Cameron FrancisSeptember 24,2013

How Do You Determine The Cost Of A Small Business Website In 2013?

Category: Web Design

In a typical scenario a business owner will submit a design proposal to three web development companies for a price quote. Each of them will be given the same requirements document detailing the functions and goals of the site. Within a week all three are returned to the business owner with their estimates.

One of them estimated the project at $2700, the next one at $4600, and the third quote was $13000.

If you are awaiting the punch line of this story, there really isn’t one. That’s because the burden now rests with the client to determine which estimate is within reason and why.

Unfortunately, the majority of business owners do not have a way of knowing which quotes are outrageously inflated, which are unrealistically low, and which ones are reasonable.

Basic Components and Costs of a Small Business Website

On average, you can use the following figures to estimate the expense associated with a small business site. If you would like a custom quote, call eTraffic Web Design at 1300 887 151.

  • Hosting – About $30 to $210 per year dependent upon traffic volume and hosting services
  • Domain Name – $10 per year
  • Time for Site Design and Development – 60 plus hours. Depending on complexity
  • Ongoing Maintenance – $2500/year and more dependent upon the type and number of updates
  • Marketing Your Site – $750/month and up


Factors That Contribute To the Cost of a Site

With numerous competitors, a business must work to differentiate its product offerings from the competition. When attempting to formulate a budget for a site, there are several factors to take into consideration:

  • Are you designing a new site or redesigning an existing site?
  • Have you created a design document that is detailed?
  • Do you need a content management system?
  • Have you already created graphics for the site?
  • Will you have mobile customers?
  • Do you need on-site multimedia?
  • Do you need content and copy created?
  • Do you require additional special features like SEO, e-commerce, social media channels or anything else?
  • Are you going to maintain the site after it is launched or do you need someone to maintain it for you?

New Sites Are Frequently More Expensive Than Redesigns

When you begin from scratch, the web developer is as well. They don’t have anything to work with. They cannot view an existing site and obtain a concept regarding your brand or functionality and feature requirements. New sites should go through a process of documentation and discovery. This process will serve to define the site structure, functionality, and online brand. This process is key, since it will assist in setting expectations and it can minimise potential frustrations. Simple sites can be commenced after only one day of documentation and discovery. However, complicated sites may take several weeks of meetings and numerous detailed documents in order to have a complete definition of the project.

User Interface (UI) Design

User interface design is the visual design or look and feel of the site. It will include your images, branding, and page layouts. UI design is normally an iterative process. It keeps on receiving modifications, on the basis of customer feedback until a final design is approved. It will usually cost between $1100 and $3500 for the design of a small business site, to go from concept to the final design that will be given to site developers.

Graphics and Images

Graphics can be a bit tricky since they can be rather inexpensive if you use low cost stock images or they can costs hundreds of dollars for custom or stock images that are high-end. Visually appealing and compelling graphics can make a very large difference in how effective your site is. Sometimes a good designer can make a low-end image appear like a custom image. You will also need some buttons and stock icons for your design. You should budget a minimum of $200 for graphics and images.

Responsive and Mobile Design Cost

Mobile devices are rapidly becoming crucial to being successful online. Consequently, your design should be mobile friendly. The most effective designs are responsive and adapt their layout to the resolution of the accessing device so it will render well on tablets, smart phones and desktops. Responsive designs can add 25% to the cost of a project; however, most designs today are responsive.

Content Creation Costs

The cheapest way to proceed is to generate and insert all of your own content. Most designers would be glad to furnish you with a blank design that you populate yourself. However, if you would like your designer to create and insert your content and adjust your text and image layout, it will cost about $125 per page.

Additional Cost for Special Features

There are numerous additional features that developers are able to integrate into your site that may improve your site, but also increase its cost. At times these features may be part of the framework of your site; however, they may not function the way you want them to. Our estimates listed below are a reflection of general requirements; nevertheless, there are numerous factors that can increase these costs. If you can’t find the additional features you desire here, call us and we will provide you with an estimate.

Customised CMS – For customers who desire to manage content on their own, we can integrate a customised content management system. The cost of integrating and customising a content management system will range from $1700 to $18000.

Documentation and Training – You will likely need some documentation regarding maintenance and editing of the content of the site. This can cost from $500 to $1000.

Blog – Many customers want to incorporate a blog into their site and customise it to their design and branding. This can cost from $1000 to $2500.

E-commerce – Catalogues, payment processing, and shopping carts. This can cost from $1500 to $5000 dependent upon your requirements.

E-mail Marketing – Many clients want to be able to gather the email address of site visitors and send out newsletters, coupons, or sales offers to them. This requires the integration of a third party email marketing tool such as AWeber or Mail-chimp. Your email marketing campaigns can even be managed for you. Expect this to cost $500 and up.

Logo Design – We are frequently asked to design a logo for branding and identity development. Depending on the design, this may cost from $800 to $3000.

Landing Pages – Landing pages are customised to sell a specific service or product. The design of these pages starts at about $500.

Other Add-ons You May Desire Include:

  • News feeds
  • Contact forms
  • Photo gallery
  • Custom Reports and metrics from analytics software
  • Social Media profiles
  • On-page and Off-page SEO

So What Is The Total Cost Of A Small Business Site?

Most small business sites cost between $6000 and $20,000. From the costs detailed above, it is likely that you can see how they may quickly add up. You can also make the following approximations:

  • Planning 15%
  • User Interface Design 25%
  • Programming 40%
  • Project Management 20%

Cost of Maintenance

Websites also need to be maintained. The best sites are changing constantly. Maintenance is a cost that many businesses do not consider or they believe they can do their own maintenance. However, they often discover it is not so simple, and they end up wishing they secured a maintenance contract.

Maintenance contracts have great variation in price depending on what is expected. You should probably budget at least $250/month. If you expect additional work to be done, you should budget for more than that.

Author: Cameron Francis Cameron Francis is the Director of eTraffic Group. He has been engaged in all aspects of online marketing for the past 8 years. He is actively involved in SEO, Paid Search, Social Media Optimisation, and Web Design.

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