We’re often surprised how reluctant prospective clients are to ask about likely costs whilst discussing a new website project.
Some do of course, but often we have to raise the topic. It's as if we have to give permission before the subject can be broached.
Yet it isn't difficult to answer, and it is sensible to of course because if likely cost doesn't match likely budget then everyone's time is being wasted.
What kind of website are we talking about here?
In order to answer more usefully, let's define what kind of website we are talking about in this article.
Bespoke enables £1m+ revenue businesses to generate greater visibility, leads and sales online.
So we are talking about a lead generation website, perhaps for a service or manufacturing company, for example.
How do businesses set budgets for websites and digital marketing?
Approaches vary from sector to sector but at least 5% of revenue is normally spent on marketing.
So in £1m+ revenue businesses, the marketing budget is above £50,000, and in £10m+ businesses, it is above £500,000.
How do I know if I am being quoted too little or too much?
At the lower end freelancers and WordPress experts who will build a website for under £10,000 that may look nice enough but normally delivers very little.
There are also, sadly, providers at the other end who will provide eye-watering quotes above £30,000 or £40,000 for simple lead generation websites.
Neither supplier is likely to be the best long-term digital partner for a £1m+ revenue business.
How do I know if the quote I am being given is sensible?
You can actually work out approximate costs yourself from a starting point that experienced digital consultants typically cost £500-750 per day.
Websites that deliver a steady flow of leads and sales are built with an experienced specialist in each role - designer, front end coder, back end coder, project manager.
There are likely 3-5 people involved in your project, for a few days each at least, which means a lower end cost for a quality project is around £10,000.
The best money you will spend will be the few days at the beginning for discovery, strategy and planning. These are the days that will enable an experienced pro to generate a return for you.
What if my website project is more complex than others?
That's great because Google loves feature-rich and content-rich websites, and so do your customers.
A website with richer features or that is bigger than average, might result in quotes between £15,000-30,000 (30 to 60 days of time in total).
Most projects will not veer far above this range, and many will be below it.
What other costs should we plan for?
A £1m+ revenue business should want fast response support and premium grade hosting, which will normally cost between £150 and £500 per month.
The fast hosting is worth paying for as speed and reliability are ranking factors in Google. Google can tell which website is hosted on a high-end server and which is not.
Amendments to the structure and design of your site are charged at project rates, so estimate what changes you might choose to make each year.
A good website will last 2-3 years before its next major upgrade, so the cost of a web project can be spread over that period in your accounts and budgets.
How do I get the best value website project?
The secret, of course, is to think not of the cost, but the return.
For many £1m+ revenue businesses, the cost of building a website is dwarfed by the impact it has on the revenue of that business.
A good website that is optimised on an ongoing basis can add 10%, 20%, 30% or more onto overall revenues.
So the best value quote is rarely the one with the lowest price, but the one with the best chance of generating great visibility, leads and sales for you.