A first impression of a website is made within 50 milliseconds. To put that into perspective, 1ms is one-thousandth of a second; so 50ms is fifty-thousandths of a second. That is…not a lot of time. It’s true that the time, energy, and resources you invest in your company’s physical presence and operations are of critical importance. But in this digital age, your website will be seen and experienced first, before anyone can admire what you’ve done with the place.
What else matters beyond a good first impression?
- Getting people onto your page.
- The ease with which they interact with your website.
- The length of time they commit to your website.
- Whether or not they come back.
All of these factors play into the choices made by your site visitors. Is your website doing its job? Will website goers spend their money on your products or services? The amount you choose to invest in building a website impacts all of this. So then, how much should you spend? What does it cost to build a website that gets traffic and converts?
The answer to this is not exactly simple. The cost of building a website in 2023 varies wildly. When budgeting for a website build, you very much get what you pay for. Anyone can slap together a website for free, but like all things in business, high ROI is what you’re after.f you invest nothing, you will get nothing.
This Biggest Price Range Determination: Custom vs. Template
A template-built website using a website builder is the simplest option. Several mainstream web design companies, such as Wix, GoDaddy, or WordPress, offer affordable pre-packaged web design templates. They typically let you start for free and offer upgrades starting at around $10 per month. They offer a variety of trendy and clean template designs with surface-level functionality. Anyone who can use a computer can slap together a templated webpage and have it up and running in a matter of minutes. If time is pressing, you may feel this is your only option. But it might cost you later.
There are many (potentially costly) downsides to templated website builds, including limitations in quality, design, size, flexibility, and function. As your business scales, your website will not be able to keep up. This leads to another costly downside: template-based sites are playgrounds for malicious hackers. Template-built sites have simple one-size-fits-all code making them far less secure than custom-built websites. And guess what, data breaches are costly.
With 1.98 billion (and counting) websites on the internet, your website must stand out. The importance of this we cannot understate. Going the custom route affords you the freedom and flexibility to fully build your brand, the payoff of which is huge. Your total cost of a custom build will depend on who you hire, the scope of the project, how many pages your site needs, etc. There will be more moving parts (and talent and professional skills) stretched out over a longer period of time. More time and more professional hands in the pot means that a custom build costs more. So then, is it worth it? A custom website allows you to better convey your value propositions and more effectively differentiate your brand, leading to exceedingly better outcomes. There’s that ROI we mentioned earlier.
Go Big Or Go Home? The Factors Influencing The Price
As we said, prices vary wildly. Factors such as the size and type of a business will impact the requirements for a new website, and thus its price. For example, a small business website might cost between $3,000-$9,000 to build, corporations might need to spend between $10,000 – $25,000, and e-commerce sites may cost between $5,000- $50,000. Each organization has vastly different requirements to fulfill their needs Design style further impacts the price of a website build, ranging from basic to world-class, with additional costs for customization that allows your website to optimally perform well into the future. Here are some questions to ask yourself:
How big is your company?
What elements does your website need to meet the goals of your organization?
Knowing what you need and what you expect to get out of your new website, you can use this information to decide whether to go the DIY template route or with a custom build, a major price-determining factor. Here are some other factors that will contribute to the cost of building your website:
- Number of pages beyond a homepage
- Amount of UX research
- The addition of custom animations and illustrations
- Content and branding
Number of Pages
Simply put, the more pages you need the more your website will cost. This will depend entirely on the type of organization your website represents. A basic website might consist of a home page, an about page, and a contact page. But some organizations need more than that if they intend to boost lead generation or sales from their site. E-commerce sites need product and ordering pages, often requiring 3rd party site functionality, and additional development fees may apply. Local, state and federal government websites need pages for various departments. Healthcare and other service-oriented websites need pages for separate services and appointment scheduling. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) comes into play in determining the number and types of pages you’ll need, building more into the overall cost of your website build.
User Experience (UX)
The more time and resources you put into researching what your end users’ wants and needs are, the more successful your website will be in achieving that ultimate endgame of conversion and brand loyalty. Funneling resources into the research it takes for UX is very worthwhile. What does UX research cost? That depends on a few factors:
- The size and purpose of your website
- Whether the service is part of a custom package or if a freelance researcher needs to be hired.
- Hourly rate vs. a flat research rate as part of your custom web build package.
UX research is a very important aspect of building a website and should absolutely be part of any custom package. UX research is conducted by way of field studies, usability testing, and other research methods, the results of which are used to build or enhance a website that provides a positive, meaningful user experience. You’ll end up with a website that fulfills the end users’ needs, ultimately leading to brand loyalty and better conversion rates. Using insights from this research not only enhances the design and function of your website but also plays a major role in the overall success of your website in sustaining and elevating your brand.
Custom Animations and Illustrations
Want to really make an impact? Invest in the design of animated elements and your website will more effectively grasp the attention of your site visitor. Animations keep site visitors long enough to garner interest in your brand, distract them while they wait for other content to load, and increase their engagement and interaction with your website. By decreasing bounce rate, animations and captivating illustrations created by professional graphic designers will do all of that. All of this works to enhance your branding, leading to more site shares, more site traffic, and ultimately boosting conversion rate.
Content and Branding
Are you starting completely from scratch? Or do you have a base of content that can be combed over, edited, and repurposed for your new site? Do you need new photography? All of this will impact the overall cost of a website build. Redesigning an older website generally costs less than a brand-new build. You do not want to skimp on quality content written by professional writers who know their way into the hearts and minds of your audience. Hiring a content writer or including this in a custom package means that your website will be full of impactful language, crafted based on insights gleaned from SEO and UX research. Your brand will benefit. The cost of content will be determined by the number of pages needed, the amount of existing content that can be repurposed, and whether you want content developed from SEO and UX research.
Unless you know how to code and have the time to do so, you are most likely going to put someone else in the driver’s seat of your website build. We know how scary/exciting this can be, and that when you are investing in your business/livelihood, you want to know that your dollars are going far in sustaining and bettering your business. To get you started, there are free website quote resources such as the Sitehub-built saltycode.io which instantly gives you an approximate price range you can expect to spend based on the criteria you selected. When getting quotes from potential website builders, the price they quote you should reflect:
- Their experience
- Their industry expertise
- The web-building approach taken, whether templated or custom
- Their price model – do they charge hourly or offer a fixed rate? Be wary of discounted services which could lock you into ongoing fees
Benefits of Building A Smartsite
Custom website design is our specialty at Site Hub. We coined the term SMARTSite which is a custom website built using WordPress for B2B Businesses. We developed a user-focused quantifiable list of features that every great website should have:
Usefulness– Does it fulfill a purpose?
Usability – Is it easy to operate?
Findability – Can it be easily discovered?
Accessibility – On all platforms, by all people?
Desirability – Do people want it?
A SMARTSite understands your audience and how best to influence them in your direction. A SMARTsite delivers an enjoyable experience that encourages website visitors to spend their money and time with you. Using WordPress as our building platform, our clients can edit their websites themselves, meaning long-term maintenance contracts are not required. This is crucial. Hopefully, your business is going to grow. As it grows, you’ll need to make adjustments to your website accordingly. SMARTsites are built with this in mind – so that our clients can easily make changes without needing a web developer on hand.
All of our SMARTsites are custom-built for each business with a one-off design for better UX and SEO, all of which lead to higher conversion rates. Though we do not require maintenance contracts, we have the capabilities to meet all of your multi-channel marketing needs. Many of our clients retain us for monthly maintenance, SEO, and content development to enhance their websites. This seamless approach prevents inconsistencies in messaging and brand identity while boosting user experience and sales volume.
Is A Custom Built Website Worth The Investment?
Your website is the point of conversion for all or most of your marketing. Based on years of collective experience and ongoing research, we know that investing wisely in quality web development maximizes the returns of all your other efforts. Your website should deliver results. Custom websites have better performance speed, improved security features, and can be designed using SEO to perform better in search engines than their competitors. What’s more, using marketing-forward design elements that custom builds provide turns your site visitors into customers. SEO efforts get traffic to your site. Quality design converts. Ultimately, custom websites deliver higher returns on your web-building investment.
If you want a great site, a SMARTsite that really is doing its job for you, you’ve come to the right place. Get in touch with us at Site Hub and let’s talk about your website project.