When it comes to giving your business an online presence, things can seem much more complicated than they need to be. You can easily find yourself in over your head when it comes to navigating which hosting platform to use, which designer to go with, and which domain name to choose. However, one thing often confuses business owners more than others and that is “How much should I be paying for my website?”
It’s critical in today's economy to have a website, but it should be an asset to your company, not a financial sinkhole. Luckily, in recent years huge leaps have been made in technologies and services that can help pros like yourself easily and affordably navigate the process of developing a website headache free. These products and services range from Do-it-yourself website builders to large agencies with full time staff. With these innovations in the website development industry, the process of creating a website has become more accessible than ever before. However, given the progress in technology, it still isn't clear why some website development companies and freelance individuals continue to charge sky high prices.
The answer to how much your website should cost depends largely on the design services you choose to use and the functions you would like your website to serve. Here we have provided a brief overview of different options and their likely price points.
In a majority of cases, one of the most cost effective plans is going to be designing the site yourself using a platform like Wix or Yola that provide templates that you can edit and alter with your own content. The drawback of this option is that if you do not have hours to mess around with various designs and maybe aren't the best with technology, this could be more of a chore than you would like to take on.
If this option does sound good to you, you have a few different choices for hosting platforms and various costs associated with each. Also keep in mind that these hosting fees may be in addition to the cost of a custom website domain and may increase in price point if you desire anything beyond the basic features included in the minimal plan.
Your second most cost effective option is to hire a freelance designer/developer (designer creates the layout and the developer actually builds it) who can work with you to create the site you want. However, be wary of fees that could quickly add up and set a firm budget upfront. Many freelance website designers are paid around $60 per hour so you want to go in with a clear understanding of what you are looking for in a website to avoid costly back and forth. The hourly rate for a website developer can range between around $25 and $85 based on experience and location. The average cost just for designing and building the website with a freelancer is $6,760 for a basic website. Always be sure to do a through review of any potential freelancer’s portfolio to ensure that they are capable of providing the type of site you are looking for before you open your wallet. When hiring a freelancer there are also potential concerns about accountability and sticking to a specific timeline for the project. Some of this risk can be mitigated by using freelance platforms such as Fiverr that provide tools such as dispute resolution and secure payment processing as long as everything is done within the platform.
Going with a design agency might be a great option for you if you are looking for a website with multiple advanced functions and have a larger budget. One of the perks of going with an agency is that you will have an experienced team of people to count on. Oftentimes, you will be assigned not only a website designer and developer, but a strategist who might be able to help you narrow in on your website goals and optimize the audience you are reaching. More accessible information about the agency’s work and past client history online means that you will likely also have a more clear understanding of what to expect going into the project. For this same reason, agencies are also generally very accountable because their reputation is so public. These benefits do come at a price though, and it can vary based on the size of the agency. though it might be slightly less for a smaller, more boutique agency, the usual cost of designing and building simple website with an agency is between $15,000 and $30,000. These staggering costs do not include maintenance of the site and issues that may arise down the road.
Another option that businesses now have for developing a website that is both custom and low cost is ProSite by ProPhone. You will be paired with a dedicated ProPhone team member that will generate a personally tailored website at a fraction of the cost of any other service. The team will provide a first draft sample entirely for free just based on any online profiles you already have or through a few simple questions. Not only do you get professional service and a beautiful website, but all ProSite plans are incredibly affordable. The founders of ProPhone intentionally created the product to empower home service pros to be able to secure a web presence they could be proud of while keeping their mental and financial focus on the day to day of their business. Check out pricing and an example of a ProSite below!
Maintaining Your Site
Another factor to consider is the price of maintenance once your site is set up. You will want to regularly update your website with photos, content, and new offers and this should be factored into your budget. Website maintenance will vary in cost based on the four options selected and will be largely dependent on how much you would like to change or add to your website monthly. A great perk about opting to go with ProPhone’s ProSite is that website maintenance is included in the monthly subscription. This means that not only is the fee to get your site up and running far smaller than any other custom service (and even less than some do-it-yourself platforms!), but you won't be surprised by large bills down the road.
If you have any questions about what website options might be right for you, feel free to
reach out to one of the ProPhone team members who will always be happy to help provide a consultation and answer any questions!