How Much Does It Cost To Build a Small Business Website?
Often one of the first questions we get asked is how much does a small business website cost. While there are a number of factors that can influence price, we’ve provided a thorough and detailed overview on the costs of building a small business website below.
We know there are skimmers and there are detailed readers.
For the Skimmers
- About 85% of the websites we build for small businesses have a website cost between $8,500 and $15,000
- Typical turn around time is between 8-12 weeks
- Catalog, shopping carts, photography, travel, and custom functionality increase the cost
- We’ll give you a quote and we won’t exceed it without your approval
- What you get for your money
For Those Who Like to Read All the Details
Over the past ten years, we’ve been fortunate enough to build over 500 websites. But no matter whether the client is large or small, the website cost is an important component of the initial conversation.
As you can imagine, the way we built sites a decade ago is remarkably different than how we build them now. If we’re being honest, the way we build sites now is much different than we did just two years ago.
The reason? Along with new technology and tools, we have an office culture that is constantly evaluating the time, value, effort, processes, and options. We’re continually asking how can we do better for both our company’s bottom line and our clients’ collective concerns.
Like many businesses, we’ve battled with delivering a fair website cost and how to price our services. We’ve low bid projects to try and win–or not lose–opportunities as they came our way. We’ve felt guilty and discounted pricing to make ourselves feel better. However, we find ourselves doing the same amount of work and trying to get the most value for the client.
In short, discounting is simply not the right thing to do for us or the client.
We understand that the website cost of building a marketing tool for small businesses may be higher than people expect. We are asked if we offer discounts.
If we discount our value, it hurts the company in an obvious way. We have talented and dedicated people who work hard to listen to client needs and put plans together to help meet those needs. When we discount the cost of that effort we end up not making enough money to cover the real costs of what we do. Not covering costs is not a sustainable business model.
If we discount the price, we end up having to do more projects at once to make up for cash flow issues that arise from not charging enough for our time. The client doesn’t get the attention, return on investment, or value they deserve, which again is not a sustainable business model.
So we’ve learned to fairly price our website cost. We do this in the interest of providing measurable and meaningful value to our clients. And we are able to keep our employees paid in the process.
So why would a website from Sutherland Weston cost less than $8,500?
There are two main reasons why the website cost from Sutherland Weston would be less than $8,500: non-profit/sponsorship work and repeat business.
Non-Profit / Sponsorship Work
We have a three point mission statement at Sutherland Weston. The third bullet point commits us to use our collective resources to enrich our community. We understand the value and purpose non-profits play in our community. We often will work in a sponsorship piece to the website projects we develop for non-profit organizations. Depending on the complexity and functionality needed, the sponsorship in lieu of payment may indeed still keep the cost of the website above $7,500. However, it also may bring the cost of the website below that number. We think of it as an extension of our marketing efforts. It’s a way to help those that make our communities a better place to live, work and play, and overall just the right thing to do.
We love it when a client we’ve worked with in the past wants to update their site and trusts us to do the work.
In that case, we may look to lower the development website cost. This includes examining ways to achieve their goals by reusing much of the thought and purpose that went into the initial project. The business may look different than it did when the first site was designed. Therefore with a new look comes the need for new tools, strategy, and function. In that case, it may not be as apples-to-apples as a simple redesign and freshening up. But we will work to save our clients money while at the same time working to not decrease the value we provide.
So why would a Sutherland Weston website cost more than $15,000?
This answer to why the website cost of more than $15,000 is much shorter than the previous one. It comes down to defining the features, functions, and time needed to achieve the goals needed for our clients.
There are a few main instances where sites are typically more than $15,000:
- marketing strategy
- advanced search optimization
- ecommerce needs
- custom functionality
Often a website serves as an excellent way for a business owner to take a deeper and more analytical look at their business. It’s very common to spend time working ‘in’ the business and not enough working ‘on’ the business. Therefore taking time to reflect on company growth, goals, and future strategies often can be difficult.
We find that following the website development process can help businesses review their business, their goals, and how they present themselves to new customers and referral sources. We’ll often build marketing strategy services into our website cost.
We’ve had companies change their entire focus on how they market and communicate based on the conversations, meetings, and strategic focus sessions we’ve led during the website process.
Advanced Search Engine Optimization / Content Marketing
The consumer buying experience now relies heavily on internet research. While having your business website found online using keywords was once a primary marketing tactic, that strategy is no longer effective. Search algorithms have advanced to the point of reading page content as a human would. These algorithms categorizing pages and websites are based on value to specific consumer questions and needs.
Developing content marketing plans to address trends in an industry is a tactical approach that can increase the website quote. It can also add tremendous value to the marketing power of the website. We’ll often add advanced SEO services into our website cost.
Developing a professional catalog and shopping cart will typically involve a number of elements that add cost to a project. Factors such as enhanced product details, photography, and specialized account creation can better serve website shoppers.
There are indeed many modules, software systems, and plug-ins that make work easier than ever to have robust functionality. Making everything work together and ensuring quality for the final product takes time, focus, and expertise. All of these elements have an impact on the website cost.
Photography is often a key component of an ecommerce website. The time to take photos and make them all look the way they need certainly can be a time consuming task that will add costs to a website project.
The last topic that traditionally will add time and cost to a website is advanced shipping needs. Configuring the details to ensure all products are being calculated correctly takes time, focus, and expertise.
Custom Programming / Customer Functionality
Custom projects vary from the norm and require a deep understanding of the end goal, the target audience, features, functions, and a whole bunch of advanced who, what, where, why, when, and what-if questions.
Typically customer programming engagements will require specification development to fully plan out the details. Specifications will run from $2,000–$5,000 to develop and custom programming can start at $25,000 and go up from there. These special custom requests can increase the website cost.
We work hard to ask the right business questions up front to get a good feel for who you are, what you’re looking to do. We work to deliver a website cost that is fair. We explore the various options that are available to help you get there. Our website quotes are based on the best information we have regarding your goals and where we can add value. Our goal is to deliver clear expectations with measurable results. We work to communicate with you regularly so that the project is managed in the most effective way possible.