The Cost of Website Development: What to Consider Before You Dive In
As a sales and website development professional at SYCG, I often get asked one question: "How much does a website cost?" It's a difficult question to answer since website development is becoming increasingly complex. A website is becoming the digital equivalent of print advertising, and customers are spending more time on the internet than ever before. With so many options for creating a digital presence, it can be daunting to choose the right one for your business.
Here are some of the web development options you have, from cheapest to most expensive:
Free, But Good: Instagram
Instagram profiles can be surprisingly effective on search engines, as long as they are active with lots of content. Although an optimized website will usually perform better than an Instagram page, it's a great starting point for new businesses.
Cheap: DIY Website Builders
DIY website builders provide a visual interface to make changes to content, layout, and design with just a few clicks. You may be limited in terms of functionality, but you can find design/tech help in local marketplaces for as little as $200.
Moderate: CMS & Wordpress
CMS and Wordpress offer more control over design changes, as well as access to a library of gadgets (plugins). Most of these gadgets are free, but you may have to pay a monthly subscription fee for the premium gadgets. This is a great option for small businesses, with a price tag of $30 to $200 monthly. However, if you want your website to perform well on search engines, you may have to hire a web development agency, costing an average of $5,000 to $25,000.
Custom-coded websites provide you with a clean, performance-driven website tailored to your specific needs. The monthly fee is quite affordable if you're an experienced developer, but hiring a web developer typically ranges from $50 to $200 an hour. Considering a website with five pages can take around 100 hours to develop, the cost for a custom website can range from $5,000 to $20,000.
In conclusion, website development is less about cost and more about the current stage of your business. Keeping up with the latest technologies can help your business stay relevant and stand out from the competition.