity to educate and inform clients on just what effort and expense goes into creating a professional website. Like any specialized craft or profession, the skills necessary to produce professional grade websites take years of training and experience to acquire and represent a significant investment on the part of the designer. The rate a web designer charges is often less about turning a profit, and more about creating a reasonable return for this investment. Web design is a complex and highly skilled undertaking, with websites often taking 100+ hours to be properly built, tested, and published.

However, with the emergence of ‘free’ website builders such as WIX.com and Weebly, many individuals and businesses looking to establish an online presence have begun to question the cost of professional website design. Why should they pay thousands of dollars for something they can get for free? While it is true that a professionally designed website can cost you thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars, the benefits afforded over ‘free’ web design options are invaluable. Mobile Responsiveness, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media Linking, Interactive Media, Animated and Video Content, Custom Design and Layout, E-commerce Solutions, Kinetic Elements, Modular Design, Tracking and Analytics, Conversion Rate Optimization; these are just a few of the many benefits afforded by professional web design.

75% of users admit to making judgments about a company’s credibility based on their website’s design.

-Stanford Guidelines for Web Credibility

There is no ‘one size fits all’ pricing in the realm of website design. The cost of a website can vary greatly – even among companies in the same industry – depending on an ever-evolving number of design variables. Functionality, number of unique pages, complexity of design, incorporated features, degree of SEO implementation; any one of these factors can dramatically impact the total cost of a website.

Having a company website is no longer an option or a luxury; it’s a requirement for success. You need a website… a professional that makes a bold statement; one that sets you apart from your competitors and gives you the edge you need to stay ahead of the curve.

A quick word about price discrepancies in website costs. As you’ve no doubt noticed, there is a tremendous amount of ‘swing’ in the rates charged by different website development professionals. Why would one company charge R10,000 for the same site that another developer quotes out at R3,000? Two reasons…

  1. First of all, not all websites are created equal. There is a massive divide in quality between a custom, professionally built website, and one that was thrown together in a long weekend by an inexperienced developer. Customers care a great deal about the overall quality of the content and appearance of your site – in fact, the more eye catching and clever your site, the more your customers will want to come back. Consider as well that more ‘expensive’ website builds typically include features that are integral to the success of your online presence, such as web traffic analytics, mobile device optimization, and web support that extends well passed the ‘completion date’ of the project.
  2. Second, not all web developers are created equal. For every bona-fide professional web developer there about a dozen ‘web design hobbyists’ producing sub-par products at cut-rate prices. If a web developer hits you with a low-ball quote, do yourself a huge favor and explore the quality and quantity of their past work. If they do not have an online portfolio, ask them to provide you with work samples. Also, see if they have any client testimonials available, either online or on request. If a web developer can’t provide examples of satisfied customers, then chances are they’ve never had one!

At Makitla Group Digital we build nothing but profitable, high-functioning websites and bring years of professional web design experience and expertise to every project we undertake. We have a robust portfolio of past designs and a long list of customers who are more than happy to attest to the level of professionalism and mastery we exhibit in our work.

Original Article: Creative Click Media LCC
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