The question “How much does a website cost?” is not an easy one to answer.
There are many factors to consider when getting a quote for a website, but the first thing to consider is what you are trying to achieve.
What your business or organisation does will have a large say in the type of website and therefore the cost. Obviously if you are a retailer, you’ll want an e-commerce website. If you are an engineering firm or a construction company, you’ll want a website that demonstrates your capabilities, with plenty of photographic examples. Professional services’ main requirement is to provide a contact point where they can briefly outline what they do and make it easy for potential clients to get in touch.
For example, websites for lawyers will typically have a page describing the kind of law issues they deal with, criminal law, property law, family law and so on, then have a contact page for people to get their phone number, email address and a fill out form, also displaying a location map and an address.
Many of these type of websites have online appointment calendars where people can make a booking online.
So all of these different features will have an influence on cost, due to the amount of work involved.
Firstly the structure of a website comprises the header, which will have branding visible, usually with a logo, then a menu with links to all the pages. Any page content will set below this, with the footer at the bottom, like the header, common to the rest of the site.
As soon as you require something like an image gallery, or an online form, you have raised the price of the build, because these components require extra work to incorporate. Add an e-commerce component and the price goes up substantially, because, obviously you have introduced content that requires products, categories, the shopping cart with it’s checkout and payment gateway, shipping calculators, stock management and invoicing.
An e-commerce website may have other components, like a product configurator, or product variations, there can be quite a lot to it.
I recommend you ask questions, lots of questions. Most web designers don’t expect clients to know a lot about the subject and so are quite accepting of the many things you want answered, so don’t feel silly or embarrassed if you don’t know something. A good web design company will take the time to inform you.
My own method is to produce a website proposal that stipulates every component of the website build grouped into stages. You begin with a deposit payment at stage one, the website design itself, then make progress payments as each stage is completed.
Once you accept the proposal, we both sign an agreement that the website will be produced at the specified price, but beware, each and every extra you ask for will be billed. It’s just like buying a car for a fixed price, then adding optional extras, but I do inform you of those extra costs, so you can choose not to go with them if you’re squeezed.
So go ahead, shop around and remember, you get what you pay for and you pay for what you get.