One of the most common questions I get asked as a professional website designer is, “How much can I expect to pay for a small business website?” The scale of a business ultimately determines the end cost associated with building a website. Generally, businesses are considered small if the gross income is under seven million annually. This includes mostly startups, family owned and partnership companies. For many small business owners, the need for a website is serious. Given the array of options, how is it even possible to know what a reasonable budget range is?
Below are four factors we use to help estimate a budget for a small business website.
- Visual quality
- Technical features and function
- Page and content density
- Development and deployment time
The visual quality of the website is determined by a few aspects. First and most obvious is that a website must be appealing to its viewers. Not just on a laptop, but also on smartphones and tablets.
Due to the variety of devices people use, a website needs to remain appealing on whatever device it’s being viewed on. The design should include company colors, logo and media that identify the business as a brand. Maintaining brand awareness builds consumer confidence and is important in establishing a loyal consumer base. The website must be user-friendly with navigation and technical features that are easy for users to interact with. The use of industry standards and best practices can go a long way with user approval. Users that get frustrated or confused with a website will often leave immediately. Simple features such as incorporating drop down menus or adding familiar icons can help visitors find what they’re looking for fast and easy. All of these aspects are typically included in any competent website package from a reputable local web design agency. The overall visual quality will vary by designer, but is ultimately not a huge contributing factor to variation of cost.
Most agencies will have some standard software setup they prefer to work with. However, it’s important to understand that some software is more expensive to use than others. It’s often best to know ahead of time which software you prefer to run your website from. Leveraging open-source and popular content management systems (CMS) such as WordPress can be beneficial. Using a CMS can save time and money during development. It also makes finding new staff or contractors easier as the software is familiar to many professionals. We recommend using WordPress for most website projects. (Editor’s note: We’ve recently blogged about why WordPress is great for non-profits).
Technical features and function
The single largest aspect that drives the cost of website design is technical features. Fortunately, for the average small business this won’t be a big deal. Most small businesses can get away with a simple, informative website that contains minimal technical features. There isn’t always a great need for features beyond a standard contact form or newsletter integration. Some industries however, require more advanced features.
Integrating advanced software systems such as e-commerce or real estate integration have become increasingly common. There are many additional technical requirements to configure these systems beyond that of a standard website which greatly affect the end cost of a website.
Page and content density
Not all websites are the same size and it’s obvious to most that size will drive cost. Although some companies only need a small website with an attractive homepage and a few supporting pages, other companies require more that include several dense pages of content relevant to their products or services.
The cost of content creation is a large consideration and can greatly increase the end cost of a website. The more pages that go into a website, the higher the cost will grow.
Development and deployment time
While development and deployment time are not usually huge driving factors of cost, they can be if there is a time crunch. Some companies are on strict deadlines or in urgent situations where they need faster than average service. In cases like this, time can certainly affect the cost of a website. Most agencies have a standard development time frame and the average website should take around three- to five weeks to build.
So, how much should I budget for my website?
To establish an accurate ballpark for price, we surveyed a few of our competitors here in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, as well as used our own pricing at Gordo Web Design.
- An average small business website with minimal technical features and a few pages of content will range from $2,000- to $4,000 but can exceed this with large page and content density.
- Websites with additional technical features such as e-commerce or real estate integrations (highly dependent on product and property counts and additional technical features) will typically exceed $5,000.
These price ranges could vary by location, but should be reasonably accurate anywhere you go in the United States. Since your website will serve as the online home base of your marketing campaign, it’s important to do your homework and research all of the options before committing to the purchase.
Thanks to Gordo Web Design for this guest post. You can reach out to them on (954) 501-0703 with any small business website questions.