Abacus

How much does a new Website cost?

If you have ever tried to get quotes for a website you will soon find out that the prices vary a lot. How do you decipher and try to understand the differences, how can the costs be so different and who do you trust. 

So where do you start and what is the correct price or solution. In many cases this is usually decided primarily by what you're prepared to spend and depending on what this budget is you may then need to make sacrifices such as functionality or offering your own time to get the website finished.

For those who do have a budget for engaging a professional web design company there are  many benefits including allowing you to do what you’re good at and making the process quick and stress free. Below we have broken down the steps of building a website with suggested costs associated with each, you can decide what you’re prepared to do to save time and money.

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So what determines the cost of a website?

The costs generally will depend on the design elements, site functionality, 3rd party integration, copywriting, image sourcing, search engine optimisation and the amount of pages or products required.  To understand what the costs will be and what you’re prepared to do you need to first plan for your website, without a plan you’re heading for an expensive failure no matter what your budget is.

Planning for your website

There many parts to building a website and are generally broken into the following areas. All areas are important and have a cost associated to them. They may vary depending on who you talk to and their experience/expertise.

They are:  

  1. Planning your website,
  2. Main calls to action (3 at the most)
  3. Content gathering and creation, images and text for each page
  4. UI & UX Design,
  5. Development,  build and populate
  6. SEO
  7. Hosting
  8. Ongoing support

Before investing in a website it is important to decide on goals and your expectations for the site and are they realistic. If you expect to just build a website and then for it to magically become number one on Google plus you get flooded with sales or enquiries you're dreaming. It takes time and effort for all involved.

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Let's take a closer look at the 8 points above.

1. Planning your website
  1. Website Goals - First you need decide on the goals for the website and what we expect the visitors to do once they get there. What is the website's purpose.
  2. Website structure - Create a sitemap for the site to help you work out how pages and categories you need and what content connects with each other.
  3. What services you might need to engage, web design company, photographer, image resource library, copywriting, video production team, content creators, SEO specialists. 
  4. Domain name - You need a domain to run a website. If you have one that’s great and if not you will need to purchase one?. If you want to register a domain now go to http://domains.u-do.com.au/  starting from as little as $12 per year.
  5. Budget - do you have a budget in mind. This may determine what you need to do and the services you engage.

If you’re organised you can do all the steps above saving you money.

In-house - $0
Employing a web developer - $500 - $5000 

2. Calls to action

We need to decide on what you want people to do once they have arrived on your website. It is crucial that you understand this. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what would you like to do next if you came to the site. Or better still ask your customers what they expect to do. Then we need to create easy and logical pathways for our customers to do exactly that.

In most cases a customer wants to do one or more of the following things

  1. Purchase a product
  2. Enquire about or engage you in a service you offer
  3. Get in-touch with you either by phone or email/ form
  4. Download a white paper or read information that they're interested in.
  5. Share your information on social media or to friends who maybe interested in your offer.

One of your goals here should be to capture visitors information such as name and email so you can take advantage of future marketing opportunities as they come available. It is important to encourage engagement and interaction where you can.

Identifying your calls to action in-house  costs $0
Employing a company  including market research, surveys and engaging focus groups $2.5k - 20K

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3. Content gathering and creation

This is where you decide on what content you will need for the different pages and products. It is a good idea to create folders for each page and/or category for the site and then place all the relevant information in them. This would include the text for the page, images and graphics, links, documents (pdfs, word, excel) and other useful information that is important to that page. If you have a team it can be a good idea to give team members the responsibility to put together the  content for their area of expertise.

  1. Text - well written content will enhance the experience for the user and keep them engaged. Make sure you have included important keywords and keyword phrases in the text. The use of bullet points are highly recommended for ease of reading. Be thorough in your writing and make sure the main point of the text is easily understood and they have come to a conclusion or know what to do next. Using hyperlinks within the text to offer more information on the site is great way of pointing them to more useful information and in-turn it is also good for SEO?
  2. Images - the old saying "an image says a thousand words" is quite true if used properly. Great imagery will do a lot for your website, hiring a photographer to create unique images of you and your business even more so. Images should be of high quality, don't use or give your web designer blurry or thumbnail size images and then expect them to look fantastic when showing as a main banner front and centre.
  3. Documents - PDF’s are the preferred online documents for security reasons and should be optimise for the web where possible. You don’t want to be uploading or expecting a customer to download a full res PDF. A good estimate for a PDF would be 50kb to 10mg.

Organising your own content in-house costs $0
Employing a company to write and create content including sourcing images, $2.5K - $20K

4. UI & UX design (the look of the website)

The user interface and the user experience is in our opinion one of the most important parts of the website. It's about ease of use, logical pathways and high conversions.

Done correctly you should increase enquiries, sales and conversions. We have designed and helped many businesses who have good traffic but low conversions and once redesigning the website using UI and UX methodologies the enquiries, sales and conversions skyrocketed.

It is important to do your research and look around at websites online to see how they look and function. What are your competitors websites like and what are they doing differently, what positives can you learn from and take advantage of. Talk to your customers and try to understand how they want to use and interact with your website. How can you improve their experience online. Can you simplify or automate the process for your customers.

We can’t emphasise enough of the importance of simplifying your message and using good logical design. Your website needs to be responsive in design, a smart web design approach aimed at crafting sites to provide an optimal viewing experience—easy reading and navigation with a minimum of resizing, panning, and scrolling—across a wide range of devices from mobile phones to desktop computer monitors. In the design process you should design for mobile first.

Create your own design or buy a template in-house costs $0
Use a pre existing theme - 0 - $3000
Employing a web design company to custom design the look, $3K - $20K

Development build and populating content

It is now time to integrate the design you have created into your CMS (Self-managed website). This is where you may need to engage a professional web design company if you haven’t done so already. There job is to give you a fully operating website, a finished working product that you and your customers are proud of. To save money your web design company should be able to show you how to populate the content required.

Populating your own content  $0
Employing a web design company to create a fully functional website, $1.5K - $20K
Employing a web design company to populate all your content. $1.5K - 10K
Affordable fully populated websites -   Udo.net.au 4 page $550, 8 page $990, 12 page $1540

Search Engine Optimisation SEO

There are 2 main areas of SEO, they are both important for the success of your website.

They are:

On-page SEO
Generally this refers to using keywords and keyword phrases in your meta tags and content on the pages of your website to increase your organic (Free) listing in Google, you may also know this as organic search engine optimisation (SEO).

It can be an advantage to use the experience of a web design company to take control of this for you. They should be able to teach you along the way how you can take full control of this moving forward.

Depending on your content management system you should be able to take control of this yourself. If not your CMS is out of date.

The most important meta tags are

  • The Title Bar - This is what you see in the tabs of your browser and the heading of the search results list.
  • The Summary - This is the text sitting under the heading of the search results list
  • Text Based URL’s - modd.com.au/mobile-friendly-website-design.html

Doing your own on-page SEO  $0
Employing a web design company to optimise each page , $500 - $2.5K
Affordable fully populated websites including on-page SEO-   Udo.net.au from $550

Off-page SEO
This refers to techniques that can be used to improve the position of a web site in the search engine results page (SERPs). This would include PPC advertising, content creation, links back to your site and social media to name a few.

The cost factor here can change immensely depending on what platforms you decide to use. Again you can take control of this yourself to save money but be aware there are pitfalls and there will be a steep learning curve required. It would be advised to do your research and read up on the different platforms and how to use them effectively.

Doing your own off-page SEO  $0
Employing a web design company , they will generally charge a monthly management fee, $500 - $2.5K + the cost of the campaign.

Hosting

All sites will need a hosting platform and it’s important to keep in mind that not all hosting platforms are equal. The hosting platform will need to be secure sitting either in the cloud or on a server in a high end data center with all the right protocols in place including backups and disaster recovery.

A good hosting service will:

  • Help with your site speed and fast loading times
  • Improve site visibility and SEO
  • Offer a level of guaranteed uptime (99.98%)
  • Offer a secure environment and minimising DDOS attacks
  • Backup your website content and database
  • Offer disaster recovery service
  • Offer 24hr support

Depending on your site traffic you may even need to look at a dedicated server or even a cluster of servers.

Hosting - $20pm to $10K+pm

Ongoing Support

Ongoing support is important for business and websites, you never know when you will need help. Whether it is about the hosting, domains or the website it is advised to have some level of support that you can trust. If your site goes down you need to know that it is being look into and it will be back live as soon as possible. A professional web company should take care of all this for you saving you time and stress. It is important though to understand the difference between support and paid work. Support is about making sure the website and hosting platform is functioning properly. If you require someone to add more pages or new functionality then this may come under extras and paid work.

Support - 0 to $1000+pm

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Udo - Digital  Design Agency offering affordable and professional website design services for business.