This section is for informational purposes only and represents market-wide costing information. If you would like to get specific pricing information on building a website with Compass Marketing please click here.
We have done in depth research in the marketplace to see what the average costs are for web design and the many special add-ons that are available. We, of course, follow the guidelines set by our industry but work diligently within our client’s budgets to provide them as much of what they need and want within their budget constraints. These are merely guidelines to familiarize you with what a total cost of a really effective web site is going to run if you do it right.
Be aware, there are always web designers who will work for rock bottom discount prices, but you have to ask yourself. Will they be in business tomorrow to service you? If they are not charging enough for their time, we can assure you they will not be in business long because they will not be able to sustain themselves doing this work. You also have to call into question their experience if they are willing to work for next to nothing. You truly do get what you pay for. A web site is an investment and it can be one of your most valuable marketing tools. We encourage you to keep this in the forefront of your mind.
Its important to understand a little about the business of web design, so you understand and feel happy about what you are paying for.
So How Much Does a Small Business Website Cost?
A majority of small business website designs, development and launching range from $6,000 – $20,000. Using the a la carte estimates*, you can see how they can add up quickly. Another way to break the budget down is to assume:
25% Interface design
20% Project Management
*See our A La Carte page for additional costs
An important note: If this website will be a significant part of your business PLEASE DON’T SKIMP on the design and development. If you’d expect to pay $100,000 for a brick and mortar retail shop (inventory, interior design, furniture, rent, utilities, staff, equipment, insurance, etc) – then don’t balk at paying reasonable rates for the creation of your online business. So, for a small business website you can spend as little as $6,000 or as much as $20,000 or more. Your budget should be based on what your business needs.
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Website Design Cost Considerations
When budgeting for web design costs, there are many factors which contribute to the web design costs.
All are important to consider:
Is this a brand new website or a redesign of an existing site?
How prepared are you – do you have a detailed requirements document outlining all your needs?
Do you need a blog or content management functionality (CMS)?
Do you have graphics already created for the site?
Do you want the site to automatically resize for cell phone and tablets?
Do you need multimedia (Animation, video, etc.) on the site?
How much original content do you have and how much do you need created?
Do you need other special features like social media channels, SEO, ecommerce, or something else?
Who is going to maintain the site after it has been launched?
Below we go into greater detail regarding these items and an estimate of how much you should budget for them, Compass Marketing is used to helping our clients understand their needs and being cost effective, we will work with you to find the most effective solution to your situation. Its about functionality and effectiveness.
The prices listed are based on 17 years of experience in the industry and will most probably be higher or lower depending on your specific requirements. Be sure to contact us for a free estimate as this is just a guideline to help you understand costs.
Design and Graphics
Interface design or the look-and-feel or visual design. The interface design will incorporate your branding, all your photos and images, even your page layouts. Don’t assume that if you’ve already got a pre-made template you won’t need any images or layouts re-done. Interface design is usually an interative process, this means that the designer will show you several options and then modify those based on your feedback to arrive at an approved design. For a small business website, budget $1,200 – $3,500 to get you from concept through to the final design that will be handed off to the developers for programming. Don’t skimp on the interface design or visitors won’t give your website a second glance.
Images and Graphics
The cost of Website graphics is quite broad in range, you can pay from $10 each for inexpensive stock images to $100′s of dollars each for custom or high-end stock images. Remember that compelling and appropriate graphics can make a huge huge difference in the effectiveness of your website. On the low-end, budget at least $100 for stock images. If your designer is good, they’ll make an inexpensive image look like an expensive custom one, it all really depends on the content and context of the image. Still, you’ll probably also need stock icons and buttons to compliment your design. Budget $50 for them as well.
Mobile and Responsive Design Cost
Today you have to design for mobile first in nearly all mediums of industry, of course there are exceptions where the majority of your website visitors are using a desktop device but today with the proliferation of laptops, tablets and the infectious smart phone it is always mobile first.
Do you want your design to be mobile friendly? Your design should at least be mobile-friendly, it’s now becoming critical to online success.
Responsive design, means to automatically adjust the website layout to look good on multiple devices: smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers.
When it comes to creating a responsive design, you need to figure that it can cost 20% – 30% more than a site for a desktop web browser. And your web designer should have this as a prerequisite of any design they are offering.
This extra cost is because the interface designer needs to design how the site will look on the various devices.
The programmer will need to program the designs and finally additional testing is required before the site is ready to launch. All our projects these days include responsive programming and mobile ready designs.
New Websites Vs. Redesigns
New Sites Often Cost More Than Redesigns
If you’re starting from scratch, so is the web designer. They have no content to work from, they can’t look at your existing site and get an idea of your online brand or features and functionality requirements. All new sites really should require a “discovery and documentation” process. This process will help define the online brand, website structure and functionality. To us, we think that this process is critical as it helps set expectations on both sides and reduce potential frustrations. A simple business website, where the client has a solid idea of what they want, can get by on a minimal amount of discovery and documentation, less meetings and consultations, while more complex websites may require weeks of meetings and the creation of many detailed documents to fully define the project.
Websites that for one reason or another are not online anymore can be considered the same costing as new websites. That is because even if they still reside on a server, if they are not able to be viewed online without downloading all the files and going through them to assess them, it is like starting from scratch for a designer. They must spend the time to download and evaluate all the information and graphics to reassemble it as if it was a brand new web site. So if you don’t have a website that is online and functioning, even though it may need a complete makeover with currently information added, it will be considered a new web site, not a redesign.
Custom Web Design Costs
Aside from the web design, layout, graphics, and content architecture, there are a whole host of other costs which need to be considered which are often additional. These are industry-wide costs that we have calculated here for you. The following are a few of those a la carte web design costs:
Content Creation and Insertion
The least expensive way to go is to create all the content and insert it into the web site yourself. Most designers have no problem delivering a blank design template that you populate with text and images. But if you want the design firm to add your content and adjust the layout of the text and graphics to be aesthetically pleasing, you should budget $100 – $150 per page.
Programming Special Features Often Cost Extra
There are a loads of extra features that web developers can integrate into your website that will improve your business but that can increase the price. Sometimes these features are “included” in your website framework. Just be aware,“included” doesn’t mean they’ll look or work the way you want them to. The estimates below reflect the general requirements we have seen, however there are many factors that can push these costs higher. If you don’t see your add-on here just give us a call and we can provide an estimate.
Content Management Systems – for clients who want to manage their own content we integrate and customize content management systems (CMS). We work with PHP-based open-source CMS solutions like WordPress as one example. Costs for integrating and customizing a CMS can range from $2,000 to $20,000.
Training and documentation – You will probably need some instructions and documentation on how to maintain and edit site content. Depending on how extensive this is, expect to pay from $400 – $1,500.
Blog – Many clients want a WordPress or similar blog within their website, customized to their website branding and design. This ranges from $1,000 – $2,500.
E-commerce shopping carts – catalogs, payment processing $1,500–$5000 or more depending on requirements.
Email Marketing Campaigns – Clients that want to gather emails and send out branded email blasts for announcements or newsletters require an Email management tool. Integrating 3rd-party tools (GraphicMail, MailChimp, Constant Contact, etc.) and creating an email blast template design, and even manage your email blasts will start at $720 and go up from there.
Branding/Identity Development – Logo design is something we are often asked to do. On the low-end, we start with an 8-hour process that generates about 6 rough logo concepts. If one of these is chosen we go through several rounds of edits to arrive at a final version. $900 – $3,500
Style Guides – An online style guide is important because it establishes brand consistency and provides a guide for all your print collateral and online marketing. Basic styleguide $1,440.
Targeted Landing Pages – Landing pages are pages that promote a specific product or service. They are usually part of an email, social media, or banner ad campaign. We can design and create these pages starting at $450.
News feeds of both your content (outgoing) and adding content to the site (incoming) $400
Contact forms and surveys $300 and up
Newsletters $400 – $900
Advertising integration (Google AdWords) $200
Photo gallery $250 – $500
Metrics: Google Analytics, custom reports, etc. $200–$2000
SEO : on-page optimization, off-page optimization submission to search engines, etc. $500–$4000
Social media : Creating and managing social media network profiles such as Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, Hootsuite, Instagram, etc. $500–$2000
And Don’t Forget the Maintenance Costs
Websites don’t just maintain themselves, and the best are changing all the time. Maintenance is something that most businesses forget to budget or think that they can do it themselves. But the first time you delete your entire home page by mistake and lose 8 hours of sales trying to get it back up and running, you’ll wish you’d spent the extra money on a maintenance contract. Make sure your web developer offers post-launch maintenance, many don’t because they can’t be bothered by clients calling with small requests.
Maintenance contracts vary greatly depending upon what you expect from the firm. You should budget a minimum of $250 per month to have a designer/developer on call if you have a problem that you can’t fix. And if you expect them to do additional work such as creating new images, adding new content, maintaining social media or newsletters, etc. expect the price will go up. Compass Marketing offers customized, full-service maintenance plans.
Which Best Suits Your Needs?
Custom Web Design.
Small Business Websites.
Does your business needs a web design company that can take your website project from start to finish? If yes, our custom web design solutions may be the answer.
Are you a small business owner in need of a professional, basic starter website? If yes, then one of our small business websites may the answer.
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