Earlier this month we spoke at GTCC’s Small Business Center about developing custom websites. While wrapping things up, an attendee asked what sounds like a very simple question; “How much is the average cost of a website for small businesses?”
This is very much akin to asking what is the average cost of a new home. There is a straightforward answer that often provides very little meaningful information when it applies to a particular new home. A national average price may have little relevance while a neighborhood average is spot on.
Most reputable sources such as BBB will inform you that the average cost of a small business website design is between $3,500 and $12,000. This is a huge spread but accurate in that it reflects the many variables that go into designing a website.
Typically a “small business website” is defined as an informational website consisting of approximately 10 to 20 pages with some basic content management and social media widgets. Right here is one of the biggest variables for small businesses: e-commerce or online stores.
Online stores can easily add $1,500 to $5,000 (usually set up like a catalog at this level) to the cost of a basic website. With Zibster Custom Websites e-commerce is included with every membership.
Here are some common average costs associated with every website:
Domain Name – $10/year
Hosting – $100 to $500 a year (depending on traffic and hosting services) Big note of caution here; most low cost hosting services cannot offer SSL/https: (secure sites). The time is rapidly approaching when browsers will not support non-secure sites. All Zibster sites are https: and hosting is included.
Web Planning, Design and Development Time – 60 hours and up
Continued Website Maintenance – $500 a year and up (depending on number/type of updates required) This is included with Zibster Custom Websites at no additional charge by our award winning customer support team.
Zibster Custom Websites have a one-time fee of $1,595 plus a $35 per month fee. Essentially what you are getting is a beautiful, fully functional Interface Design and Content Management System (CMS). Interface design — the site’s “look-and-feel” — incorporates your branding, all your photos and images, even your page layouts. For small business websites, the average cost is $1,200 to $3,500.
We do need our customers to provide their images, text, and any other content that needs to be included and let us take from there. We can even provide a free logo design (or refresh) if you like. This introduces perhaps the biggest variable of all – images and graphics.
This can range from $0 for no-cost stock images from a site like Unsplash.com, to thousands of dollars for professional images for product shots. The same can be said of all the other content. You may be an excellent wordsmith yourself or need to hire freelance writers for a fee.
Here is how almost all companies that design custom websites handle the “Extras” that you may want for your website:
E-commerce shopping carts, catalogs, and payment processing add $1,500 to $5000. E-commerce is included in Zibster Custom Websites at no extra charge.
Adding a blog ranges from $1,000 to $2,500. Blogs are free with Zibster Custom Websites.
Email Marketing Campaigns, most just integrate third-party tools such as Mailchimp or Constant Contact along with an email blast template design. $720 and up. Email marketing is included in Zibster Custom Websites (price does increase if more than a basic plan is needed).
Branding/Identity Development, $900 to $3,500. Branding is included in Zibster Custom Websites.
Targeted Landing pages to promote a specific product or service, $450. Landing pages are free with Zibster Custom Websites
Contact forms and surveys: $300 and up. Included in Zibster Custom Websites.
Photo gallery: $250 to $500. Included in Zibster Custom Websites
SEO, $500 to $4000. Very good SEO is included in Zibster Custom Websites but a more refined service is an option for an additional fee.
Mobile & Responsive design, add 20% to 30%. We don’t call this an extra, it’s essential! We won’t say that it’s free because it is created automatically for every Zibster product.
Maintenance contracts vary greatly depending upon what you expect from the firm, $250 per month. Our $35 per month fee means that you never have to pay extra for routine updates.
The nation’s largest registry site for industry lists 2,870 custom website design firms in the United States, 64 for North Carolina, and 4 for the Piedmont Triad. In a random sampling of those websites, not a single site had an upfront price for a custom website design though all had something like “Free Consultation.”