Website Costs for SMBs – Beyond “It Depends”

POSTED BY Joe Matar - 07.29.15 - Website design

cost of websiteHow much does it cost to build a website for a small and medium sized business (SMB) in 2015? We get this question all the time.

Websites come in many different sizes and configurations, depending on your business’ needs. “It Depends,” then, is the most obvious answer when it comes to web design. But that is just about the least helpful answer around, right? We know.

So in this blog post I’m going to give you an idea of all the steps that go into building a website so you can understand why a quality website costs as much as it does. With this information, you can deduce what you need and draw your own conclusions about what the website your business actually needs could cost.

All website redesign projects should have the following components. Here is how it breaks down. 

Planning: To ensure your website project is completed on time and on budget, 20% of your project should be spent planning before, during and after the site build. For SMBs, you can estimate planning will take 12-15 hours at the onset and just as many hours for the remainder of the project for a total of 24-30 hours. Planning and project management will generally cost $2,000-$3,000.

Design: A unique brand that differentiates your business from the competition is critical and this includes your website design. Don’t choose a theme or template that looks just like all the other websites in your category/industry. You can use a theme if you want but customize it to match your brand. Or, if no theme meets your needs, go with a custom design for a site that will stand out from the competition. Custom designs will generally cost $3,000-$5,000.

Development: Most SMB sites have 5-7 page types including the homepage, a content overview page, a content detail page and a blog overview and detail pages. These basic page types are the building blocks for the rest of the site. Other common features include an events listing page, a photo gallery, and conversion forms. You may even need integrations with other systems so you’ll need to make sure your website developers can handle that level of development. Or if you are selling online, you will need to think about what ecommerce solution you’ll be using and how that will be integrated into the site. For most websites, development costs will be $6,000-$8,000.

Content: The cost of the content development for your site will depend on the content you already have, the content architecture and how much new content will be required. Keep in mind that content isn’t just copywriting, either. You’ll also have to consider graphics and images. Obviously the more content, the more it will add to the cost of your site. Depending on your needs, website copywriting will cost between $200-300 per page. Original graphic design and photography may be included in the design costs or priced out by the project.

SEO: You should focus on your SEO while you are redesigning and building a new website, not afterwards. Your SEO efforts should cover keyword research for your content, meta descriptions, title tags, alt tags, among many other things. For SMBs redesigning their sites, the SEO ranges from $1,500-$3,000. It’s important to note that this does not include ongoing SEO.

Testing: This includes user testing, browser testing, and viewport testing. We recommend having at least 3-5 people review your site on multiple devices using multiple browsers. Each user should spend at least an hour and report their findings. Typically, this will result in development revisions lasting 4-8 hours adding an additional $1,000 to the price.

Hosting: For most SMBs, hosting will be between $10-$30/month.

Monthly maintenance: This is optional, of course. If you choose to go with ongoing maintenance, expect to spend about $100 per month to keep the website secure and plugins updated.

Training: This ensures your website staff knows how to update the content, images and graphics on your site. Generally $500

Total: Approximately $16,000-$20,000

Of course, it’s not enough to just build a website; you need to get people to that site. That means marketing the website once it is launched. With so many channels to choose from for promotion, you need to be strategic about where to put your marketing dollars.

Review your analytics to see the most common ways visitors get to your site. Is it from social media such as Facebook , organic search traffic or referral sites? Then decide which areas you want to invest in to help increase the quality traffic to your site. Experiment, learn quickly and be nimble.

Fusionfarm recommends an integrated approach to design, development and content marketing. This means having a specialist in each area and a single point-person or project manager to keep your project on schedule. Still puzzled about what steps to take next? Check out our Website Redesign Guide to get started.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Joe Matar

Joe Matar

Joe Matar is a Product Manager for Inbound Marketing and Websites at Fusionfarm. He is a frequent blogger on the Fusionfarm blog, passionate about marketing and obsessed with analytics. Help Joe’s blog analytics (and ego) and click on the call-to-action above.

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