What do you think is a reasonable price for a website? $500? $5,000? $250,000?
If you're a non-technical person, thinking about a website costing anything close to $250,000 would make you wince. Luckily, here's the truth: you shouldn't pay that much for a website. In fact, I don't even think you should even pay $500.
You're probably thinking that $500 for a website is a steal. Though it would be for some businesses, I can think of friends of mine for whom $500 for a website would be a sunk cost. A website shouldn't be an expense to your business, it should be an investment.
Smart businesses make investment choices that will maximize their growth, profit, and value. Because of this, you should be framing your website as a powerful business tool that you can leverage, as when you do you'll start to see it as a strategic investment, rather than an unnecessary expense. This means you should only pay for a website when you know exactly what problem you plan to solve or how you plan to benefit from it.
Yes, I'm a website designer telling you that you maybe shouldn't pay for a website.
As with any business expense, you want to know that the $100 you put into a project, tool or service will become more than $100 by either:
What sparked the idea of a website project? What are you ultimately looking to accomplish? What business goals are you trying to achieve?
Maybe it's that your company isn’t making enough sales, attracting enough customers, or visible enough to your target audience.
With the right mindset, your website can be a powerful business tool that can be utilised to move your business in the right direction.
The price tag on a great website can often be bigger than you expect. But remember, no matter how much your investment towards a website is, the outcome should always provide more in value to your business. Your website is well worth the investment when it's built with your business goals in mind, but viewing your website as a business tool still requires a perspective shift.
For example, in the case of Apple, the millions of dollars they put into developing and updating their website is well worth it, as their website generates millions and millions of dollars back into their business.
Okay, so let's circle back to the question one more time. How much should a great website cost?
It doesn't matter, because you're not actually paying for the website, you're investing in the business goals that you believe the website will help you achieve.
A small business shouldn’t pay $250,000 for a website as they will likely not get more value back from it. But, they should be more comfortable paying $5,000 once they understand exactly how they will see the value returned into their business.
Sometimes this takes research and number crunching to find a website budget, and if you’re still unsure then it’s best to work with the website developer you are working with to help you find a budget that is appropriate for the size of your business. Just remember to keep in mind the goal you're trying to achieve, what value that goal will provide to your business, and how much you are willing to pay to reach that goal.
Thinking from your point of view rather than the perspective your customers could be losing you sales.
Rather than focusing on your website's content, you should focus on how that content relates to your customers.