How Much To Spend on a Website? A Guide to Pricing Your Web Project

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This question is really best answered after a few specific conversations between the client and the web design team. This is because the cost of building a software product depends on what you need it to do. Since every business has specific digital needs, the first step in pricing a website is understanding these needs in detail.Here are some common business needs that drive a new website design:

  • Acquire new visitors
  • Generate leads
  • Sell products (eCommerce)
  • Publish regular content
  • Better communicate the brand online
  • Provide an informational resource
  • Manage internal assets and resources
  • Integrate with a third party software (i.e., CRM, martketing automation...etc.)

Perhaps your site needs several of these components — or you may have different needs not included in this list. Regardless, once we have an understanding of your needs and requirements, we're in a good position to provide a very rough estimate how much your site may cost.But even when you know roughly how much your site would cost, there's a more pressing question. Depending on how far along you are in the website purchasing process, you've probably received multiple proposals and estimates, spanning a wide range of possible prices. This will leave you asking...How much should I invest in my website design?Well generally speaking - “Your investment should match your expected, or required, performance. With the right web strategy, you should receive a return on your initial investment. If it doesn't matter how much money your website generates then it really doesn't matter how much you spend. So, you might want to consider spending as little as possible."Web design is an interesting hybrid because it's both a product-based and service-based endeavor. Understanding this distinction will help you decide how much you should invest in a website. Web design is a billable service which produces a measurable end product.

  • Service-driven: Since web design is billed at an hourly rate, you're not paying a fixed price for a pre-made product, as if you were buying a new stereo. You're hiring a creative partner to perform a consulting service, focused on design marketing.
  • Product-driven: While web design is a billable hourly service, it's different than a typical consulting service because it ends with a tangible product: a website.

Though web design is priced based on billable hours, the measure of a website goes beyond the sticker price. You can — and should — measure the success of your website in dollars. When you hire a web design partner, you're investing in the value that the website will bring to your organization. A good web agency will be eager to show you this value in quantitative terms. As part of developing and executing your web strategy, they'll help develop KPIs and assign dollar values to key metrics. You may already have some of these metrics available; if so, you have a head start on the web process.While web design produces a value-based product, it is priced based on billable hours. So, it helps to understand where these hours are used. Here are 6 key areas where we allocate billable hours during a project:

  1. Strategy
  2. Design
  3. Development
  4. Training
  5. Launch
  6. Maintenance and Support

If you'd like to learn more about these areas, check out our web design process breakdown.With open and frequent communication, you can find a web design partner who will build a website that brings value to your organization. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and work collaboratively with your web design company: the better you communicate, the smoother process.Have a specific question you need answered? Want to start talking about your website ROI? We'd love to hear from you - let's make contact! 

About the Author

Marty Vernon

Marty is Co-founder/Strategic Director at EDUCO. Connect with Marty on , , or