How much does a website cost? I am frequently asked this question. I like to answer it with another question: How much does a house cost? I don’t say this to be flip or sarcastic. I say it as a way to explain that this is a loaded question that can’t be accurately answered without a great deal more information.
But folks want a quick response. A young entrepreneur called me recently looking for help with the launch of her new business. She asked the usual question and I answered that it depends on what she needed. She pushed, so I gave her the “range answer”. I could hear her sucking in every last bit of air in her office.
We bill ourselves as humble servants and we really do greatly enjoy helping young entrepreneurs, small businesses, and local artists play with the big boys. It’s kind of our forte. So I moved on to my next question. “What’s your budget? Maybe I could come up with a solution for you that will work.” Her response was $500, and I said, “Perfect! I can help you pick out a great template, set it up for you, and teach you how to use it for well within that price.”
Her response? “But those take so much time!”
My response to that? “Why yes, yes they do.”
In another incident, a woman called, very unhappy with her current site. We discussed her issues. The design was poor, updating was difficult, some things needed to be removed and other functionality added. After reviewing the site, I presented a detailed quote which came to about a third the cost of an average site developed from scratch.
“Well, that is more than I paid for the original site,” she responded, and let me know she would keep looking for help. I wished her luck and that was that. It was obvious she had not spent much time or money on the site. The presentation was hacked together with little consideration to layout or functionality.
There is no “magic website” button. A successful web development project takes thought, planning, and lots of time on SOMEONE’S part. There are indeed many great resources out there, and we are happy to recommend them as a way for folks to get the ball rolling. DIY packages are great for a modest budget, but what you save in dollars you will have to make up for with some planning and time. It’s just like everything else, you get out what you put in.