How Much Should I Pay For A Website?

How Much Should I Pay For A Website?

It’s a tricky question. With so many options out there, how much SHOULD you pay for your website? $500? $15,000? $30,000? While every website has different requirements, which affect the time and skills required, we can at least give you some insight on what your mindset should be while looking into a new website.

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The Barbecue Mindset

I need a barbecue to cook burgers in my backyard on weekends. I don’t need the biggest fanciest barbecue; I’m just cooking a couple burgers for my friends on Saturday afternoons. The $199 unit should do just fine as my requirements are really quite simple.

This is a perfectly acceptable mindset for purchasing a barbecue because fire is fire and both the cheap and expensive barbecues will cook your food more or less the same. But this mindset is NOT the way you need to think about your website development project. 

The Investment Versus Expense Mindset

You wouldn’t apply the same strategy above to hire a sales person would you? $20 an hour spent on someone who doesn’t generate anything for you is money wasted. When you hire a sales person for your company what is more important is the revenue he or she generates for the business — and the quality of clients he or she brings in!  

A website is exactly the same.

When you shop for a website development company, make sure you look at it not as a cost but as an investment. If you think in terms of investing in a sales tool, you may be inclined to ask a very different set of questions.

Things To Consider When Hiring A Web Development Firm

Here are some things to consider when choosing a website development firm or individual developer:

1) Is the person developing your new website just a graphics person or do they have actual marketing experience? Remember, it’s their job to make a website that SELLS, not just looks pretty.

2) Does the person building your website have website analytics experience? Is your website based on “design standards” or actual study of visitor behavior? It’s not just about pretty colors, it’s about psychology and data driven decisions.

3) What does your developer know about website conversion? Do they know what conversion is?  Do they ask questions about what the goals of your site are? Can they explain which elements on your homepage will convert visitors into customers? Drill them. Ask them to explain to you how the website will convert. This is the key to your success.

4) Look at the prospective web development company's other client’s websites. When you look at the website portfolio do you understand what the company does and what action you’re supposed to take next in 3 seconds or less? Is it easy to navigate? Does it load quickly or is it a slow moving flash website?

When you have all of the right elements working together, spending $10,000 – $20,000 on a website makes perfect sense because it has been expertly built by a company with experience and data behind it to yield a positive return on investment. Sure – you can go and buy that $1000-$2000 website –  but that rarely comes with the process and experience necessary to drive traffic and convert it into paying customers.  And afterall — isn't that why you are building a website in the first place? 

And remember, in today's world –  your website is often your top sales person.

Post By Chris (30 Posts)

Chris can usually be found in one of two places: Behind a computer screen wizarding websites and marketing strategies, or on a stage making things disappear. Chris has been applying his conversion focused website skills for over 10 years and is happy to share some of that experience here on the TechWyse blog!

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  • avatar

    Dead on – value based pricing or tiered levels are definitely the way to approach web design pricing. By nature they’re built to deliver solid services no matter how far the client wants to go.
    Can’t forget the value of social capital either. Experience suggests that building technology is really all about building relationships – get the client involved from the very beginning so they see how much investment really goes into a solid design, and so they ultimately take ownership of their brand.

  • avatar

    Great information. Sharing this on our company Facebook page. The problems you outlined are especially true for newer businesses as they often make the mistake of shopping for price, not value.
    A website could be “free” but if it doesn’t work to bring in traffic and convert customers it actually can be a huge waste of time and resources. A related issue I see are companies that try to make someone learn website code who can’t handle it. They end up paying far more in employee salary to someone when they should have brought in a local expert.

  • avatar


    Very useful information, thank you for posting this to share with others!

  • avatar


    Very useful information, thank you for posting this!

  • avatar

    I’ve been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this site. Thanks, I will try and check back more often. How frequently do you update your web site?

    • avatar
      Vanessa Copeland 


      Hi Major Grenon,
      It’s good to have you back! We are currently in the process of updating our website! Check back and let us know what you think!

  • avatar

    I completely agree with the points you’ve outlined in this article. Any business looking to attract potential customers must have a well-designed website. Unless you have someone proficient in web design on staff, outsourcing this task is the best option. While there are so many free templates out there, paying someone to create a website that is customized to fit your unique vision is simply the best investment you can make.

  • avatar

    While I agree that you need a good looking website, the whole structure behind it, and what it can do for your business is even more important. A website should be optimized, built to produce results. A website development firm that is good in all aspects of websites would be a good choice, or you could split it up , but I think it’s easier to go with 1 company. It will have a price tag, but if you’re serious about your business and you plan to have your business around long term, then the investment will pay off, if you invest in the right website.

  • avatar

    As a website designer, I couldn’t agree with you more. I think these do it yourself, cheap and one-size fits all solutions are terrible.

  • avatar

    These are such great points.  I have seen so many "pretty" websites that are virtually invisible on the web.  It hurts me to see people spend a lot of money on graphics and not be found. 

  • avatar

    Good one! To add, have relevant content to make it powerful for the search engines. Monitor plagiarism too.

  • avatar

    There is some very useful information here. We work with lots of companies and business owners not only in building their websites but also in spearheading  their online marketing campaigns too. One thing I've noted which is common in them is they're always concerned about the aestheticism and functionality of their site and are least bothered about the conversion aspects of the site. Hope this post will better educate such presumptions of people.
    Nothing helps the process more than a properly architectured website.

  • avatar

    These are good points Chris. More than that – a lot of other  things we need to ponder when hiring a web development team to build a site. Firstly, before approaching the web development company you should decide which technology you want to use to run your site. Another thing is maintaining a cordial relation with the company  in future spme other things should be looked at:
    Are they having reasonable timeframe for launch?
    Will  they provide follow up & maintenance regularly?

  • avatar

    Yes Chris, as you pointed out it's a must to know what we require and what they (development company) can do / what they have done so far.  Website support is also an important factor to consider before you sign an agreement. Some development companies use opensource programs, which are free and less-time consuming to develop websites but when you require changes in your website they may not be able to support if they are not proficient. I always say EXPERIENCE is essential!

  • avatar

    Undoubtedly, while developing a website, it is imperative to understand the 'nature' of its business and then develop it. Why? Obviously because that is the way you can help increase business, better traffic and increased conversions. In return, what you get is a free 'word of mouth' appraisal for the service done and of course – more business and money.

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