How Much Should A Good Website Cost in 2021?
So... you are in need of a website upgrade.
Perhaps your business website is dated, inaccurate, or just plain embarrassing. But there are a million (literally) options out there for website design. How much should a website cost? What makes a website good?
The first step to figuring out a fair cost is to assess if the website work you need falls more into the design or development category.
WEBSITE DESIGN VS WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT
What is the difference? Do you need web development or web design?
We have an entire info page dedicated to this you can check out.
WEBSITE DESIGN IS...
The look, the surface interaction, the layout, the colors, the graphics, the fonts, the copy - and how it all plays together in the experience of browsing a website.
WEBSITE DEVELOPMENT IS...
More tech and custom feature-centric including custom ideation and coding for specific user needs or a design built completely from scratch via code.
WHAT ARE THE QUALITIES OF A GOOD WEBSITE?
How do you know if your website needs an upgrade?
How do you qualify a "good" website? This can come down to care, knowledge, creative and presentation want, and engagement needs. Just like clothing, office decor, music, and even food - presenting current and on-trend gives the signal that you are active, fresh, vital, and in touch with modern business and its needs.
A Good Website Should:
Readily Communicate What You Offer
Readily Communicate Who You Offer To
Be Very Easy To Navigate
Display Your Establishment
Verify Your Expertise
Have Current Styling Trends So You Feel Relevant Rather Than Dated
Convince Potential Customers YOU Are The Solution To Their Need / Want / Problem
Easily Guide Visitors On How To Engage With You
You May Need A New Website If:
You Or Employees Are Embarrassed By Your Current Website
Information Is Inaccurate
You Don't Look As Good As Your Competitors
The Style Doesn't Match Your Branding Elsewhere
Functions or Features Are Broken
You Get Poor Google Results
Customers Complain About Difficulty In Using Your Website
Your Offerings Are Not Showcased Well
It Makes Your Company Unappealing To New Hires
It's Old. It's Dated. You Haven't Updated It In Years.
You May NOT Need A New Website If:
Your Customers Could Care Less
No One Ever Looks For You Online To Verify Your Services
Your Website Is Never Used As A Referral Target
It Doesn't Matter As A Marketing Tool For You
It Doesn't Affect The Presentation, Engagement, or Growth of Your Business, At All
You Could Care Less
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU PAY FOR A WEBSITE
Is it worth spending money on a website? Do you need a good website?
As you have probably googled, "How Much Does A Website Cost?" you have found ads for $149 websites and articles telling you to spend $50k+ to get a pro, custom website.
Sorry to back up that info but that range DOES exist. There are a few things to consider when deciding how much of your marketing budget should be applied to your website build.
Those options include:
CREATIVE TEAM Freelancer, Small Team, Medium-Sized Agency, Huge Advertising Company, and all the bits in-between each of those.
SUPPORTING LOCAL vs INTERNATIONAL RATES Cost is greatly affected by hiring lower-wage overseas options, local companies who subcontract such VS all employees receiving fair wages for your country VS tightening in to your state or city to support your local economy.
HOLISTIC APPROACH vs PLUG N PLAY Some website designers or developers will work with you on styling, messaging, SEO-focus, business goals, etc. Others will simply ask you to give them your text and photos and plug it into a template then call it day. How deep do you want your web developer to go into your business, industry, competitors, goals, and the whole picture of communications with you (colors, stylings, fonts, photography, copy (aka text), visitor experience)?
CUSTOM vs TEMPLATE Do you want something created just for you, your customers, and your goals? Or do you want to look closely like others in your industry or others using similar, basic templates? Does this matter to you?
DEVELOPMENT How much help do you need here? Do you have what you want/need to communicate with your content and messaging goals locked in? Do you need custom or advanced interactions or functions? Are you not sure what you need, at all, and need expert guidance through the process?
Once you know about all of the above, consider that a good website has many little pieces which must work together on both the front and backend on both desktop and mobile. Every element should be refined and purposeful to present a cohesive, "simple," and obvious experience for your website visitors. A good-looking, simple-to-navigate website takes the most expertise and time to create. Because good design and engineering is not when there is nothing left to add but when there is nothing left to take away.
Now, consider how many specifically-skilled professionals will be working on your new marketing space (i.e. your new website), the value of that space to you, and how long the process will take.
So, what is a fair rate for a website build in 2021?
You are going to get what you pay for.
$0 to $500
UNFUNDED START UP
A brand new, "I just had an idea!" start up using personal funds should probably build their own website on Squarespace, WIX, or the like. Or hire a junior freelancer or student to help you get something very basic up, to start. At this rate, there will be little to no professional development, design touches, clean backend tech, SEO details, creative rounds, or business development support.
$500 to $2500
MICRO BUSINESS with a little cash for marketing
You have customers, your offerings are clear. You are ready to have a website that doesn't look DIY. You can pay a web designer to clean up what you have or create a new one for you.
$2500 to $7500
SMALL BUSINESS ready for an upgrade but nothing too fancy
You need your website to present more professional but maybe don't have the capital to dive in very deep on the business development, cross-site marketing messaging hone, or full custom design fronts. In this rate range, you can get a next-level website which will not be embarrassing and have its tech and SEO tightened up.
$7500 to $15,000
ESTABLISHED BUSINESS ready to get serious
You need a professional business partner to help you get a custom website covering all the "A Good Website Should..." and "You May Need A New Website If..." lists above as well as developing a unique experience accurately repping your company, its offerings, and enticing visitors to take specific next steps with you via professionally refined site mapping, navigation, messaging, design, and there will be a little custom coding involved for that svelte, smooth look and feel.
$15,000 to $30,000
ESTABLISHED BUSINESS in need of some custom development
All of the above and you also need some specialized functions, features, or interactions conceived, strategized, built via custom software / coding, with a slick design skin atop.
$30,000 to $50,000
MIDSIZE - LARGE BUSINESS with more advanced marketing needs
You are now working with an established marketing company and your new website is part of a multi-piece marketing strategy across various platforms.
MIDSIZE - LARGE BUSINESS working with an advertising agency
Congratulations. Your business is thriving and you are handing off marketing to the big boys working nationally or internationally with large teams full of experts in many disciplines.
Google can guide you to a plethora of website development pricing opinions different from this list. And there are probably plenty of people who will tell you that you CAN get a professional website for $500 (please don't heed advice from your teen nephew or the guy at the coffee shop who says making websites is easy and he can do one in a few hours). Others will tell you that you can't get a professional website for less than $20,000.
As with all creative services - do your research, ask questions, read reviews. Figure out the aspects of website design and development which are most important and relevant to you and interview several options. Good luck!
Check out more details and another take on website cost on our page Web Design VS Web Development.
Want to talk to Lovage about designing a custom website for you? We thought you'd never ask. Book A Website Chat HERE.
More confused and uncertain before you read this article? We got you - We offer an hour-long screenshare strategy session during which we can help you break down your needs, formulate a plan, and review / audit your current website, live during the meeting. Buy a Live Strategy Session HERE.