How Much Does It Cost to Build a Small Business Website?
With the average small business now devoting upwards of $75,000 a year to digital marketing, there are some major costs to consider when building a web presence. Your website cost is more than the cost of hosting your site, paying for your domain, or paying to have someone build it once. You need regular maintenance, a social media plan, and to continuously build your site out.
Here are five things to consider when budgeting for your website.
1. Design or Template?
When it comes time to put together your website, you need to decide how much money you have to put into the design. While you can attract a lot of people with a very simple design, by having a unique design, you become memorable and can improve upon design problems. However, if you’re short on cash, you could go with a template and get the ball rolling faster with a design you know works.
The only problem with templates, especially free ones, is that you could risk having a site that looks like your competitor’s. When this happens, it becomes hard to differentiate your brand, meaning that if you’re trying to play catch up, you could risk looking like a copycat.
Design is challenging to create online. If you’re not a master of web design, you could create something that looks great on your device but doesn’t look good on another device. When you choose a template, you have a much higher chance of that design working on every single device loading up your website.
The more customization that you pursue, the more your website is going to cost.
2. Mobile Optimization Matters
When you’re creating a website, you need to think about mobile optimization. As mobile internet usage has definitively surpassed the amount of traffic on desktops and laptops, you need to think about mobile usage. If you’re not prepared for mobile interactions, you risk losing a huge and growing share of the market.
Mobile devices require you to think more simply than if you were creating a website ten years ago. When designing a site, you need to start off from a “mobile first” perspective. By starting off with mobile devices, you can ensure that you’re able to load without needing to be stretched, scaled, or rotated.
People want a site that loads quickly and easily in portrait mode, without cramming in content or having to pinch and zoom.
Mobile optimization also means that you can integrate your mobile site with other applications. When people can bounce from your site to their social media or productivity apps right away, you save them time and ease their workflow. Even when that “work” is recreation or entertainment, making life easier for your visitors is always a good thing.
3. Do You Want An App?
If you’re going to put up a lot of money to get the best and most robust site around, perhaps you don’t need to invest in a site. Maybe you need to create an app instead of putting so much time and effort into building a site. Creating an app allows you to ensure that you’re able to give everything your clients need without restricting them to a site.
When you have an app, you get to secure your data better. You can create personalized experiences. You can also ensure that you have your customers’ full attention.
Creating an app saves you on resources while also giving you the chance to focus on what your customers need the most.
You can allow your website to be a place for people to find basic information about you and to get to where they need to go. Send them to social media if they want to interact, send them to your e-commerce site if they want to buy, or send them to your app if they need more.
4. Managing a Lot of Data?
When you’re going to be managing a lot of data, you need to ensure that you have the staff and the tools necessary to keep things moving. If you have a platform where your customers or clients are going to store several MB or even GB od data, you need to ensure that you have a robust network. This means that you need powerful servers that work reliably and are adequately protected from hacking.
If your customers are trusting you to hold on to vital financial, personal, or consumer data, know that you’re tasked with something serious. Customers need to know that you’re protecting their information at all times and that they’re not in danger of hacking. They also need to know that you’re not going to be selling that data.
Protecting data requires you to have robust security and people to run those systems. You have to calculate that in when figuring out the cost of your website.
5. You Need to Create Content
In the modern era, you need to create a lot of content if you want to ensure that you’re able to attract new users. SEO is one of the most powerful tools in the modern era of web promotion and marketing. If you’re not prepared for search engines to connect you with your audience, you’re missing out on powerful connections.
How Much are Typical Website Costs?
With the help of an agency, you could spend upwards of $25,000 to get the kind of site that can draw in the clicks you’re looking for. At the bare minimum, you’re going to look at spending around $5,000.
Here’s a breakdown of some of the costs:
- Hosting – WP Engine $35/mo
- Content Management System (CMS) – Free with WordPress
- Web Templates and Images – Envato Elements $29/mo
- Shopping Cart – Free with WooCommerce
- Payment Processing – Stripe 2.9% + .30 cents per transaction
- Copywriting – Hire writers on Fiverr for as little as $25 for 500 words
- Royalty Free Images – Burst https://burst.shopify.com/ = Free
- Promotion – Facebook and Instagram Ads for as little as $10 for 1,000 impressions of your ad and Google Ads for as little as $1 to $3 per click. Great benchmarking stats in links.
- Total for 20-page site
- Initial Cost – $564
- Monthly Cost with a weekly blog post – $164/mo
- First Year – $2,368
Website Cost Will Vary
If you don’t know what the purpose of your website is, then it’s hard to calculate the website cost. However, once you work out why you want people on your site and what they should get out of it, you can ensure that you get the most out of it.
When you’re getting down to building your site, follow our guide to ensure that your web presence builds on your marketing plan.