Do I Need A Website?

It’s 2017 and, at this point, if your business doesn’t have a website, you’re already more than a few steps behind in your marketing and branding potential… not to mention, you could be well behind what your competition has to offer. Whether you have a small business, a large corporation, or run a non-profit… you cater to a specific niche or your sights are much more broad… you’re looking to build a debut website, redesign one that’s already established, looking to improve customer relations and increase company revenue, or a combination of any of the aforementioned – you’ve come to the right place. We here at #TeamJRC are here to guide you along in your journey of finding the right web solutions to fit for your business needs. There are a lot of questions that can surround the production of a website and we want to provide you with a consultation of sorts. Now that the first question is answered here – and the answer is: yes, you definitely do need a website – let’s move on to some of the other points that are often brought up when discussing a properly functioning website. A hot topic… how much will a website cost you?

What Does A Website Cost?

To start, this is a very broad question that has answers which are based on multiple factors. By simply asking how much your website cost will be in totality, you are missing quite a few specifics. Website costs will usually be at a base-line average, however, it is important to note that variances can occur as levels of design needs and functionality increase. When approaching a new website development project, it is good to have an idea of which features you would like your site to include, as well as figure out where you will be obtaining content. Sure, a lot of focus is aimed at the overall website design – and rightly so, since, according to Tyler Horvath of Tyton Media: “48% of people cited a website’s design as the number one factor in deciding the credibility of a business” – but, you can’t always judge a website based on how it looks alone. Design is only a mere slice of a much bigger pie that rounds out how your business is viewed on the internet. Cookie cutter web builders can be a nice start, but they often won’t get you to where you want your business to be and have you seeing your true potential in bringing in new customers, viewers, or added revenue. To truly surpass in website functionality, it’s important to note where the money towards your website cost is going and why it is crucial for your business.

Cost Breakdown:

  • Domain Name: $10-$100+/year… This cost is for new domains. Don’t be surprised if you see some older domains selling for hundreds, thousands…sometimes, millions. In all – you’ll probably want to start fresh with your own new one.
  • Hosting: $10-100+/month; $50 – $1,200+/year… Cost will depend on the type of hosting you choose from. Your options (in the order of performance) are: dedicated, shared, or free hosting options. However, you will want to note that additional fees may be applied, and required, for add-ons such as a static IP address or a SSL (Secure Socket Layer certificate).
  • Shopping Cart Integration and Programming: $200 – $15,000+… So, what sort of functionality do you want to have your users get out of your website? Features such as, paid plugins, shopping carts, and the development of custom features can add to your total website cost, but the overall benefits of having a fully customized, unique website often offsets this.
  • Custom Design and/or Information Architecture: $2,500 – $10,000+… This is including services such as UX (User Experience) design, imagery collection, visual design, as well as page structure and sitemap generation. (It’s important to note that these services are usually part of a much larger website development package.
  • Website Content Creation: $50 – $200+ per page, (or hourly)… You can certainly write up your own content yourself, outsource it to non-native speaking freelancers for what seems like pocket change, or use a content writing firm which will charge around $100-$200 per page. Often, when working with development companies, they will already have a content guru as part of their team that you can tap into as an added service. It’s important to view your website’s content just as you do a website’s design – you get what you pay for. When it comes to content creation that will prove to be actually useful in engaging your intended audience as well as ranking your site higher on search engines, you certainly don’t want to cut it short in this area.
  • Project Management and Information Gathering: $500 – $3,000+… Creating the invaluable line of communication between you and your website developers is key. As a part of your website team, we ultimately want to see you and your website succeed. Pricing is dictated by initial consultations, phone calls, and any time that it takes to obtain the information we need to get your site going.
  • Website Managed Services: $75 – $250+/month… These types of services can include content maintenance, post-launch testing, blog writing, and other managed services, like marketing and advertising services (such as Pay Per Click Marketing, AdWords, Social Media Advertising, and more…).
  • Testing and Training: $100 – $1,000+… There are a number of websites that are built based off of easy-to-use Content Management Systems (CMS), but there are just as many of you out there that simply don’t know how to even get started with them. Training is essential in learning how you can efficiently use your new website, ensure that everything works as it should, and provide the time to make any changes as you see necessary.

What Type Of Website Do I Need?

Basic Website

Basic Websites are most effective for individuals and small businesses. With this type of website, we’ve laid out two options that you can decide to go with –

Do It Yourself… There are certainly some outstanding online tools out there that utilize the latest advancements in software, content management systems, and business models. At times, these tools can make it difficult for development agencies to get an edge. However, it is crucial to understand that many of these tools are rather complex and our everyday clients are really not too comfortable with learning how to effectively use them.
Often, these types of platforms will be configurable to adjust to your needs, but will still require some understanding of graphic design, coding, and other website building knowledge in order to extract them from a cookie-cutter set up and into an attractive, custom look. Depending on your budget and skill level, these resources can certainly be helpful, but certainly not our go-to suggestion if you want your business to stand out or the ‘quick and easy’ solution they present themselves to be.

Website Cost: Free – $100+

Hire A Developer… When you are establishing a basic website design idea, know that the result you are looking for here is to ultimately act as an online brochure, of sorts. A basic website will help to establish your online presence. This is necessary to answer the questions your customers, and those interested in your business, will inevitably have. Depending on your goal with this type of website, you may be able to interact in various ways with your intended audience. This can be in the form of blogging, social networking, transacting direct business through your website (as with E-commerce), or enabling the manipulation and updates of page content within your website without the need of a web programmer or web designer to always do it for you (as with a Content Management System).

Inclusion of enabling CMS manipulation can get rather complicated, and, for us, these complexities can become rather time consuming – even more so than coding HTML right from scratch. There are also the additions of content, customer service, and website testing that will take up time and eat away at budgets. Ultimately, your basic website will need to serve to help establish your brand and effectively market your company. This can be done by showcasing your products, services, and inspiring sales. With #teamJRC, you can be sure that your website will also be responsive, meaning you site will appear nearly the same on every computer or device – no matter what the screen size. Why is this important? Well, Google actually punishes your website by search rankings if it is not responsive. We also offer SEO (Search Engine Optimization) to boost your advancements in search engine rankings to establish dynamic, organic customers. To finish up, #teamJRC also sets your business up with web analytics and reports in order to showcase your website’s achievements.

Website Cost: $1500-$4500+

Advanced Website

We recommend Advanced Websites for medium-sized businesses that are looking for more customization.

The website cost for an advanced site will be determined by the overall level of requested web design as well as what features the website will include, as with the CMS (Content Management System). Functionality and web design are at the forefront of these websites, seen as customized, and specifically tailored, artistic design, as well as the ability to update and manage all images, content, and other text that is contained within the web pages. An advanced website that is CMS-capable, your site is basically provided boundless possibilities.

An advanced website is built with the intention that there will be multiple changes, additions, and/or updates that will be made to the website in the near future. What #teamJRC offers, instead of charging your business an hourly rate to continually make these changes, is a content management system that allows for you to do a bulk of these additions and changes (even without coding or design knowledge)! In addition to advanced functionality, further customized design work, such as utilizing expensive elements, will ultimately influence the overall website cost.

As always, responsive design will be integrated with your advanced website as well as SEO (Search Engine Optimization) services, to ensure your website is boosted in search engine rankings. To wrap it up, #teamJRC also provides your business with web analytics and reports to present your website’s achievements.

Website Cost: $5,000 – $10,000+

Custom Website

While all of the websites we design are customized to varying extents, a Custom Website is what we typically recommend for large-scale businesses or those that exist solely on the web.

If you’re in the market for a much larger website with very advanced functions that include your social networking, E-commerce, blogging, or any other web application, as well as superior design and engaging content that entices your audience, you should already expect to be looking at a website cost that is a tad more than what the prior sections budgeted for. While it is true… some E-commerce and website applications can be created for less money, most successful ventures are established at the larger end of the scale. Realistically, you get what you pay for. Do you want to have the next or…? If so, this is where you fall into the category of businesses that require a highly sophisticated, custom website.  A custom website like this will require extremely advanced customization and the coordination of different technologies in order to work effectively with your company.
For this type of website, you will require the attentiveness, assuredness, and expertise of experienced web application developers and web designers. A custom website at this level will require more time to be placed in planning, research, consultation, database design, database implementation, software development/integration, website quality assurance, and website testing. It sounds like a lot… and it is. This is why the website cost is going to be much higher. As with any other trade or craft, a high level of knowledge, experience, and expertise is required for this time of venture. Some other factors that will determine the website cost are as follows:
– more restricted deadlines
– the number of meetings
– the amount of people involved
– more stringent content specifications
– the number of pages of content to port over or have accounted for
– any additional security concerns/implementations
– any Government or other specialized requirements and/or regulations that must be met
Now… none of these requests are by any means extreme or something we don’t anticipate with custom websites, but, if they are needed or required, it should be anticipated by the business that overall costs will go up.

Website Cost: $10,000 – ? 

Do I Need More Features With My Website?

Here we will break down some specifics with common website needs and what this means for your business –

E-commerce Website

An E-commerce Website is characterized as this type due to its ability to allow for products to be added and transactions to be made online. As with many other websites, E-commerce sites have various levels that will influence their overall cost. On the most basic end, as an example, is either the integration of a PayPal button or the ability to accept payments, or donations, online (most often seen with a non-profit). Though, even with something so simple-sounding, there are a number of questions we have to address. What exactly are we looking for here? Well… What type of platform is your existing site built on? Do you have an account already established with PayPal? Do you want your customers to stay on your website as they make purchases? And, the list can continue.

Now, from our more basic end of an E-commerce website spectrum to the more advanced side – when you begin to add in products, shipping integration and costs, “thank you” and confirmation emails, etc. Here is where we start to see more of the complexities these types of websites can harbor. For the most part, most of the clients we work with who have E-commerce website needs also require additional education, guidance, and setup with the following services:
– setting up the Server
– what SSL (Secure Sockets Layer – a standard security technology) to choose from and purchase
– setting up the Merchant Account
– setting up the Payment Processor
– setting up Shipping, as well as coordinating and setting up accounts
– utilizing Transactional Emails

Most clients who are looking for an E-commerce website will require a knowledgeable, reliable company to help them make the right decisions and guide them along during the process.

Custom Application

Even beyond the custom websites, there are Custom Applications. These are websites that have novel functionalities that may not be available yet (or are an available function, but one that needs tweaking). Custom applications can be large or small… they’re all about taking dreams and ideas and turning them into reality, where custom software is built for your specific business. With #TeamJRC, we suggest approaching this type of website with serious planning. This planning is essential for determining the custom application’s cost, because, well… in short, this is probably the hardest one to gauge. If a company has used a solid CMS, there’s more of a promise for customized functionality and making rather quick work of the programming and design. However, as with most instances, custom applications will require a long-term partnership with developers that you can trust.

How Will I Know If I’m Getting A Good Website Cost Estimate?

To be completely frank – prices are going to be substantially different between many website development companies when catering to the web design industry. Often, you will be met with those who are vying for the low end of costs, those way up at what may seem like an obnoxious high end, and those who are going to be settling right in the middle. So… why this abrupt difference in website cost?

In a manner of sorts, website cost estimates work in much the same way as consulting. Typically, what you see on the low side are people, or companies, that do not have a vast array of knowledge to back them up, lack experience, don’t care to pay attention to the specifics of your company’s true needs, and who are simply throwing a number out there to see if it sticks. There are the others who are on the higher end of cost margins who have almost unlimited resources at their disposal and large networks to tap into. However, does this necessary make the one who asks for the most money that much better than the company that is estimating a website cost that is half the cost, or so? Honestly… likely not. In reality, it all comes down to one thing: satisfying the needs and requirements of the client. No matter how much a development agency is asking, whether it actually works for the benefit of your business is the most important factor to take into consideration.

Unfortunately, those who think they are getting a really good deal, because they are seeing a very low budgeted cost, are often going to be left feeling highly disappointed. Often, key elements of the website are left out, unattended to, and any future support is non-existent. What is also often seen most in these low budgeted scenarios is that the initial savings appears to be the best solution, until the faults that come with it start rolling in. Then, those same initial savings end up costing the company more than what an efficient, well-put-together website would have cost altogether – without the headache.
The part a number of our clients don’t really think about are all the tiny steps in between making it all fit nicely together to provide your company with a smooth, fully-functioning website. We have to be sure the goal tracking is set up, the analytics code is installed correctly, submit the website to webmaster tools, and so on. If these steps are not completed, you’ll end up with a website that is truly lacking… and one that will ultimately lack in marketing results as well.

With #TeamJRC, you can rest assured that you are being charged an accurate, well thought out amount that is backed with superlative support from our staff as well as the technical know-how of our team. A good motto to go by is: “quality doesn’t cost… it pays!” The indispensable truth – you really do get what you pay for. #TeamJRC is on your side, striving to see your business succeed, because when you prosper… so do we! By contacting us today, you are paving the way towards a lucrative future! Know a company or brand looking for a new website? Check out our referral program and get paid for sending them our way!