It's what everyone wants to know. But you're not going to be happy with our answer: It depends.
There is a ton of variation in the industry, with website costs ranging from a free Weebly site to the estimated $2,142 million price tag for the healthcare.gov site. Because of this, sticker shock is a common occurrence between agencies and clients.
When you receive a quote for a new site, it's important to consider the factors that contribute to the bottom line. If your business is comparing quotes from a few agencies, think about the following six factors and how they could impact your project—and your business—along the way.
6 Factors That Impact The Cost of a Web Project
This is "the big one." It's extremely important because it's the least tangible factor and it impacts every other item on this list. An agency has a plethora of knowledge at its disposal thanks to designers, developers, and digital marketers.
These experts stay on the cutting edge of their field, which helps them offer the best solutions for your business goals. Staying on top of industry trends and best practices means time spent researching and constantly learning. Aztek has been in business for over 20 years and has accumulated vast amounts of experience in working with clients on web design, development, and digital marketing projects. That kind of expertise isn't free.
2. Project Team
Most projects need (at least) a designer, a developer, a content strategist, and a technical SEO specialist. These folks collaborate both internally and with you to offer the best, customized solution. It takes time to meet, discuss, understand, plan, and implement a solution so that you get the best results.
It's just some words, right? Churning out content can seem easy at first. People shoot off 140 characters on Twitter in seconds. But it can be difficult to understand the complexities that go into writing high-quality content for your target audience.
This is where a content strategist comes in. A content strategist seeks to understand the target audience and business goals. This is helpful to establish the website's organization, navigation, and content, which then goes into content creation. This also means researching and spending time to provide the best solution.
After strategy comes actual content creation. This alone is a very time-consuming task and one that can often be left to the last minute when it is on your plate. Having a copywriter take this on can be immensely helpful. They will work with you to make sure the overall voice and tone is coming through, but they will carry the actual bulk of the work (and help keep you on track with your timeline).
There are a lot of companies that offer hosting—specifically, cheap hosting. Hosting with the same agency who built your website has a lot of benefits. If there is ever an issue with the server (hopefully never), you and your familiar agency team can work to resolve the issue. When you use one of the cheap hosting providers, you can spend valuable days chasing down the appropriate support personnel and still never get a satisfactory resolution, causing you to lose potential leads. When the site needs updates, it is much easier if the agency has access to the source code, and are working in their own development and production environments.
5. Post Project/Launch Support
Making the website easy to edit should be a priority for digital agencies. This gives you the ability to update content and images, while the agency focuses on more complex design and development tasks. Think about if you have questions after the project, do you know who to call? And will a real person who knows about your project answer the phone?
Unfortunately, no CMS bestows magic powers that turn a novice user into a veteran web developer or designer. We take time to train our clients on the content management system (CMS) for their new site, as well as answer any questions along they way. But, there will be times an update or new feature for your website requires the expertise of the agency project team, and that will likely require a new statement of work.
6. Digital Marketing
Technically, this one could happen while the project is in process and after the project is complete. But especially once your project is done, you'll want to shout it to the world (and the Google bots of course).
Often clients don't have the time or the expertise to do this part of the project themselves. Maintaining your digital presence and ensuring your new site is meeting business goals is a full-time job-- one that requires multiple people to ensure it's working properly.
Digital marketing teams can include a combination of search engine optimization (SEO), pay-per-click (PPC), marketing automation, on-going content development, and analytics reporting experts. With that in mind, it may make sense to partner with an agency to make sure your business is getting the most out of your new website.
We hope this helps to clarify some of the factors that go into figuring out the cost of the project, and give more insight into why numbers vary from company to company.
Thinking about starting a website project?
Find out more on our services or learn about our web assessment option.