How Much Does a Website Cost?
In today’s market, no business can afford to have a poor performing or outdated website. Your site is not just your placeholder for contact details, it is your digital storefront, and your window to the world. No matter if you are running a B2B or B2C business, a poor online experience with your brand will disenfranchise users, reducing their trust and authority in what you have to offer, and encourage them to look elsewhere. Over time, this trust can decay and lead to a lack of sales, leads and profit loss.
As we move into 2021, companies wanting to improve their digital presence should prioritise upgrading or replacing their website to ensure it offers a great user experience, with a design that has been developed with the business goals and objectives in mind.
Benefits of Redeveloping Your Website or Replacing Your Website
Improve the user experience
Is your website clunky, slow, or unattractive? If you think so your users will too. User experience is key to turning traffic into conversions, whether that means making a purchase online, subscribing to a podcast, or making contact to find out more. A poor website experience decreases user perception of the company, and can damage your brand. Users who have a poor experience are less likely to convert, less likely to return, and less likely to recommend your business to their friends and family.
Redeveloping or replacing your website gives developers a chance to upgrade elements of your site which may require patches, changes, or updates. They can also assess the design of the site and suggest changes to help improve usability.
If your competitors have fast, functional attractive websites that are easy to find online, and which users find easy to navigate and a joy to use, you could be losing traffic and revenue thanks to your site.
A developer and website team can review your website and see how it performs against the competition, highlighting areas for improvement to help you compete more effectively.
Refresh or establish your brand online
If your site performs poorly, the chances are it does not perform well in search engines, and users who do not already know of your company are less likely to come across it when searching online. This may mean that your target audience are less likely to know about your company, and will not seek it out. If brand awareness is weak you could be missing out on sales opportunities.
Get your name out there and draw attention to your business by redeveloping your site, or building a shiny new one. Some small changes can make a big difference too.Advertise the launch and ensure reach and engagement with the people you want to speak to.
Security & accessibility
As technology marches on into the future, older sites become more susceptible to attack as new ways are found to hack or hijack them. Missed security patches, long forgotten legacy applications, a build-up of unused plug ins and extensions, and lack of maintenance are just some of the ways an older site can become more of a risk. These vulnerabilities can be easily exploited by hackers, and could lead to data breaches, fines, and in more extreme circumstances, legal action.
A new or improved site will also help ensure accessibility, staying up to date with the latest requirements from various browsers and third-party applications such as payment gateways and further security layers.
Your developers can ensure that a new or redeveloped website is efficient, loses any excess baggage of outdated and unused technology from the current site, and ensure a squeaky clean and up to date site for your peace of mind.
When seeking to redevelop your existing site, or replace it with something new, the costs and benefits of each option should be carefully examined and weighed up before a decision is made on which way to go.
The Costs of a Website
Where should you begin when looking to cost a new website?
There are some basic costs involved in the building and maintenance of any website which of course, you will want to consider before making any decisions. These include:
Domain Ownership: Cost - £0.99 to £50m+
Ensure you maintain ownership of your domain name via your provider. You will need to pay annually or at your allotted payment type or risk the domain being publicly made available to buy.
Hosting: Cost - £1 to £300+ per month
Without hosting, your website will not be seen by anyone. Ensure you balance out financial costs versus poor quality hosting which may mean your website is offline regularly or experiences issues which lead to traffic losses.
SSL Certificate: Cost – £4 to £1,000+ per year
SSL certificates are common practice and essential for any site taking payment online. Cost and features vary, so check the one you pick has all the assets you need.
Shopfront or eCommerce Platform: Cost - £20 - £500+ plus transaction fees of 0.5% - 2%+
If you are using an eCommerce platform to power your online store with will need to pay a monthly fee plus transaction fees to the provider in most instances. Shop around to ensure you get the best deal for your business.
Other Integrations: Cost – £Variable
Are there any other pay-for third party applications or plug ins you need to provide a great user experience? Make sure to factor them in and check for more cost effective alternatives.
The CMS cost: free to variable
Many CMS’ are free to download and use however you will incur from development time, your requirements for your build and extra packages/integrations.
Maintenance & Support: Cost - £20 - £9,000+ per month
Like buying a car, investing in a website requires regular maintenance thereafter to keep safe, secure, and running optimally. Your website will inevitably require security patches, updates, and general maintenance through its life, as well as potentially having issues from time to time which require the help of an expert team. You may also want to develop new pages and features on your website after the initial re-build so having a support contract with developers that know your business and goals inside out is beneficial. Website support and maintenance should be factored into costs as an on-going concern.
Key Questions to Ask Your Web Developer About Costs
When costing up your new or redeveloped website, be sure to ask the development team about costs involved both upfront, and on-going. Each company will vary their support and maintenance packages based on what is involved, and your initial build estimates are likely to vary.
Make sure you understand exactly what you are getting as part of the initial estimate, what extra costs may be incurred and why, and what their support and maintenance packages cost and involve.
Extra Costs You May Not Have Thought About
Template or Theme: Cost - £Free - £85+
Take advice from your developers or allow them to offer you a small selection of themes. They will know what these themes are like to use, and what benefits and issues are involved with each.
Imagery: Cost - £0 - £5,000+
Want brand new, professional photography for your site? Factor in the cost. Whether you hire a photographer or use stock imagery available online, it is likely to cost you.
Content Creation: Cost - £0 - £6,000+
Can you regularly create content for your site to the same professional level as a content writer? If so, good for you. If not, you may wish to seek out estimates for site content not only for the initial site or initial redevelopment, but on-going, to ensure freshness and relevance that will help your site rank gain traffic.
Marketing: Cost - £0 - £10,000+ per month
Do you know how to market your site to ensure optimal performance, maximising on the traffic and conversion your site could receive? Do you know about SEO, Google Ads, site association and link building, how to optimise to your target audience and get publicity? You may need to factor in
Social Media: - £0 - £8,000+ per month
Social media may sound simple, but it is a great way to increase reach and engagement and brand awareness for new clients, and keep your current customers updated. Messenger services are a great asset for any business, but require your constant availability and quick response. If mishandled, social media and quickly damage your brand. Consider using a professional to handle your social media as an on-going concern, ensuring a well-managed feed.
All in All – It Depends
What the actual cost of a website will amount to is a large question with a significant number of variables. As so often with estimates, it depends.
For example, a one-man band looking to create a small website for his local gardening business is going to require significantly less development than an eCommerce store stocking thousands of products so while your jaw might drop at some of the upper estimates of costs, it will be all relative to your business’ needs.
Cost will depend on the scope and size of the project, what functionality is required, and what support you need in the longer term.
The Value of a Website to Your Business
You can build a website for very little, but you get what you pay for. A cheap site, or one built be amateurs is unlikely to be able to rank or compete well against competitors, and will not provide the best user experience. Scrimping on website built or redevelopment budget may feel like a win, at the time but it will be short lived.
All websites are not built the same, and the balance between financial value, and the cost of missing out on traffic and revenue with a poorly built site which will need replacing more quickly must be carefully considered.
Get More Expert Advice on Website Costs
Speak to Carbon Six Digital about your redevelopment or new site project. We are specialists in Umbraco web development and our team of experts can create a custom plan for your site and ensure a great site and user experience, helping you realise your business goals.
Already on Umbraco? Then why not ask us about our healthcheck service? While you may not want a full re-build, a healthcheck can be useful to see how your current site is performing and identify opportunities for improvement.