Setting a budget for your website is an important part of marketing. If you don’t have a website, you need to set a budget before you begin the process of creating one. Once online, you need to set a budget for marketing, maintaining, and optimizing your website.
What is a good budget for a website?
Website development budgets can range from as low as $500 to tens of thousands of dollars. If you have a lot of time and no money, you can try to build your own website. Keep in mind that every hour you spend designing your website will take time away from your business. So, in the long run, a free website can cost you a lot of money in lost business revenue.
A small business should budget between $5,000 and 20,000 for a new website. Yes, it costs more money to hire a professional web designer, but you can rest assured that your website will be professionally designed, following online standards and best practices.
Mid-size companies will spend between $50,000 and $150,000 on a website project. Often, a full brand refresh is part of the project. And companies may require custom applications and features coded as part of the website design project.
How much should I budget for a website?
If you want a professional web designer to build your site, you should set a budget between $3,000 and $7,500. Expect the project to take a couple of months. The design phase will follow a planning phase. Once you approve the design, the web developer will build your site. The entire process can take six to nine weeks.
Those who are daring enough to build their own websites can accomplish the task on a much smaller budget. But, even if you don’t want to hire a web designer, there will be expenses. For example, your website will need a hosting account. And if you decide to sign up for one of those do it yourself website builder platforms, expect a monthly fee. Another major disadvantage of free website builders is that they are ad-supported. Therefore, your website will look unprofessional.
How much should I budget for website content development?
Content, not design, is what truly differentiates a website. You cannot have a successful web design project without content development. Content is what enables you to tell your brand’s story. Website content is critical for delivering meaningful ROI after a website design.
Companies generally spend almost all of their budget on the design phase. Beyond the design, it’s important to have the right website platform and hosting to keep your site running. If you under-budget content development, your website will fail to deliver the results you want. Dumping the content writing part of a site design project on an intern or a junior copywriter is a recipe for disaster. Avoid this mistake by including content writing expenses in your budget.
Your website content should be search engine optimized—budget for on-site search engine optimization. And after your website is online, you should budget for ongoing SEO. It’s critical to have an ongoing SEO campaign to get ahead and stay ahead of the competition.
Create content for every stagy of the sales funnel. Your website must have content that allows prospects to learn about your solutions. Create content that answers their questions. Write case studies and white papers to show real-world examples of your solutions. Address potential objections in your blog posts.
Most companies don’t have the time to write outstanding content in-house. If you want great content and want it done on schedule, you should hire a professional writer. Allow at least one month for a website rewrite. Make sure there’s enough time to get it completed by your website launch date.
Content writing is labor-intensive. It is a time-consuming process that could easily cost anywhere from $10,000 to $30,000, depending on the amount of content needed.
What expenses should you include in your web design budget?
The domain registration is one of the least expensive elements of a website design budget. You can expect to spend under $20 for domain name registration. The best domains for business are the .com domain names. There is a lot of competition for .com domains, but you can find an excellent .com domain for your company if you are creative.
When a company is ready to redesign its website, it may need graphic design work done too. Before the business is ready to begin the site redesign, it may want a new logo designed. Many site redesign projects require the creation of new icons, charts, animation, graphics or infographics.
Professional Website Design
The design will be one of the largest expenses in your budget. You can expect to spend between $5,000 and $20,000 on the design. The designer will ask for your input before creating the design of your website. Based on your feedback, the designer will make adjustments to the design before publishing the site.
You can expect to spend anywhere from $150 to $300 per hour to hire a web designer or developer. Make sure that the web designer you hire is familiar with the WordPress platform. The developer will work with you to make your ideas a reality. The right developer should have both design and programming expertise.
Who should hire a web designer?
- If you have a successful business and need a website designed or redesigned, you should hire a web designer.
- A company that cannot afford to hire a full-time web developer.
- Suppose you are busy running your business and don’t want to learn the skills for building a website. A successful business won’t waste the time of the staff on building a website.
- A business that wants to rely on the expertise of the web developer should hire one for the job. A complex website requires expertise you may not have.
Website hosting is a fairly inexpensive service. You could spend as little as $50 to hundreds of dollars per month. There are many budget hosting companies, but if you want high-quality, expect to spend more on hosting.
What types of website hosting accounts are there?
- Shared hosting (Linux or Windows) – Shared hosting is one of the least expensive options. It is also the slowest and least secure. If your business is brand new and you are on a low budget, a shared hosting account might work for you.
- Managed WordPress hosting – If you have a bit larger budget, you might want to host your WordPress site on this type of account. A managed WordPress hosting account will cost you more than a shared account, but you can expect better performance and greater security. Managed hosting account also offer better backup and restore solutions.
- Dedicated hosting – If your website requires a secure server, you might need to sign up for a dedicated hosting account. This type of hosting is very secure, but it is also costly.
- Cloud hosting – Although cloud hosting is expensive, it is one of the best options for websites that need to quickly scale up or down, depending on site traffic. Some of the highest traffic websites are hosted on cloud accounts.
Content Writing & Editing
Expect to spend about $500 on content writing per web page. Whether you hire a writer or create the content in-house, you should hire an editor to correct grammatical errors and spelling mistakes.
To keep your website running requires regular maintenance. If you have a WordPress site, you should update it at least once a month. How much does it cost to maintain a website? Web developers offer site maintenance packages starting at around $300 per month.
Your website will not rank on the top of the search engines without SEO. Include monthly SEO in your budget to keep your site ranking for your target keywords.
Budgeting for must-have and nice to have features
Create two lists as you develop your website design budget. There should be a list of must-have features. You should have a second list with the “nice to have” features. These are the features you can live without. The must-have features are critical for reaching your business goals. The items among the “nice to have” features might have to wait until the next quarter or the following year.
Should you adjust the budget?
It’s great to have a number in mind, but sometimes you may need to make adjustments to the budget. It would be best if you allowed a bit of a cushion in the budget for unexpected items. There may be a need for a feature you weren’t expecting at the start of the project. Paying for an unexpected feature may require you to push the budget a bit higher.
Prepare your budget based on research
You might have a hunch about the cost of building a website, but it may not be realistic. Contact other businesses to get a range of costs involved with a new website. It makes sense to get a few proposals from web design agencies to get a feel for costs. As you compare the proposal, consider the business behind the proposal. Is it a one-person shop or a larger firm? You can expect a better overall experience from a business with multiple employees than a one-person show.
How to talk about a website budget?
We get frequent phone calls from prospects about web design projects. During the initial consultation phone call, we talk about several topics. We want to know about the business in general, and we want to answer the prospect’s questions.
I ask questions like:
- Can you describe your business?
- What is your goal with your website?
- If it is a website redesign, I want to know what the prospect likes and dislikes about his website.
- By what date do you want your website to be completed?
Then, one of the last questions I ask is, “What is your budget for your website project?”
Shockingly, many times I get the answer of “I don’t know.” I don’t actually say this, but I think to myself: “Are you kidding me? What do you mean you don’t know?” When someone calls our web design firm to build or redesign a website for his business, and he tells me that he has no budget, it tells me several things:
- You expect me to give you a low ball number like $500. I am worried that some people think that if they say that “I don’t know,” I will either do it for free or do the project for some ridiculously small amount, as if I ran my business out of Bangalore, India.
- You are not serious. Think about it. Have you ever thought about buying anything substantial without having a budget? Have you ever thought about buying a house without a budget? You don’t just call a real estate agent and have her show you anything because there is no budget. “Just show me anything; there is no budget.” Have you ever bought a car without having a budget? Of course, not. It would be ridiculous not to have a budget.
- It tells me that you have no clue. It would be best if you had a general idea of how much a professionally built website should cost. In the same way, you would have a general idea of the cost of a home in your neighborhood. Even though you are not a web designer, you should have some idea about costs. You know that you are hiring a professional web designer here in the good old USA. You know that there are certain costs to run a business.
Have a budget for your website. If it’s $5,000, it is that. If it’s $25,000, it’s that. And, yes, there is a difference between a $5,000 website and a $25,000 website. Whatever amount it is, make sure that you have a budget before you start a website project. Your budget might be too low to hire a professional web design firm such as ours, and that’s OK. If it’s not in the budget to hire us, you can try to wait until you have the funds or hire a hobbyist or even try to do it yourself. Regardless, just like with any other investment in your business, the bottom line is that you have a set budget for your website project. It sets realistic expectations.