Even though cost is not the only factor you’re considering, I understand many wonder ‘how much does a website cost?’. If you’re eager to get right down to brass tacks, please download my pricing guide– it’ll give you a range to work with and we can talk about your particular business needs to narrow things down farther.
In this article, I’ll discuss why I think it’s natural to focus on price first, what other factors you should consider when comparing website quotes, and generally how to become a more informed buyer when looking for someone to build or redesign your website.
As a web designer, I know that my industry has a reputation for being pretty cagey about price. I also know that when I’m shopping for something that I’m not fully informed about, my natural inclination is to compare prices because that’s my only yardstick.
That happened to me the last time my husband and I went mattress shopping, which is a punishing task that I wouldn’t wish on an enemy. When I started, I just thought I’d hop on reddit and do a little research and in a few days I would be an Informed Consumer™.
Well, it didn’t work that way. I dove in, but discovered that it was way more complex than I’d counted on, prices were all over the place, everyone on the internet contradicted each other, and I didn’t know what factors were actually important for long term success.
And this wasn’t even my first time, which made it worse somehow. The last time that we’d bought a mattress, we let our budget do the choosing and really suffered for it by the end. So this time, I was determined not to let price be the only factor we considered. Was budget critical? Of course! But when it comes to mattresses (and websites) the price can be totally unrelated to the actual quality.
Since I’ve already started, I’ll just tell you that we found a small factory-direct latex mattress store that sold primarily online but happened to be in the nearest big city to us. It’s still the best mattress I’ve ever slept on, and it’s been a year. The price was 1/4th what the big box store quoted for an objectively worse quality mattress. ????
In the end, I found that ignoring marketing words like firm/medium/soft, and focusing on the actual materials involved, was helpful. Why have I told you this Aesop’s Fable of the Mattress? Because I really think that my initial misery, and eventual success, can help in your search for a great website!
The first principle you can take from this is that the price tag doesn’t tell the whole story. A website that looks slick at first glance might actually be very low quality underneath, even if the price is high. The price tag probably says a lot more about the marketing and payroll overhead of the agency that built it than it does about the actual nuts & bolts of the website.
The second principle is: ignore the marketing nonsense, and find the actual differentiating factors. Anyone can say a mattress is “DreamySoft“, but “100% latex” doesn’t lie. Find the experts who really want to share their knowledge of what makes the product great– who are helpers and teachers first, not salesmen– and listen to them.
That being said, here’s what I’m really passionate about: building websites that actually work for small businesses. Instead of marketing nonsense, here are some concrete, objective differentiating factors that make websites worth the price.
What your quote will and won’t be based on:
Not based on the number of pages in your website
Will be based on the number of unique design layouts needed, plus the functionality required
Here’s what website functionality means.
Your quote will not be calculated using value based pricing. here’s what that is and why I don’t use.
Instead I will give you price ranges based on the functionality that your website requires. Here’s why.
easy to use
Hopefully, you now have a whole new perspective on how to get a quote for a website that will really perform for your business– and not something that’s an expensive drain on your budget, but a valuable and cost-effective investment into the future of your business.