How Much Does the Website Cost?

#design#development

The secret chamber is opened. Here’s the website price comparison with no more secrets - choose the best option for you.

The most popular questions clients ask in the first few messages are related to budget estimates and timelines. And it is obvious, to be honest. But what makes an impact on a cost and time estimate? It depends on several factors:

  1. Does it a marketing website or a web application?
  2. Do we speak about website design? Or is it about development? Or maybe both?
  3. Do you need a freelancer or a professional studio?
  4. Does it complicated in terms of pages' quantity or system architecture?
  5. What is the performers' experience?

Here is my try to expand this number list more.

Marketing website vs Web App

Most of the people unrelated to web IT don’t know the difference. And it’s totally OK! Let’s compare those two.

Marketing website

Our website is a marketing website. It is a bunch of pages full of content that plays the role of a marketing tool. People can learn more about your company, check your services, subscribe to a newsletter, fill a contact form, find contact information, etc.

Usually, the marketing website price starts from 25$/month to 500$/month if you use a website builder. This option is not a professional solution, but it is well-fitted for a tight budget.

If you going serious about your website and choose a professional web studio or freelancer, the price ranges between 1000$ to 300.000$ (if you want a super fancy design from a famous design studio).

Web application

It is a kind of application software that runs on a web server and used via a browser. Unlike the marketing website, web apps provide a diverse spectrum of actions users can make to manipulate specific content. For example, registration, emailing (Gmail), buying products (E-commerce), and other (bank applications, booking services, etc.)

Web apps are more expensive than marketing website because of the functionality it contains and architecture complexity. Usually, the price for a well-built web app starts from 15.000$ (but really a simple one) to millions of dollars.

Web design vs Web development vs Full-cycle

On the market currently available multiple service providers, but nonetheless, services categories are everywhere the same.

Web design studio/boutique/shop/agency

Here you can ask for a design for websites or web apps, illustrations, animations, etc. Those guys are all in design. The price for design creative work of super-skilled experts sometimes could go beyond the sky.

You can check Awwwards to see quite fancy works that reach hundreds of thousands of dollars. But in general, you can find a really great place with a 40-80$/hour rate and get a decent result.

Web development studio/shop/agency

Here you can ask for development services only. These people are techy experts and all about development and testing. Development prices depend on project complexity, technologies, and project uncertainties.

The common practice is to use an hourly rate pricing system. I am sure you can find a great place with 40-80$/hour bends as well.

Full-cycle web design & development studio/agency

The services spectrum could really vary from company to company. But in general, you can expect a bunch of services. It could be:

  • Web design + Web dev
  • Branding + Web design + Web dev
  • Branding + Web design + Web dev + Marketing Strategy + SEO optimization

What is the main advantage of those studios/agencies? They work in a holistic manner. Imagine you have a web app idea. You want to build it from zero. And you want separate teams (branding, design, dev) to know the context. The context is what helps to simplify the workflow on the project.

The case example. You received a design for a web app, and now you go to web development. During the web development, the team discovers some design issues that could complicate the functionality. What will be easier and more consistent in that case:

  1. Ask external designers that made your design to implement changes (they probably don’t know the development context)?
  2. Make a design in a full-cycle studio and ask designers from the same studio you are making development to make some updates or changes (they probably know the context)?

The answer is obvious.

Freelancer vs Professional studio

This topic is really complex. We had a long-read article answering who is more reliable: Freelancer or Web Design Studio? In general, the article is not only about a web design studio. The conclusions relate to any freelancers or studios related to design or development. I will make some bullet-point lists to show the pros and cons of both.

Freelancers

Hiring a freelancer, you can be sure that:

  • They cost less than a studio (15-30$/hour is average);
  • More available than studios;
  • More flexible when it comes to changes.

But you have to be ready that more often than not:

  • There is no comprehensive approach;
  • You are insecure regarding the legal stuff and payments;
  • They have a full-time job, and it can impact quality;
  • There is no comprehensive project management.

Studio

Hiring a studio, you can be sure that:

  • There is a much higher likelihood that you will hire experts;
  • You will be safe when it comes to legal stuff and payments;
  • You can be sure that there are project management processes available.

But you will face some cons as well:

  • Be ready to pay more (50-100$/hour is an average in Europe);
  • The realization process can take more time due to internal processes.

Project complexity and pages quantity

It has the biggest impact on the price when it comes to estimates.

Marketing website

A 10-page well-done marketing website takes around 100-150 hours of design and 150-200 hours of development (250-350 hours in total). Multiply it by rate, and you will get the price: 50$/hour multiplied by 250-350 hours that makes 12.500$-17.500$. Sounds reasonable for a good product, right? If you want unusual animations, page transitions, effects, be ready for higher invoices.

Web applications

Web applications have a different approach to development and engage backend developers more often. When it comes to web app coding, marketing website prices could become a drop in the ocean. Let’s consider a simplified example.

You are a clothes shop owner, and you need an e-commerce website with 500 pages. You want to have:

  1. 10 cloth categories and 60 subcategories;
  2. Product pages;
  3. Multiple payment methods;
  4. An option to find products by QR code;
  5. An interactive map that shows all your stores in near location;
  6. Precise products synchronization between frontend-warehouse;

To build such a store takes around 1000-1200 hours multiplied by 50$/hour, which makes 50.000$-60.000$. Not bad, huh? The more functionality you need, the higher the price will be.

Performers' experience

The more experienced the performer, the higher the hourly rate, the lesser the time estimate. With an expert team, you pay not only for quality but for speed as well.

This dependency is perfectly working when it comes to project estimates. Experienced and devoted performers with good project management skills (or processes) usually make a deep analysis of the future project and apply top-down or bottom-up estimation techniques.

Bottom-up approach

This estimating technique is usually used when the budget is not fixed (but exceptions happen) and the environment of the project is relatively stable.

In this case, performers need to have well-defined tasks. The entire project is broken down into pieces (so-called Work Breakdown Structure), and each small section is estimated separately, then all separate estimates are gathered into one. This estimating technique is excellent, but requires two things:

  1. Well defined tasks
  2. Performers' expertise on similar projects.

Top-down approach

This estimating technique is usually used when the budget is fixed, tasks are not well-defined, and the environment is not stable. It is the least desirable since its precision is much lesser than the bottom-up.

In this case. we can use the phrase “a ballpark figure” because there are no well-defined timeframes and tasks. It only relies on experts' experience and historical data (well-defined tasks are the key to precise estimate).

The conclusions

Take into consideration those 5 factors and decide what is important for you. Remember, everyone has the own needs and story, we will be happy to hear yours!

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