We know that having a website for your business is par for the course. If you want to attract serious customers for your business, you need to have a digital presence that is professional, informative, and alive with updates. Being present on social media platforms is also helpful, but eventually your customers need to land at your permanent digital home.

Creating a website that delivers for you and for your customers is a significant task that takes time and care. In today’s market, there are countless options and opportunities for you to create just what you need. Costs for building a website can range from practically free to tens of thousands of dollars. The adage “you get what you pay for” often rings true, but it gets more complicated when it comes to websites. So, how much could your business website cost in 2020? Let’s take a look at some of the factors.

First, some questions:

Before you can start building your website, you need to take a step back and think about who you are and where your business is at the moment.

  • What is the purpose of your site? Are you trying to attract new customers, keep your current customers informed about your business? Showcase and sell your product? Provide information on the services you offer?
  • What do you want your customers to do after visiting your website? Visit your brick-and-mortar store? Share your content? Buy your wares? Schedule an appointment?
  • Are you a new business or a well-established one? Do you have recognizable branding or are you still establishing your visual identity?
  • Do you need specialty elements on your site (e.g. online storefront, appointment booking, secure login area, etc)?
  • Do you have a domain and host? Do you know how to register a domain and setup hosting?
  • Do you have time to build your website (even with a free builder) and do you have time to regularly maintain your website?
  • Do you know how to fix your website should something break or an unforeseen problem (like a security breach) arises?

These questions will help you determine what level of help you might need for creating, establishing and maintaining your site.

The DIY Route

Cost: Minimal (As little as $100 a year, but can be more depending on features)
Commitment: Significant (it’s all you, all the time)

Thanks to companies like Wix, the average person can create a simple website for their business without having to learn how to code. These visual builders are very intuitive, but they come with major limitations. Wix offers a library of features, but if you ever want to go outside of the box and change the backend, you’re out of luck. Also, when you use a web builder like Wix, you are tied to that company. If you want to move away from Wix, the website needs to be rebuilt from the ground up.

However, if you are just getting started and have the time to invest in building your own site, this might be the best option for you.

The Hired Cousin or Friend Route

Cost: As much as you want to spend.
Commitment: Significant (If not now, likely later.)

You know you need a website and you know that you don’t want to go DIY. Maybe you have a little money you could invest, but you don’t want to spend a lot on a site. You know a family member or a friend or a neighbor’s kid that knows a little about building websites… or, at least, more than you do. Why not give them a couple hundred bucks to build your website for you?

As a web agency, we recognize our bias here. That being said, we’ve seen this before and it often doesn’t turn out well. If you have enough money to invest in building your site, it’s best to leave it to a professional. Building an effective business site requires brand development, messaging, mockup design, and thoughtful flow for your customers to take the action you want them to take. If you know someone who is a professional and will give you a significant discount, go for it! If not, we advise you consider leaving this important work to a professional.

The Freelancer Route

Cost: Variable. Budget at least $1,000.
Commitment: Intermediate

If you are looking for a professional to do the work for your site and have at least $1,000 to budget for the work, a freelancer might be a good solution for you. An independent professional found on sites like Freelancer or Upwork will usually charge you an hourly rate for their work. The more features you need, the more your site will cost. The good news is, if you pick the right freelancer, the end product can be great, and you’ve saved a few thousand dollars in the process. The bad news is, a freelancer is one person, so some areas of the entire project may fall short. For instance, you may get a great designer, but they are not technical and don’t know how to achieve some of your requests, or maybe they don’t have good writing skills and have to rely on you for producing all the copy for your website. There are many jobs involved in producing a brand and website, and one person can’t do every aspect of the job with excellence.

The Web Agency Route

Cost: Variable. Budget at least $10,000.
Commitment: Intermediate

The cost of working with web agency is significantly more than these other options. However, working with an agency means that you’ll be working with a team to establish a long-term, functional solution for your branding and digital presence. Logo and brand identity will be developed, your website will be custom-built, your messaging will be professionally written and optimized for the web (including SEO), and many agencies offer ongoing maintenance to keep your site running. You will be left with the responsibility of producing new content, such as blogs, and managing your social media, the “fun” part of the work that your customers get to see and enjoy!

Your digital presence matters. How you go about creating it is up to you. Whether you are just getting started with a new business or trying to reassert your established brand in the digital space, crafting a functional, effective website is essential in 2020. Take your time, do your homework, and know exactly what you want before you start the process. No matter what option you choose, we wish you luck!

Are you an established business ready to invest in a custom-coded and branded website? We are a boutique firm built on establishing relationships, crafting superior branding, and building beautiful, effective websites for our clients. Take a look at the work we’ve done, then fill out our contact form to get started today.

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