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How Much Does A Good Website Cost to Build?

Ah, the age-old question: How much does a website cost? This is a tricky question and can best be answered with a favorite analogy of ours – purchasing a new car.

Firstly, let us defend those who ask the question. Typically they know very little about website design and are simply starting their research into finding a good, professional website design company to do business with. If you have asked this question before, don’t feel bad. But if the website design company you’re asking seems a bit apprehensive toward answering this question you’ll soon see why. Don’t be ashamed to ask the old “how much” question; just be a little more informed as to why this question cannot be answered without asking several others first.

Asking how much it will cost to have a website designed is a lot like walking into a car dealership and asking “How much for a vehicle?” Except, the car dealership you’ve walked into carries every make and model of car, truck, van, SUV and motorbike ever made. I bet you’re beginning to understand why this question is a little unfair. But let us go on.

The salesperson in car/truck/SUV/motorbike MEGA dealership will probably ask you what sort of vehicle you’re looking for, for starters (after he stops shaking his head). Did you want a sports car? SUV? Half ton pickup? Maybe you’re in the market for a motorbike. This is the equivalent of asking what sort of functionality you’d like to see on your website. What do you want your website to “do”? How should it serve your visitors? What sort of information will it contain? How many pages will be on it? What sort of design were you thinking of?

The real question here is what your objectives are. Instead of thinking “Oh, I only need a Kia” or “Maybe a decent Nissan will work for now”, think first what you hope your business will get out of its website. Only then will you be able to ask if you’ll need a Kia or a Rolls Royce. Obviously, the Kia is cheaper, but it’s not as fast, not as luxurious, doesn’t look as flashy and doesn’t carry with it nearly the same prestige (which can be very important to businesses – prestige, that is). The Rolls-Royce will accomplish much more, but the cost is huge and it is much more expensive for upkeep and repair. And if you only need to transport groceries once a week, then a Rolls-Royce would be a tremendous waste of resources (read cash).

This is where the analogy starts to fall off the tracks a bit, but I’m sure you get the idea. Instead of leading with a question like “How much do you charge for website design?”, ask a question like “Can you provide me with a free quote if I tell you my website design objectives?”. Chances are that this question would floor most website design companies. They typically receive several calls a week asking the former question. Make a website design company’s day by being a bit more informed about what it takes to build a website.

As general knowledge about website design increases in our society, questions will become more standardized and website design pricing will develop a form of “tire kicking” all its own.