I get asked this question on an almost daily basis and it is quite normal that people outside of the online business sphere might wonder how much a web design project costs. This article will attempt to answer this question which may at first appear simple but includes many aspects that need to be addressed in order to present a clear answer.
A WEBSITE COSTS AS MUCH AS A CAR!
This is often the shortest and most direct answer I can give to avoid getting into a long explanation on the points to consider in determining the cost of a website. I like to make this comparison between the cost of a website and the cost of a car because you need to factor in all the different prices and, depending on the company that creates the site (the “brand”), the options you want and the services you expect once the site is delivered.
I will then often continue my explanation by suggesting that my client either immediately go for the Mercedes or focus on the “cheaper” models if their budget is lower so that I don’t create frustration by making proposals outside of their budget. As you can imagine, a website can cost $500 or $50,000 depending on who builds it and how it is built.
HOW CAN YOU CALCULATE THE COST OF A WEBSITE?
For an immediate, concrete and direct answer: one cannot definitively say that a website costs $500 or $1000, even if it is designed by your cousin, your friend or an independent.
For a basic site that consists of 5 pages (home, about, service 1, service 2, contact), in both French and English, without any special features, it takes about 10-15 hours for the design (if you want a custom-made site), 4-5 hours to integrate page content, 6-7 hours for programming and module integration (if using a platform like WordPress) and 4-5 hours for project management (the back and forth between you and the company designing the site to arrive at a satisfying result). We therefore arrive at roughly 24 to 32 hours to create a website. If you are a web designer yourself, you might say that I did not leave much room for flexibility. I effectively calculated a minimum time to allow for a floor price.
Now that we have a floor price for a basic site, you need to know the hourly rate charged by your website design company. Once again, we are going to look at the average for the web industry in Quebec, which falls between $50 (often for self-employed people just starting out or with an aggressive pricing policy) and $100 an hour (for slightly greedier agencies). This gives us an average price between $1,200 (24 x $50/hour) – $1,600 (32 x $ 50/hour) and $2,400 (24 x $100/hour) – $3200 (32 x $100/hour). Don’t forget that we are talking about a basic site!
As you can see, prices tend to vary and unfortunately the quality will often vary as well. However, don’t default to the idea that paying more will always give you a higher quality site. Unfortunately, although price often influences the quality of services, it is not systematic. Keep in mind that web designers are free to arbitrarily set the prices they want (there is no regulation for this). Therefore, make sure to consult the company’s portfolio or even look for customer reviews:
WHAT PRICE ARE YOU WILLING TO PAY TO CREATE YOUR WEBSITE?
Now that you have a more accurate idea of the cost of a website, you must determine the budget you are willing to invest if you want this “expense” to really be an “investment”. To do this, you must list all the features you want integrated on your site and send it to several service providers to get an overview and then contact them individually. This will allow you to compare different options and choose the company that you trust most.
Keep in mind that you will almost certainly need the agency you choose over the long term, even after they have delivered your website. Therefore, it is important to take the time to extensively study each offer and let your intuition guide you.
I hope this article has answered the famous question “how much does a website cost?” that many people ask themselves. If you would like to receive a quote from me, please do not hesitate to contact me at 514-437-4245 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Looking forward to working with you, and many thanks for taking the time to read my article!