When it comes to functional and practical websites, you really do get what you pay for. If an offer is too good to be true, it probably is. I have had clients tell me that they went with a designer that was dirt cheap and ended up with a great website. However, they went to contact the person to make changes only to find out that person fell off the face of the earth. Some people will offer really cheap sites just so they can make quick money and bail.
Websites are so different that it makes it difficult to really pinpoint how much one would cost you without sitting down and going over details. There a lot of different areas that can drastically change the total price:
Are you going to want a quick, easy design or something that is going to require a lot of meetings and consultations with your designer? Custom websites are going to cost more because they require more time with the designer. I prefer custom websites, because each business is different. Each business has their own brand and image and their site should reflect that. However, if there is a site that I have made that you absolutely love, I can use that as a starting point and customize it for you.
If you are looking for a quick, small site, then it is not going to cost as much. These are usually for new businesses who are just trying to get their name out there with a professional site.
More pages generally means more time and more money. If each page needs different layouts, that will raise the price as well. Most of the time, each page will look basically the same with different information.
Obviously, content is what makes a site. If you have all of your own content readily available, that will save both of us time and money. If I am required to create content, this is going to take more time. To save time and money, have your content ready and I can edit it as needed before adding to your pages.
Depending on your type of business, it is usually best to have your own photographs of your products or business. If you are not able to provide your own media, I can purchase it from different locations. That cost will be added to your total price.
This area is all about the extras. What items are a must and what items are just wanted? For example, you could decide that you don’t want a slideshow to showcase your work, but all of your competitors have one. This could show customers that your site (or your work) is lacking. There are also some behind the scenes items needed in order for what you want on your site to work.
For example, if you want a blog, you need a Content Management System (CMS). This will allow you (or who you designate) to log in and post content on your own. If you would like me to take care of your blog, you can send me the content and I can post it. This would be added to your monthly maintenance fee.
Search Engine Optimization
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is what lets people see you on searches. If you want customers to find you by searching more than just your name, you need SEO. SEO allows you to appear higher in search engine results.
Need to sell items online? The price for this varies greatly. The more complex your sales process is, the more expensive it will be to set up.
No two companies are going to charge the same for what you need. It is best to sit down with the designer and go with your gut. There is nothing worse than spending a ton of money for that perfect site just to end up hating it.