Is Web Development Expensive?
There are many aspects that contribute to how much a web development project will cost. Some websites cost $300, some websites cost $3,000,000, it depends on -
- The type of website
- How much content is on the website
- If the website has a content managment system
- How many working hours are involved in the planning, design, development and testing
There are web development companies that specialise in particular styles of websites. Some focus on the smaller style, simple websites that cater to lower end budgets, some focus on the mid-range style websites that could include a basic content management system (cms) and more detailed design and functionality, and other web development companies just focus on the high-end websites that often take many months to complete and can include detailed planning, eCommerce, total database and content management system integration, search engine optimisation (seo), information architecture, user-interface psychology and extensive testing.
As you have probably guessed, these styles of website vary in cost quite dramatically, depending on the needs of the client and what budget they have determine what the cost of the project will be. I’ll give you an example- if you have a budget of $15,000 to build a website to showcase your products or services and provide information to your website visitors, you’ll most likely get a decent website within or under budget. Say you have got three quotes and they are for $3,000, $7,000 and $14,000. There is quite a bit of a difference here and you’re probably thinking “but what’s the difference between the 3k job and the 14k job?”
Below, I’ll highlight some factors that will differentiate the three different costs and give you an idea of what you get for your money.
The Low Quote
Well, for $3,000 you’ll probably think “great, what a bargain, I have saved $12,000 and I can get a website that does what I need of it”… However, you need consider the following questions.
- How much effort has the web designer gone to, to understand your business goals & drivers, and incorporate them into the website interface and functionality?
- Does the design and layout compliment the standard of your business, and has the designer created a custom layout design, not used a prebuilt template?
- Has the web designer considered search engine optimisation (seo) when developing the website?
- Does the website allow you to update it using a content management system (cms)?
- How much detail has gone into the usability and browser compatibility?
- Have they used the latest in web design technology to ensure longevity of the website?
- Is the website scalable if you need to add features to it at a later stage?
These are all questions you should consider, as it’s possible you could spend the $3000 on a website and it doesn’t do what you expected of it. e.g. it doesn’t rank well on search engines, it’s not bringing in new business, it doesn’t work in all browsers, and you can’t update it… Would you consider that $3,000 well spent? You do get to tick the box that you have a website, but it may possibly do nothing for your business.
The Mid-Range Quote
The mid-range quote is probably where most people feel comfortable committing. They realise they might not get everything they need in the low quote and the high quote seems a little expensive, so the safe option is in the middle.
In my experience, for $7,000 it’s likely you will get a quality website which has most of the questions highlighted above covered. However, you should ensure you have considered all the questions as they do apply to all web development projects.
The High Quote
In the high quote, it’s likely the web designer has allowed for every feature to be included and more. One aspect to web development that takes up a lot of time, and is factored into the cost, is the creative time. The creative time would be spent on research, planning, design and psychology behind the site, i.e what you want your visitors to do once they’re there and how they interact with the website. This is referred to as the user-experience. Many hours can be spent on the creative time and it shows in the success of the website.
This creative time is hard to justify as many people struggle to understand the benefits of it and why is costs so much. If your budget has allowed for this and the quote you received covers a good amount of creative time, I would suggest you use what you have and build a top quality, high-end website that will benefit your business. You will notice the difference and you’re more likely to see a quantifiable return on your investment.
Overall, how much you want to spend on your web development project is up to you and there will always be cheaper options. It’s just a matter of how far you want to go with the project and how much you allowed for in your budget.
There are a number of sayings that can be related to the question, “is web development expensive?” and a few spring to mind like “You get what you pay for”, “How long is a piece of string” and “You only get out what you put in”.
Web Design & Development, whilst a very corporate and business-focused industry, is still an art form. And as with any art, the possibilities are essentially endless. You’re only limited by your (and your designer’s) imagination. Well, that and your budget!
At Big Click Studios we will fit into you budget as best we can taking into consideration your business goals and allowing for as much creative and technical time as possible. We will work with you to transfer your ideas into a valuable addition to your business.