Why is building a website so damn expensive?


This is a question we regularly get asked when putting together proposals and quotations for start-ups as well as established companies.

Even though we have years of experience as an Award Winning Web Development Company, working with some awesome brands….ninety percent of the time the cost is the all important deciding factor (rather than our process and offering).

Now looking at it from a prospective or existing client point of view, if you are working within a digital marketing budget, the cost of a website is very important as it needs to fit within this to be viable for your company.

So I will go ahead to try and explain just why it is websites are so ‘expensive’ in stages as follows:

What is the price for a website?

Let’s set one thing straight first of all, there is no set price that a web development company will charge you for a website. Think of it as hiring a contractor to build you a house, you might want 5 bedrooms, a pool, a conservatory and 5 acres of land….or you may just want 2 bedroom place. It all comes down to what you are looking to do with the website and what your website visitors need to be able to do. Yes, you are still buying a house, however, the price of each will vary massively.

Leading Web Development Companies pricing will range from the low thousands into the tens and hundreds of thousands and beyond, all dependant on the scope of the work and your objectives.

Let’s put this into context, so if we receive a brief from a company wanting design and development of a complex website with information pages, dynamic search, eCommerce elements, customer accounts, customer profiles and CRM integration. Let’s say for example the time-frame break downs are as follows: Research and Analysis is 3 days (this is very low amount of days for research), User Experience Design is 20 days, User Interface (Graphic Design) is 10 days, Front-End Development is 10 days, Back-End Development is 30 days and QA Testing is 8 days: Let’s say the daily rate is £600 + VAT You are looking at a total of 81 working days. 81 days x £600 Per Day = £48,600 + VAT

The hours can soon rack up and with that so does the billed hours and days.

How can an agency justify charging so much for a few pages?

Just like you would receive a quote from a builder or a plumber for the hours/days they need to spend on the job, the same applies to web development.

Taking the time to put in proper research, come up with a prototypes, produce beautiful graphic designs, program the front and back-end and then test the end product takes a lot of hard work and time…hence the costs entailed.

Why do I need all of these stages within the build can’t you remove some and lower the price?

If you want to ensure your website is built to serve your target audiences needs, then research is crucial, without this you are essentially going in blind. Following that, User Experience will ensure we can lay out how users will react to your website, through user-flows and wire-frames to map out the key website pages and functionality ensuring we provide the best possible User Experience (UX).

Once the Wire-Frames are nailed the graphic design stage is essentially styling these to provide beautiful and engaging graphics for the pages….development then follows to ensure the website is dynamic and works seamlessly for the front and back-end. Finally, testing of the major devices (Mobile, Desktop and Tablet) as well and major browsers (Microsoft Edge, IE, Chrome, Firefox, Safari etc.)

Don’t be disheartened if the agency says your budget is too low

An experienced agency will know after discussing your brief and requirements if your budget allocated fits in with their pricing model. Don’t forget they have staff and rent to pay too! Many agencies will discuss options to split your web project into stages and give you solid advice on how to take your project forwards.

Just remember, if you want your website all signing and all dancing, you have to pay the creative and development guys to put in the hard graft!

If you want outstanding results don’t be afraid to pay a trusted agency well for it!

A good web development agency will have it in its own interest to deliver as much value to your business as possible within their proposal and offering, as they want to win your business and help you long-term!

If you can see that the agency has solid experience working with great brands and delivering solid results, don’t be afraid to allocate a large amount to your web and digital budget…..most of the time it is justified.

Do you require assistance with an upcoming web or digital project? Please get in touch today for a free, results focused consultation!

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