So you’re a business owner who needs a website designed and created, and you’re wondering how much it costs to create a great website. You might even wonder what your options are for building a high-quality mid-market B2B, eCommerce, or Small Business website that your users will love, one that will rank well in Google, has the flexibility to grow with your business, and ultimately drive sales. The outline below will give you an idea of what one might cost and the skill sets you’ll need to create an award-winning small business website.
The Web Design Team
Before we jump into how much it costs to make a website, let’s start with a list of the people (and skills) you’ll need to create a well-designed website.
1. A Website Designer
Who: A designer’s job is to make the graphics and visual parts of the website. In most cases, they don’t do any of the development of the website.
Tip: If you’re paying a designer to design a website for you, make sure you either ask them if they are going to do the development and if they aren’t, you’ll need to budget for getting a developer on the team.
How Much Does A Web Designer Cost: A good web designer for your small business or mid-market company can cost you between $2000 and $3000 for a website project, depending on their skill level and the complexity of the website.
2. Front and Back End Developers
Who: Developers are the team members who take the designer’s visuals and build the website but don’t usually worry about the SEO or content for the website. They are two types of developers; front-end developers and back-end developers.
- Front-end developers take the graphic files the designer has created and use them to build the first part of your website using CSS (styles that structure everything on your website).
- Back-end developers (coders, programmers) code the website to function for users. They use HTML and a programming language such as PHP.
Tip: Make sure your developer is versed in SEO and coding best practices, or you could end up with sloppy code that inhibits the ability of search engines to read the website optimally.
How Much Does A Good Developer Cost: A good front or back-end developer for your small business or mid-market company can cost you between $2000 and $5000 for a website project, depending on their skill level and the complexity of the website.
3. An SEO Professional
Who: An SEO professional works alongside developers, designers, and content strategists to ensure the website is optimized for search engines. There are three areas in which an SEO should provide insights and direction:
- How the website is structured
- How the content is optimized for priority business topics
- How is the website going to gain authority online
Tip: Make sure your SEO is versed in website transition planning and understands the SEO landscape and its current challenges. This is important if you’re changing platforms or doing a website redesign, as not doing this properly can cause significant website traffic drops and loss of sales.
How Much Does Great SEO Cost: A good SEO professional versed in transition planning for your small business or mid-market company can cost you between $2000 and $4000 for a website project, depending on their skill level.
4. A Content Strategist and Information Architect
Who: A content strategist analyzes the content, works closely with the SEO to optimize the content, and builds a strategy to create new content. An information architect organizes your website’s content based on user expectations and needs to ensure users find the information they need when and where they want it.
Tip: With recent Google updates, and to ensure your website visitors find what they need, a content strategist with a strong background in SEO is critical.
How Much Does A Good Content Strategist and IA Cost: A good content strategist for your small business or mid-market company and IA versed in SEO can cost between $3000 and $5000 for a website project, depending on their skill level.
So how much does a website cost to create?
Based on the estimates above, to create a high-quality website, the average cost of B2B or eCommerce website design can fall between $9,000 and $17,000 when done correctly. Of course, you might be saying to yourself, “we don’t have that amount of money to spend on our website design” – that’s where we come in to help. But let’s first look at other options that, at face value, might be less expensive when trying to figure out how to build a website for your small business or mid-market company.
Web Design Options
So when trying to determine how to build a website for a small business, there are a few options – some better than others – and all involve the person creating the website having the website creation and digital marketing skill sets above.
1. The DIY Route
The story goes something like this. The small business owner spends hours (that they should be using to run their business) trying to design a website, only to find they either get frustrated or do not look or function how they need it to. They then try to find a close relative that “does web design” and proceed to let them design the website.
With 86% of U.S Small Businesses citing websites as their most important digital marketing tactic, it takes 50 milliseconds for users to form an opinion about your website. Is this the best way to build your online brand?
2. Using WIX or a Comparable Free/Paid Web-based Platform
I am sure WIX is excellent for many small businesses who can design their website – which makes me wonder what their business plan is if they didn’t understand how essential a great website is. Unfortunately, this usually costs a business more time and resources than expected in the long run. It boils down to a mistake many companies make: focusing on small short-term gains over a long-term strategy – which we all know is no way to build a business. Another thing to consider if you want to take this approach is what happens when you want to expand or create a more in-depth website. We have done a ton of migrations from WIX and other web-based platforms, and it’s messy.
The issues we have faced over the years are outlined below.
- Most pages and content don’t transfer well.
- Many web-based design platforms, including WIX, are not great for SEO.
- You’ll still need to know how to design a website to make it look good, SEO to help it rank, and someone to make sure you have great content.
- If you plan on moving to a new platform that is more user-friendly, such as WordPress, plan on losing some of the rankings you’ve gained.
Remember, you get what you pay for – and free does not mean “Free”, especially regarding your digital marketing online.
Research from Stanford University shows that 46.1 percent of people say a website’s design is the top criteria for deciding if a company is credible or not. So is using a “free website builder” really the best way to build your online brand?
3. Pay a Big Design Firm or Interactive Agency
I’m sure you’ve contacted some of the big design firms you saw at a conference or found on the first page of Google – and either they don’t call you back, or their price is 10x-100x what you have in your budget. Larger design firms and advertising agencies are not strategically built for small business web design.
4. Pay a Local Designer
There are a ton of great designers that do fantastic work – but few go beyond the design. With all the other things that go into creating a great website that amplifies your brand and grows your business, be prepared to budget for and find the other team members.
5. Outsource it Overseas
This may sound like a great idea – after all, you can get a website done at a super low rate. I am sure some designers will do a great job creating your website, but from our experience, you get what you pay for, and the time it takes to manage the process to get the level of quality your website deserves far outweighs the cost benefits.
6. A Web Design Agency Built For Small and Mid-Market Companies
This is where we help you build a fantastic website by including all these skill sets. Our team consists of former big brand SEO professionals, designers, developers, information architects, and content strategies which have worked on the websites of many of the largest brands in the world. The team is shifting its attention to helping small and mid-market companies build unique websites – all while staying within their budget. Our basic website designs start well below what they should cost for the quality you’ll get.
Feel free to reach out if you need help creating a professional website design, redesign, or complete overhaul.
Other Website Costs
When building a website, there will be some additional website costs that you must budget for. These website costs include:
- Website Hosting
- Domain Registration
- Ongoing Maintenance and Updates
- Marketing Strategies
- Professional Photography