An afternoon. A week. Two months. Two years. It all depends.
If you’re a business owner looking for information on the cost of developing your own site (either using a service, or hiring a us) you need to understand the many levels of answers that can come from such a broad question. In both cases – it’s important to remember that although a website is a “digitized” item, a website is still a product, but it’s also a service.
The time it takes to complete a website depends on the type of website you want, and is completely project-based. About 50%-70% of the actual time is from communication; the amount of time it takes for Sigma Creative and client to exchange details of the website such as copy, photos, media etc. Communication time also includes going through the standard approval processes when building a website including layout approval, copywriting proofed, testing links and functions, log in procedures, plus a whole lot more.
Development of the website takes up about 30% including the layout, setting up the host server and domain name, adding features & content, and technical testing of the site.
If a website project is estimated at 20 hours to complete this does not necessarily mean the site can be up within a few days. Sigma Creative must project the number of hours to be used daily on the project plus leave enough time for communication between the client and design firm.
In other words, it is possible for a 20 hour project to be completed within of few days IF:
- The client initially provides all the content
- The design firm exclusively spends 8 hours per day on designing the clients website
- All communication turn around time is immediate (within the hour)
- All interactive features and tools function properly the first round
- The site is approved to go-live.
Minimum development time ranges from 14-30 days (two weeks to a month) and is usually the amount of time it takes to build a new small website (our starter package). Vacations, sudden priority shifts, and having one of the key client contacts get buried in other work are all common occurrences. There are also those scope changes. When the process begins, a client suddenly sees new potentials, or changes the target audiences of the site. This usually involves redesign. Pre-planning and careful specification of a website will greatly reduce to likelihood of delays. As will clearly a clearly delineated process for content creation, client site review, and approvals.
Here is what the current industry average pricing looks like in order by popular client feature requests. Sigma Creative is always focused on listening to client needs and wants first for a customer-centric approach before recommending a customized right fit solution as part of a long view integrated marketing package.
Basic Website (Landing Page) – $1000 – $2000
After spending a significant amount of time (over a decade in this industry), we’ve determined that the market average for a baseline website is $1000 – $2,000. We’ve seen much, much higher. We don’t recommend going with anyone, even if it isn’t us, who charges less because the quality of the work will negatively (and directly) correlate to the price decrease. Nine times out of ten it will wind up costing you more in the long run.
With a basic website, you’ll have a simple online brochure made out of a boilerplate template (or format) where your customers and clients can review your products and services. The basic website may be your best salesperson, working 24 hours a day by just showing up. It’s your marketing tool to get your message out to the world. It provides a digital launch pad, where you can showcase your products or services. We will install Google Analytics too.
Custom Website (Microsite) – $2000-$7500
If you can think it, it can be designed in this price range. They may not be as fully functional, but they will be clean and to the point. At this spending level, you will find a website that is custom-tailored to meet your specific market needs.
At this price point, you can expect the beginning of the “wow-factor” from website team. You will not typically find features of audience interactivity, ecommerce, or content management.
Going back to the Basic Website, the website pricing is calculated at the same rate. These websites take much more time to build since they will include custom CSS and XHTML coding so that the website will show up the same on virtually every interface. Again, these websites will be optimized for Google, Yahoo, and Bing so that they will rank better in organic keyword searches.
Content Management System (CMS) – $3000- $8,500
A website designed and built with full CMS integration will typically run from $3,000 to $8,500 with an average of $5,750, depending on your specific needs and the extent of the customization requested. These websites will be designed with both functionality and appearance in mind. Custom art design and mid-level functionality will be included. You will be able to manage and update all of your content through the installed CMS interface. You can have an infinite number of pages (depending on the amount you want to spend for the time it takes to create them). With CMS you can manipulate, upload and change the pictures, content, and blog all day long. (You’ll soon discover, if you don’t already know, that updating your website can quickly become resource intensive and time consuming).
This is our most popular product package at Sigma Creative.
By enabling a CMS interface, these websites are designed to be user-friendly (as user-friendly as possible for a non-tech inspired individual). You won’t be billed for the time that it takes to make the minor changes and small adjustments that may become costly.
These sites will be laced with the ability to get “social”. You will be able to build a reputation through your blog. Depending upon the specifics of the agreement, you should be able to expect some keyword research to help you get started.
Aside from creation of motion graphics (Flash/HTML5), these sites will remain in the ballpark we’ve outlined above. And, as always, you can expect SEO and Analytics Tracking for these types of web properties.
The Grand Slam Package– $15,000- $100,000+
Highly complex websites can be very expensive to create. Social Networking, Advanced Blogging, and Web Application Development will raise the price tag. There are a limited number of companies that can perform well in this arena hence the reason for the large price tag.
These sites will have been coded from scratch, along with the applicable application programming. Websites in this price range require an extreme investment in time to research, develop and implement the software necessary to integrate the entire website in one seamless design.
It’s more expensive to build a website when you consider the actual cost in terms of hours and hiring a full time staff that specializes in niche programming fields within the industry (eg-mobile applications). There is a distinct difference between amateur websites and the work of a professional development team. While it may cost more money to build the website in the first place, by hiring a professional you will realize a return on your investment.
How long will it take to complete your website? Contact us today to get the conversation started on finding the right fit solution for you and your brand!
If you’re interested in learning more about our website development services, call 614-285-7565. Contact Sigma Creative today!