How much does it cost to build a website for a small business?
If your business doesn’t have a website, or your site is old, static, and needs some 2018 love, the idea of sinking a bunch of money into something that just sits there can feel like a waste. Consider that the cost of building a website for a small business isn’t just measured in dollars, it’s also measured in the time you spend away from your business, working on your site. And your website doesn’t “just sit there,” it is your 24/7 sales, support, and customer service employee. Let’s take a look at what it really costs to build a website for your business.
The option with the least out-of-pocket spend is, of course, to do it yourself. There are many good and free options for the website backend - the software that runs your website. Many people use WordPress, which is free, however hosting your website - paying someone for the servers to run the site - is usually paid via annual fees. You can pay less for a site that has bandwidth and storage limits, but you never know when you might have a viral blog post, so unlimited plans are the best and can be had for as little as $30/year.
While DIY can be easy on the wallet, it can tax your time and patience, unless you’re a web developer by trade. Consider your time and how much it’s worth ($60/hour? $100? $200?), and how much time you spend running your business. The loss of time you incur by building your own website can harm your business productivity, which then lowers revenue. DIY doesn’t seem like such a good option now, does it?
The next step up is to hire a freelancer to do your website. The cheapest way most people go about this is going to “race to the bottom” marketplace sites where people bid on your project. This seems like a smart, competitive way to save money until you realize that you’re trusting your website to a freelancer you don’t know, who might be anywhere in the world. Support and scheduling turns out to be a nightmare, costing you more of your valuable time and more money, once you decide to go with a local web developer. But even then, your site is in the hands of someone who is either a graphic designer or a web developer but is lacking in skills of the other specialty. A site created by a freelance developer could easily run into the thousands.
Which leaves professional web design companies. The advantages of “one-stop” shops are easy to see: accountability in the marketplace (they want repeat & referral business); established in a place of business; employ multiple people to handle sales, design, development, and copywriting. A good design company will also keep track of your passwords, takes care of hosting setup & backend updates, and schedules training time to teach you how to use your website - adding content & blog posts, changing graphics, updating existing information.
A professionally-built website will be responsive from the outset, which means viewers on mobile devices won’t have to pinch & zoom their way around. Responsive websites are ranked higher in search results by Google because a good mobile site leads to better customer experience.
Best of all, an established web design & development company is cost-competitive with the freelance market when all of the above is taken into consideration. A 5-page site can be built for under $5,500 which includes Search Engine Optimization (SEO), custom graphics and site layout, and an eye toward making your site work for you as a support and sales tool.
Contact Bigfoot Web to see how we stomp the competition and create an attractive, informative, conversion-focused and cost-effective website that you and your customers will love.