It’s official! As of 2015, everyone has a website. Every company, every brand, every entity ever is now on the World Wide Web. With the introduction of cost-effective tools, like Wix and Squarespace, people have begun building good-looking websites for cheap.
One question that we get at VI all of the time is “How Much Does a Website Cost?” And it’s an impossible answer. Kind of like ‘What does a house cost?’ It depends on what you want in it, right?
A website can be a very simple asset that just describes your offering. Or, part of your actual business model, with automated functions, e-commerce capabilities, and customized interactive tools.
In fact, building a good website is about more than a pretty picture or clean code…it’s about building a marketing tool that works to meet your company’s objectives.
Many factors influence the cost of a website, which is ultimately determined by the number of hours it takes to build it:
- How many pages will it have that need to be designed and coded?
- Does it involve commerce with ever-changing inventory and a shopping cart function?
- Do you want to edit it on our own, meaning it needs to have a content management system (CMS).
Depending on what you need and how your company wants to utilize your website, you might be building a two bedroom, one bath. Or, a hilltop estate with guest houses and tennis courts.
Perhaps a better question is how the investment will pay off for you.
- Can your website substitute for other, more costly, marketing functions?
- Can you reduce the size of your sales or labor force if your website is developed as a strategic asset?
- Can you literally reduce your overhead (retail space, inventory, travel, advertising, etc.) if you build a modern website?
- Like all marketing assets, your website should have a measurable ROI. And it should only cost what you are certain it can return.
It shouldn’t be perceived as a one time cost either. Your website can always be improved and should grow with your company.
But, the question deserves some sort of answer in dollars:
$10k? Probably not if you’re developing a site that can truly make you money.
$50k? It can get up there if it’s an extensive site that engages the user.
$1,000,000? If the website is really how you deliver your service, or at least participate in the transaction, it’s entirely possible.
The bottom line: If your website is just an online brochure, that’s your ballpark price. But, if it’s used as a 2015 marketing tool, that’s a different scenario. Like anything else, you’ll get out of your website, what you put into it.