W E B W O R K S
How Much Does a Website Cost?
The Search for the Elusive Digital Pricing Model
B Y C H U C K B A N K O F F
ow much does a website cost?
What I can suggest to you is to NOT base your
Good question. How much
decision solely on price. All websites are not
does a car cost? How much does
created equal. Neither are web developers
food cost? Lobster tails are food, but
then again, so are ramen noodles. For
the most part, websites come in two
or digital marketing agencies.
ﬂavors; ones that someone builds for How do Professional Agencies you will be getting. ASK QUESTIONS!
Program packaging method. This
you, and ones you build yourself. Here Decide What to Charge?
are some examples of each.
Whereas DIY website builders give is the concept that we use at our
you a set of tools, they have limits agency. We consider a website to be
Do-It-Yourself (DIY) Websites and don’t factor in your labor. That just one component of an overall
Sounds good because it sounds includes copywriting, creative deci- digital marketing strategy. With our
inexpensive. That could possibly work sions and strategy. It’s fairly easy for “PartnerPlus” programs and our dig-
for you if you know about design, them to assign a value and slap on ital inbound marketing programs, we
copywriting and search engine opti- a price because what they offer has don’t charge extra for the website. It’s
mization—and have a modicum of been standardized. All the variables just part of the process.
technical ability. You will also need are your responsibility.
time to learn the platform, and prob-
ably time to do it over when it doesn’t company builds you a website, they
When an individual designer or What Factors Go into Pricing?
Business planning and expertise.
look as good as it did in your head, or have to deﬁne and factor in the entire If you’re writing all the copy, dictating
if it didn’t get the desired lead-gener- scope of the project BEFORE they can layout and making all the strategic
ating results. Some of the more popu- quote you. They also have to factor design decisions, you should be pay-
lar DIY platforms are:
in that they are not the ﬁnal deci- ing less. If, on the other hand, the
sion-maker … you are, and they are developer is offering up suggestions
subject to being second-guessed and and making decisions based on cur-
having to alter their work multiple rent design and marketing standards,
times based on your feedback. That’s expect to pay more. If the developer
In the hands of a professional, you normal, but has to be factored in.
can leverage the platform “themes” Project scope method. The most a little extra and let them do the think-
template designs) to get a reason- obvious way to price out a project is ing for you.
ably nice-looking website. However, the same method that professionals Familiarity with an industry, or
has a good track record of results, pay
because these are all part of a common in many other industries do. That is, type of industry. A designer may fac-
platform, they are not particularly ﬂexi- estimating the number of labor hours tor in their familiarity within a certain
ble, and typically don’t provide the type and multiplying it times a ﬁxed rate industry and be in a position to lever-
of server access needed to profession- base on total overhead. Thirty hours x age that expertise on your behalf. That
ally optimize them for search engines.
These DIY systems are reasonably
$100/hr. = $3,000. Duh.
familiarity may shorten their learn-
method. ing curve, and their quote. It may
priced, ranging from $4.50 – $49 per Another popular method is “pack- also result in a better ﬁnal product
month, depending on the particular aged pricing.” For example, $2,500 for because they made their mistakes on
platform and the bells and whistles you package “A” and $4,500 for package someone else’s dime.
choose. These can be a good option “B,” etc. This makes it easy on the
Original design versus a template.
if all you need is a place to post your developer or agency to offer their pric- Many platforms such as WordPress
basic information. Just don’t count on ing to you, but they still have to make have what they call “themes.” These
them being particularly effective if you a proﬁt, so the scope will have to be are essentially pre-designed tem-
are looking to do some serious market- very restrictive. Make sure you know
ing and lead generation.
what you need, and understand what
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