How Much Should a Website Cost?

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It's a good question. With some companies charging tens of thousands for a website, and others charging £89, how do you decide how much you should pay for a website? Below we try to give an honest overview of the various options and explain what you are getting for your money.  The options are DIY "build your own" websites, ultra cheap web companies, web agencies and finally the Freshpage model.  For those who don't like suspense, it may not surprise you that the conclusion is that the Freshpage approach generally offers the best value for money, but it may not be the best option in all cases.

  DIY websites

We've all seen the "create your own website" adverts on TV. These make it seem like it's just a case clicking a few buttons, selecting a photo, and you've got a first class website.  It goes without saying that the actual process isn't so straight forward and you should expect to spend a few solid days working on your site.

DIY websites aren't free; the monthly fee will be greater than a normal hosting company would charge, and you should also multiply your hourly wage by the time you spend building your site to get a true idea of how much it is costing you.

However, DIY websites can be a good option if you are comfortable with modern technology and have very little money to invest.  It would definitely be worth learning a bit about search engine optimisation before you start, and having a familiarity with how to crop and re-size images would also be a great benefit.

Click here to read a case study of a website we built for a client who had originally attempted to build their own DIY website.

  "Ultra cheap" web design: why is it so cheap?

There are companies around who offer websites for what seem like impossibly low prices; for example, £89 for an 8 page website.  To make a quality website for £89 seems impossible, and that's because it is!  After they have received your deposit, these companies will pass you on to a semi skilled engineer in a developing country.  It is complete luck whether you get a website at all, and the quality will always be terrible.  We have heard some horror stories of websites taking 18 months to complete, and not working even after that time.

Unlike DIY websites, which can be a good option for some people, cheap web design companies should always be avoided because the risk in time and money outweighs the savings.  The old cliché applies: if it seems too good to be true then it is.

It should also be noted that often companies who use a dubious outsourcing model are not even that cheap.  One very large company has prices similar the Freshpage's, but the web is littered with stories of people who have had terrible experiences with them.  If you are concerned about a company, one tip is to do a Google search for "THEIR-COMPANY-NAME scam" and ""THEIR-COMPANY-NAME ripoff".  Check the first 10 results and you should get an idea of their true nature.

Click here to see an example of an affordable site we made for a client who came to Freshpage after a bad experience with a cheap web design company.

  Web agencies: are they worth the extra expense?

At the other end of the spectrum are the web design agencies.  These are companies with offices, directors, salesmen and marketing teams.  This means they are expensive, but generally you will get a very good website.  These companies will normally charge around £1200 for a small website, up to 10s of thousands.  A large chunk of your money will be going towards the company director's Bently Continental, rather than paying for the time of a quality web designer, so there is definitely a question to be raised over value for money.  However, if money is no object then going to a web design agency is definitely a reasonable option.

Click here for a project where the client first considered using an expensive web agency, before deciding to employ Freshpage to build their website.

  A Fresh approach

The aim of the Freshpage model is to reduce costs and maximise developer time.  This is the best way to ensure maximum value for money.

  • Use only quality freelance web designers and engineers.
  • Use the vibrant open source software community wherever possible.
  • No expensive offices.
  • No salesmen or other administrators to bump up costs.

These principles make choosing Freshpage for your website project superb value for your money.  You will definitely find cheaper options out there, and plenty of more expensive ones.  But for high quality, affordable web design you need look no further than Freshpage.

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Alex is the founder / owner of Freshpage Web Design and has a wealth of experience across all levels of web development, including Java, SQL, HTML, CSS, PHP as well as content management systems such as Wordpress, Joomla and Magento.