How much does a Website cost?

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Introduction

This is the question we get asked more than any other, so before we go any further I want to explain that there’s no real answer to that question, not unless you know the brief and the budget.

So rather than try work out a few numbers which are fairly meaningless to your own particular scenario, I’m going to give two example solutions below, hopefully demonstrating why the answer is such a variable one.

When you’re thinking about starting a business, cost is always an important factor. When it comes to websites, cost can vary drastically depending on the size and complexity of your project. If you’re wondering how much does a website cost, this article will help educate as to why we can’t really answer that question, at least not right at the start.

This should help you understand why this is a very hard question to answer without knowing every single detail beforehand.

The first option we’re going to look at is a WordPress website. This site could be a very simple one page site, or it could be complex with hundreds of pages and thousands of content items (entries, images, products etc.). The cost for such a service would vary anything from £200 to tens or even hundreds of thousands depending on the level of complexity and number of pages.

The second option is to develop a bespoke C#.NET Core Web App hosted on the cloud. The cost to develop this type of app would start anywhere between £5000 right up in to the millions once scaled.

Both options here are dependent on the desired features and requirements.

There are a number of variables that come into play with any website project, so the first question to ask yourself is who are you going to get to do it? There are many factors that will affect the cost of a website and whether or not you’ll be able to DIY it for example.

A top level professional web designer/developer can do much more than just create a layout for your website; they’ll also offer design concepts, domain registration, content creation, marketing strategies, email marketing, maintenance and training and more. They’ll know how to not only create the site, but also the strategy necessary to make a site much more successful.

Option 1: An affordable WordPress solution.

For the purposes of this example, we’re going to use a WordPress solution with no custom coding whatsoever. To keep it simple we’ll keep it to just the following 5 pages:

1) The homepage.

2) Contact page.

3) A blog page.

4) An about page.

5) A products page.

There’s thousands of people out there who will do this kind of thing for £250 or even less. I’m not knocking this as it all depends on the context, customers needs and so on.

You may even want to do it yourself, in which case you can get simple managed hosting for under £10 per month.

The BIGGER question is what do you want to get out of it?

The cost will depend on the you and your expectations, it totally depends on what service you are looking for.

The cost will depend on the on your expectations, needs & desires.

What do you want to get out of it?

The following will give a tiny insight in to some of the finer details that should be considered, even when talking about a single page WordPress Solution.

Your webpage content is everything that you see in your browser when you visit a webpage. Your content can be as simple as text or pictures or as complex as interactive videos loaded with custom-made digital effects plus a whole lot more.

Every type of media has different costs associated with it, so in this example lets say that you’ll provide all the image & video content to save costs.

So now we’re just talking about the text copy for a moment…

Text content on your website can be written by you or by a professional copywriter. There are many benefits to hiring a copywriter, but it could cost anywhere from £50-1500 for a 1000 words and that’s excluding any SEO keyword optimisation.

The copy on your pages is vital, it’s vital for ranking yes, but it’s also essential to target your perfect clients well. To target your perfect clients means creating variations of the same landing pages for example. It could also mean creating new variants of each product page to target more effectively and so on.

With each page having content (for the same product) varied so that it converts better. Aiming directly for a particular client type or avatar.

These are all strategies that should be considered, however not necessarily required.

The above also means experimenting, find what works and what doesn’t, pivoting and then researching some more.

So even in the above example, if you want your website to perform consistently, like the pros manage to do, there’s going to be much more to it than most people would ever dream of!

Many people can produce you a simple website, but that isn’t going to change your life much (usually).

You’ll find the real pros that are out there making millions or more, did so by continued investment from day 1. They didn’t create a website and that’s it.

It doesn’t work that way in the real world, nowadays you’re even expected to post content regularly to have any chance of ranking well, and staying there…

Targeted content, including images, videos and text made specifically for just one of your perfect clients could get very costly, so it’s all about trade off and finding what works and what doesn’t as quickly as possible.

Using A/B split testing allows us to make changes and then drive traffic equally to each of the variant pages. This allows us to find out which one worked better, we then pivot and repeat.

So the answer to the question for Option 1, it really could be anywhere from say £100 and up!

The key is what you want out of it, at the end of the day is it not better to sometimes pay that extra for the right person/people? Resulting in a well oiled, highly converting sales or lead generating funnel that actually converts and makes real money? Again it really does depend…

Is it better to have a page to act as just a business card? The choice is totally up to you but we can help, explain and educate you so that you can make an informed decision of what you need vs what you want or vice versa.

Option 2 – Web App hosted on Microsoft Azure.

To cut a long story short at this point, you’ve probably guessed the answer for this one too, right? Yes it depends is the answer again. This time we’re entering in to the reals of real scalability.

I’m not suggesting that Option 1 cannot scale, in fact today it is possible to host WordPress on Microsoft’s Azure platform (or others), so this could also work in the same or way described below.

We’re going to use a Web App in this example, written in C#.NET Core which you can think of as just another website…

These are just plain awesome however! I cannot even begin to explain the difference in comparison to the available options when I started my career as a programmer back in Sept 2000.

The hoops that we had to jump through just to get a 56K dial-up modem to call someone and exchange some data. Looping through record-sets, converting them to XML or something else, encrypting them and sending them over the wire, then reversing the process at the other end to get at the data and so on…

Nowadays we have so much more power and productivity to work with, yet still it remains quite expensive, why so?

Well firstly it depends on your definition of expensive, considering the technology may well generate or save many times the cost.

In a nutshell, and kind of custom development can be relatively expensive due to the costs of people. Time and effort (intellect).

The beauty of hosting in the cloud means that you can offset the initial cost of the equipment, because you’re only renting it.

Benefits of the Cloud

– You can scale up, whereby extra hardware is added during busy times automatically.

– You can automatically scale out too, or in other words add more width by creating multiple instances of the Web App and distributing all the traffic between them.

All of this scaling can be done based upon rules that we define, for example if the existing 4 CPU’s are over 70% of their maximums for more than 5 minutes, add some more, or we could scale outwards adding more width and so on.

It’s so cool that today we can write a website, place it on the cloud and have it scale without swapping our the physical server or hardware and so on.

Conclusion

I’ve deliberately simplified the examples above for the purposes of this post, but hopefully I’ve managed to get you a better understanding of why the answer to the original question varies so much.

The more that is known, the better any quote or estimate will be.

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