Developing a budget for your Website
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The most frequent question we get asked by business owners is: “How much will my website cost?” Unfortunately there’s no magic formula to answer this question.
But we can provide some useful tips on how to approach developing a budget for your business website.
First, you will need to determine what your goals are for the site and what features you need. These might include an e‑commerce shopping cart, a searchable catalog, a mobile version, a newsletter sign‑up, videos etc.
Shop for a web developer
Once you have a good understanding of your requirements, you can start shopping around for cost estimates from website developers.
But be skeptical of any developer that gives you a price without spending time understanding your business and developing a list of features that align with your objectives.
An ongoing investment, not an expense
Many entrepreneurs still view their websites as a onetime expense and a sunk cost. That’s a mistake.
Websites are a marketing tool for most businesses and should be considered an investment to help generate revenue and growth for your business.
Think of your website and online presence as a sales representative working 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to communicate your latest brand messages, product information and client success stories.
Site needs to be updated
That’s why you need to invest in updating your website frequently to reflect your evolving business, products and services.
Another key factor in determining your online budget is to assess the importance of the Internet in growing your business.
If online marketing and your website are crucial to your growth, then you should consider investing more in your Internet presence.
Research the competition
A simple way to verify this is to do a Google search on your competitors. Take a look at their websites, social media properties and online ads. If you see they’re investing online, it’s a good indication you need to be doing the same.
At BDC, we’ve worked with many businesses to help them develop their online marketing strategy and websites.
Typical cost range for BDC clients
What we’ve found is that for most of our clients web development costs typically range from $10,000 to $30,000 for the initial build, although we have had outliers that go as high as $60,000 to $100,000.
As mentioned, there are also ongoing maintenance costs like content updates which are specific for each business and for which it’s impossible to provide average numbers.
For standard costs, such as hosting your website, the typical range is between $20 to $60 a month, depending on the amount of traffic coming to your site and other variables.
How to get full value
Our team of Internet marketing experts can work with you to develop your online marketing plan, help you find the right web developer, and ensure you’re getting full value for your website investment.
There are also many free or low cost website development tools that we recommend for business that are just getting started. Take a look at our article comparing these options.