A website is the best tool for you to promote your business. It’s essentially a one-shop window with global accessibility, and your opportunity to make a great impression on consumers.

We’ve already talked about why now is the best time to start your website project.

A website helps you establish a presence and add credibility, build a relationship with your potential clients, collect email/contact information, and get referrals.

Put simply, a website is a must-have for your business.

But tossing up a mediocre website is not enough in today’s internet world. If your website isn’t good enough to provide you with the above benefits, then you have to make some immediate changes.

Here’s the thing: it’s actually better to have no website at all than one that makes your business look bad.

Your website is a symbol for your business. It either conveys that you take your business seriously and you worked hard to create a great site for your customers, or it signals you really don’t care all that much and you cut corners on the design.

Your website is an essential part of your business, so make sure you treat it that way.

A great website has a clear, crisp, easy to navigate design with superb usability and functionality.

It gives consumers an idea of exactly what your business does. It provides information, answers questions, allows consumers to shop and purchase items or services, and is filled with fresh content. And, along with all this, you need to be able to easily update it.

Now, sure, you can go on the web and build a website for yourself for a minimal cost. And if you you have a low budget, this may be seem like your only option.

But remember—you get what you pay for. Chances are, this kind of website will fall towards the mediocre end of the scale.

Instead, you can view the cost of your website as an investment in your business—one that will have a positive return on investment.

And you can choose to get your website development done right, and professionally, by hiring a developer.

But, you might be wondering, what are the costs of a great website?

5 Cost Factors of Website Development

All of the budget suggestions are rough estimates—costs vary depending on the website. But these numbers will help get you started.

We strongly recommend a business to budget at least $5,000 for a website; anything less and you won’t have the fundamentals in place for a successful website. There are investments involved for not just design and development, but also integrations and customizations.

1. Interface Design

This is also referred to as the visual design. It’s the look and feel of your website. The interface design is the design for all page layouts and site graphics, and may also include Flash animation design.

Now, the cost of the interface design will vary based on how well-prepared you are. Do you already have a detailed requirements document? Pre-made templates for the designer to go off of? Another thing that factors in is whether your site is brand new, or a redesign.

Small businesses should budget around at least $1500-$3500 to get from concept to the final design. You definitely don’t want to cut corners here, as the interface design plays a HUGE role in customers’ first impression of your website.

2. Images and Graphics

Do you have graphics already created for the site, or do you need completely custom images created?

Graphics are tricky because they can be tough to create and stock images can get pricey (note: for stock images, always make sure your designer uses licensed stock images). But, the right images and graphics can make your website much more effective

Even if you supply all the images, you’ll still need to get those images integrated into the design. Budget around $400-$750 for stock photos and integration.

3. Mobile/ Responsive Design

People aren’t just viewing your website from their computers. In fact, nearly half of all visitors are from mobile devices—so your website design needs to cater to the mobile audience.

You’ll need either a responsive design, which adapts to different screen sizes, or a separate mobile website, specifically for mobile devices.

It’s better to go the responsive route because you won’t need multiple URLs, and your audience will be able to enjoy the same content throughout different devices.

Making your site responsive usually adds an additional 20%-30% onto the cost of a normal desktop site. That’s because there’s more designing, programming, and testing involved. But this is usually worth the investment.

4. Content Creation

Ideally, you’ll be able to create the content and insert it into the site yourself. Most designers will provide you with a blank template to do this. However, if you’d rather have the add your content, budget around $100-$200 per page.

5. Special Features

There are a bevy of special features you can add that will improve your website and business. Some will be included, but most add-ons will be extra. Here are a few to keep in mind:

  • Contact forms and surveys (collect email and get feedback)
  • Logo design/branding
  • Targeted landing pages
  • Ecommerce integration
  • Custom content management systems
  • Metrics like Google Analytics
  • SEO on-page optimization (rank higher in Google and get more visitors)
  • Social media
  • CRM integration

Depending on your website’s platform, some features may be available through third-party plugins, which are often free or have a small licensing fee. In other cases, plugins may need to be customized or functionality may need to be created from scratch.

Talk to developers about these addons and find out their costs.

Conclusion

Your website allows you to make a great first impression on consumers. When your website is done right, it will generate demand for your products and/or services and help you build trusting relationships with potential customers.

But a mediocre website can be worse for your business than no website at all. It makes a bad first impression and signals to customers that you don’t take your business seriously.

So, while you can throw together a website yourself using tutorials, it’s not recommended.. The end result won’t be professional, and you’ll miss out on all the benefits a great website can provide.

When you choose to get your website done professionally by a developer, it’s important to understand the costs involved because quotes can vary greatly.

When you understand the costs, you’ll be more equipped to choose the best developer at the best price.

If you’re thinking of building a website, you can start the process today.

Reach out to development firms and get a few different quotes for your website—and don’t forget to pay heed to the aforementioned cost factors.

Here at Caffeine, we offer free quotes for website development! Simply click the link below to schedule a free call with me to discuss your project!

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Dustin DeVries

Dustin DeVries

Living and breathing software strategy and architecture, Dustin has been building software for over 20 years. He really enjoys working with clients to determine the right technology, whether it’s a web application framework like Django or NodeJS, or a simple CMS solution like WordPress. He received his BS in Computer Engineering from Texas A&M University.During his spare time, Dustin enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, playing guitar, running, and hanging out with his family.