“So, how much is a website???” I’ve been asked this question a lot by potential clients and the honest answer is, ‘how long is a piece of string!’ and depending on who you go to the costs can vary wildly. I’m posting this really to give people an idea of what to expect and to understand what questions to ask when getting their site designed and the costs involved.
The question to be answered really is ‘How long will it take to build what I want?’ and this is what will dictate the cost as an agency generally charges based on an hourly rate / daily rate.
Hourly / Daily Rate
Most web agencies have this worked out based on staff. E.g. if a project is broken down into 2 days design, 3 days coding, 5 days content, the bill might be broken down separately as the hourly rates might be different according to skill levels required by the staff. In my experience you will get a daily rate of anywhere between €100 and €1000, depending on the agency you go to. More often than not these will not be like for like as no agency with professional staff and bricks and mortar establishment could afford to hire their staff out at €100 a day. Realistically, it will come in somwhere in the middle, just be careful of this.
My own feeling on it is €100 a day will get you a graduate level web designer, €350 a day will get you an experienced sole trader, €500+ will get you access to a professional within a larger agency. Remember VAT will generally be charged also, so if you are a sole trader starting up and not registered for VAT, remember to factor that in as you won’t be able to claim it on a VAT 3 unless you are registered yourself.
Factors that affect price:
1. Design Quality: Some clients want a cheap and cheerful design, others want a slick professional look, others want a completely custom illustrated quirk site with all the bells and whistles. You need to think about these requirements carefully as the perception of the site to your customers is critically important. First impressions count.
Your options here are:
- A template based website. This will be non-unique and can be purchased cheaply but still requires customisaction. Guide time for template + customisation: up to 1 day
- A custom designed but still relatively simple site design: 1-2 days
- Top grade site design: 3+ days
Once the site is designed it needs to be converted to HTML + CSS and this can be tricky depending on the design quality. In our experience you need to double the time taken to design the site to implement the CSS and HTML for the site correctly.
You might also require a logo, corporate branding etc. If getting it all done together prices could be negotiated to your advantage.
2. Mobile Friendly: Do you want a mobile friendly website? If so then there are 2 options. a) Allow your website resize itself responsively using modern CSS techniques, b) create a separate mobile website using a technology such as jquery mobile. Depending on the quality you desire, this can take as much time as desktop design.
3. Content Management System: Do you want to be able to update the content yourself. It is my opinion that all sites should be content managed. Why should you need to go back to your web developer whenever you want a simple update to the site. There are a few options here:
- Use an open source project such as WordPress or Joomla
- Get a bespoke CMS developed
- Use a content management system provided by your web host company
- An eCommerce system
Bespoke CMS systems should be avoided in my opinion. They do allow for more flexible design but if you chose a system such as wordpress, it is future proof, has more features, has literally thousands of plugins and should in theory keep your costs down. It also has a built in blog/news system.
To install and customise wordpress should take in the region of 1-2 days to set up correctly. The vast majority of time taken with any CMS is integrating it with the site design through the development of a site theme.
For other systems such as eCommerce systems, there is a bit more configuration involved so it could take slightly longer to set up correctly.
4. Bespoke Software Development
If you require something specific then there are times when bespoke development must be undertaken. The cost of such development can be very expensive as there should be planning, development iterations and testing as part of the service. The time involved in this can only be estimated upon receipt of a software specification document.
5. Site Structure/Content Upload
The no of pages on your site and their complexity dictate the costs here. Do you require custom graphics on each page, do you require photos/images. Are stock images good enough or do you have your own professional images.
You are talking an hour or two per page in general and so the cost would be no. of pages X by hours involved + image / graphic design costs. Stock images can cost in the region of €3 and €10 euro per image if purchased on a credits basis from well known stock imagery sites.
5. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
When developing a site, SEO should be considered from the beginning. The site’s structure and pages should be created with keywords your customers are using in mind. If the web agency does this for you, they will add another hour or two on per page uploaded to the site, and other work such as sitemaps, back links etc. may cost extra also. If you don’t ask for this service you generally won’t get it by default. It is worth noting that wordpress has some excellent plugins for SEO, which is another good reason to chose this platform.
6. Hosting + Domain
This should cost < 100 euro for a decent package and a .com domain. If you’re paying more than this you might be getting overcharged.
7. Other Features
Other things you should consider are getting analytics installed, integration with social media through like and share buttons, online ad campaigns on the likes of google adwords and facebook ads for example. There’s also social media management if you want someone to run your facebook or twitter pages, however in general it’s better to manage this in house and perhaps get the right training.
7. Ongoing Support
A site should never be truly finished. If you want it to do better on search engines, convert more customers you should always be tweaking things. Support can be given at hourly rates, and discounts in the form of bonus hours are generally applied if purchased on a retainer basis.
As you can see there are a lot of factors to consider so below I’ll give you 2 potential examples of cost:
Example 1: Straightforward site with 8 pages of content and no SEO
Design: 1 dayCSS+HTML: 1 day
Wordpress CMS Config: 1 day
Content Upload: 8 hrs
Stock Images: €50
Cheapest quote to expect: 300-400
Most expensive: 3K+VAT
UTD Web Design Ireland would charge approx. €1250+VAT for this type of site
Example 2: Top level design, mobile friendly, 50 pages of SEO optimised content
Design: 3 days
CSS+HTML: 3 days
Mobile Friendly: 3 days
CMS Config with SEO plugins, security etc: 2 days
Content Upload: 70 hrs
SEO: 50 hrs
Stock Images: €250
Cloud Hosting+Domain: €160
Support Contract: 1 day per month
Cheapest quote to expect: 3K
Most expensive: 15K+VAT
UTD Web Design would charge in the region of €7,500 for this type of website based on our hourly rate.