How much does a website cost?

Updated: Aug 21, 2018

Having a website is on the must have list for most small businesses. This has come about as the website is now the main shop front and first touch point for generating new customer enquiries and sales leads. So how much should this reasonably cost and what is on the check list to make sure you are getting good value for your money?

What about free websites

The key ingredient to a good website is having the knowledege and expertise to know how to plan, design and structure a website so it will produce the desired outcomes. This will vary by business and this intel is not inherent within free builder tools. A great website is more than just good looks. For more insights read our article; are free websites any good

What is a good website and how much should it cost

Your website should ideally produce good search rankings, generate a good stream of traffic, deliver a great first impression and engage visitors to a point where they convert into enquires and sales leads at a healthy rate. In short it should generate a steady stream of enquiries for your business and support existing customer requirements where relevant.

A good website should also allow you to easily make edit changes and to publish new copy and images without the support of a web developer. Don't treat your website as a one off project, work out a content creation plan and publish new content on a regular basis and integrate this activity with your social media and email marketing programs. For more on this, read our article on content marketing.

Checklist of components that make up a good website

There are many facets that are required to make a solid performing website and the skill sets are often beyond that of one person. Below is our check list.

  • Good site architecture to house content in a logical and easy to find structure
  • Provides clear and intuitive navigation and pathways to content silos and conversion pathways
  • Incorporates a flexible browser design so it is optimal for viewing on mobiles and all screen sizes
  • Coded to be search engine friendly and to load pages quickly
  • Utilises naming conventions in URL's, page titles and headlines etc that reflect the search activity of the target audience
  • Incorporates an open source content management system that is widely supported in the web developer community
  • Should have measurable conversion points that are attributable back to traffic sources. A properly set up Google Analytics package is a must
  • A design that looks great and is consistent with your business branding
  • A good hosting service that is reliable and provides a fast server response time. Cheap hosting services often turn out to be a false economy
  • Management of issues impacting performance in Google, including on page SEO optimisation, redirecting old URL's, submitting a sitemap etc

What skill sets should I be looking for in a web designer/developer/team

  • A strong understanding of SEO and online marketing is a key input into the high level planning process
  • A good balance of functional design and creative design abilities
  • Competency with modern open source cms systems – preferably php based unless you have Microsoft system integration requirements
  • A deep understanding of web analytics
  • Competent programing skills that deliver clean and simple coding
  • A track record of websites that are performing

So once you have a good website container it will then need to be loaded with great content that is unique and of interest to your prospective customers including:
Copy, images, video, case studies, testimonials, trust badges etc.

What are the basic functional features that the website should include:

  • A proper contact/enquiry form
  • A simple article blog
  • The ability to showcase testimonials
  • A simple FAQ section
  • Good image players to showcase your pictures
  • The ability to embed video links
  • Newsletter sign up data base

What budget should I cost for a website

For all of the above the overall cost won't be less than NZ$2000 and will be higher depending on the size and complexity of the website and how much design customisation is required.

If you need an e-comerce solution this will add at least 50% to the above cost. E-comerce set up costs vary depending on complexity. Complex shipping calculation rules for example can add considerable cost.
If you require logo and branding design work, this will cost extra.

So $2000 is a good benchmark starting point whereby you should get a website that will be a good asset to your business.

Having your website planned, designed and built by professionals will ensure you get a good result and the total cost should be recovered well within 1 year.

Those businesses that go for free or cheap and or engage an under-skilled developer will find the result is the false economy of an under performing website that limits your opportunity to generate enquiries and sales. And this isn't considering the opportunity cost of your competitors that are getting ahead of you because they are doing it properly. It's just not worth cutting corners.

What should you avoid

  • Avoid bespoke content management systems
  • Scraped copy
  • Overly creative navigation and content pathways
  • Using Flash, iframes in the website build

Adhesion is an experienced designer of websites and provider of online marketing services. We provide a range of website design options including small business website packages.

If you need help or advice in determining where to start your website design projoect, then contact us for a free consultation.

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