How much will a website cost?
This requires some explanation. Trust me, it is worth reading.
Why you cannot expect a website for £50, and why you should not expect to pay £1,000s for a website. Here is a transparent and honest explanation.
Everybody loves a bargain. Getting a product or service of great value for a low price is one of those things that people talk about when socialising and brag about on social media, until that moment when … The bargain plumber’s work bursts all over the bathroom floor and gushes down the stairs or your mate’s bargain oil change is now in a puddle on your garage floor.
The same goes for custom web designers. “Cheap” is a highly deceptive term; it really means you may not pay as much up front, but that you’ll be paying more (probably way more) in the future to fix extra problems, make up for lost time in downtime.
If you own a business, of any size, you need a website.
In addition, you simply cannot afford to waste money on a “bargain” web designer. You have to do your homework and budget accordingly to get the best web designer you can afford for your needs. That means that a £50 website will not be your best bet, but that does not mean that your website has to cost more than a few hundred pounds, and definitely not £1,000. Unless it requires complex animations and bespoke interactive functionality.
A £50 website would break down as follows for the designer and client:
Website domain name purchase: £1 – £15 per year (depending on what type of domain name you require)
email package: £1 -£10 per month (depending on how big a mail box you require)
Website hosting per month: £5 – £25 (depending on how many Gbs of storage you require.)
Software and page building: free – £60 per website (depending on what type of website you are having and whether the designer is building it from the ground up or using a ‘theme’ and a paid page builder; even WordPress websites have a cost, plugins and themes, despite WordPress itself being free)
Therefore, the best-case scenario is that the designer has already spent a minimum of £73 per year out of the £50 website promise. If it takes a minimum of a day to create the website then allowing for the minimum wage the designers should be paying themselves £60 for that day’s work.
Think of your website as an employee. It does, after all, work for you.
Now, let us say another custom web designer wants to charge you £500 to get your website up and running for the first three years. That may sound like a lot at first—until you compare that ‘workhorse’ website to what you would pay an actual human employee to deliver information, collect messages, update products and services, market your brand and be a ‘shop window’ for your business. If your website were an actual person, they would only be earning anywhere around £15,000-£25,000/year. See how inexpensive it really is to hire a good web designer the first time around?
Now, let us talk about website security.
Hacking, phishing, etc. are constant threats to every website on the web—including yours. The best web designers are going to have the industry experience and know-how and stay on top of the latest security threats, alerts, trends, and technology to keep your website, your resources and your customers and their information safe from the never-ending cavalcade of hackers out for an easy million. Inexperienced unreliable designers are not going to have that expertise and may be using risky code techniques that can leave you open to business-destroying security disasters.
Where is the maintenance?
An inexperienced or bargain website designer may not be around when you need help on your website. You may need to update the blog, update your product, post new stuff, change your contact information, and deal with a security threat or a crash of some kind. Stuff happens, even to the best websites. You need to make sure you have an experienced custom website designer with a long record of accomplishment of being there to handle their customer’s maintenance needs like clockwork. You do not want to call the service number and find out it has been “disconnected” when you have an urgent website issue to solve right this minute.
Website layout and design is not a one-time deal.
CMS core systems are updated at least monthly, if not more (these are like the patches on your computer or updates to your phone). When these updates happen, your layout needs to be updated accordingly too, otherwise your website can… well… break. Without constant updates, your website can also suffer even more security issues. Inexperienced, “cheap” web designers do not factor these things in and you might be left with an expensive mess to have somebody else fix. Just hire the right web designer the first time and avoid this hassle!
Finally, a more realistic price for a business website would start around the £250 mark
(for the design of the website not including hosting etc).
This price would be higher if that business required e-commerce or membership facilities for example.
This would break down as follows:
Website monthly hosting: £10 approx.
Email monthly mailbox for the domain: £5 approx.
Purchase of a web domain: £11 per 2 years, therefore £1 a month approx.
Software, plugins, themes, licences (if needed): £60 a year, therefore £5 a month
So the outlay before hourly rate and website construction is £21 a month or £250 approx. a year
Now, the design of a website takes time. A designer should earn at least £15 per hour for their time, even upwards of £30 an hour.
The main body of a website can be created in a day; this is the skeleton and basic layout of the site. Things such as page layout, colour scheme and menus can be done in a day. Therefore, the designer would earn £120 on the first day. All the content, images and final touches can be worked on during day 2. This again would earn the designer £120 for their day’s work. The website would be a quality website, but 16 hour+ would have been spent on its creation.
Any meetings and phone discussions would not be chargeable.
Therefore, the designer would get a wage of £240 for producing the website, and the client would have the £250 a year outlay for the hosting, domain name, email and licenses etc. Several hours of meetings and phone calls may go unpaid for the designer. Therefore, the wage is still fair if they charge just £15 an hour.
Therefore, a decent website can cost around £500.
This would be about £250 upfront and £250 annual costs.