Prices for Web Design and Development Depend On Value

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This is the fourth installment in a five part series dedicated to answering the question “how much will it cost me to build a website?”

  1. How Much Does it Cost to Build a Website?
  2. The Down and Dirty Cost of Creating a Website for a Business
  3. How Much Does a 10 Page Website Cost?

How much will it cost me to build a website

In our last post we figured out that it would cost about $8,508.16 for building a basic 10 page website with a nice design. But if you do a couple of Google searches you’ll find websites going for $500 bucks. How can that be?

Well let’s think about it. The person selling a $500 website has to make a living. They’ve got to pay for health care and vacation time just like the rest of us. If we assume that this person is making the same amount we determined previously and is not being outsourced to another country (we do want to support our local economy), the only variable is time. It must take less time to do everything.

Corner cutting 101

If I were going to cut corners enough to create a $500 website here’s how I would do it:

  • Forget standards compliance, rules were made to be broken
  • Don’t worry about page load times
  • Ignore search engine optimization and say bye-bye to traffic from Google and Yahoo
  • Forgo accessibility for handicapped users, and risk a lawsuit like the discrimination claims against Target
  • Only design for Internet Explorer even though the website would look absolutely terrible in any other web browser
  • Abstain from using your company’s identity and instead use a template for the design
  • Sacrifice ease of use by creating a boilerplate solution with every feature possible, and use it for every client, regardless of their needs. No customization!
  • Quit setting up email accounts
  • Pass up all e-commerce websites and certainly don’t set up anything that would secure them from hackers
  • Stop meeting with clients one on one, and do all business via the website and email. It would also be a good idea to make myself completely unavailable by phone, especially after hours and on weekends

The real cost of a cheap website

In the end everything comes down to value. When you pay a bunch for a great website you’ll be getting the talent, expertise, background, experience and so forth of the qualified developer. That’s a great investment in your company, and a solid decision. You’d lose out on all that with a less expensive solution.

If you’re expecting a return on the investment in your website then you better be willing to do what it takes to get that return. But if you’re just putting up a website because you have to, and no one will ever see it, and it will never make a dime, then by all means don’t waste your money.

Next up I’ll discuss why we don’t charge hourly. By now I’d bet you can guess why…it doesn’t represent the true value of a given solution. Au revoir!