How much should you spend on your website?

Posted by Penny Baldwin-French

on Tue, Mar 24, 2015 @ 11:22 AM


So you've decided you want a website? Or, your current site needs an overhaul?

If you're thinking of embarking on a design or redesign, then one of your first questions will no doubt be – exactly how much is this going to cost me? Obviously there's no easy answer to this complex question. There are so many variables affecting cost. For starters, are you looking for a simple website, or do you need a polished, professional website with more sophistication

Most agencies are reluctant to offer flat rate pricing. But with a little digging, you can find some loose estimates as to what a full-fledged website will cost you. Like what you'll find on our website.

Importance of a web presence

Let's face it, if you don't have a website for your business today, then you're invisible. Gone are the days of being able to rely on the "yellow pages", print directories or print media. Most pre-purchase research is done online these days. As a result, your website is your "face to the world" and without a well-designed website, optimized for lead conversion,  you'll likely miss out on potential business. 

At least eighty-one percent of shoppers conduct online research before they make a purchase. Sixty percent begin by using a search engine to find the products they want, and 61 percent will read product reviews before making any purchase.  This means you must be present at their Zero Moment of Truth, defined by Google as the first impression consumers have of your brand or product.

In August 1991, there was one lone website on the internet. This number has exploded to over one billion today, according to Internet Live Stats.

Nowadays, you won't be taken seriously if you don't have an online presence. Most people research products and services online before ever making a purchase. Your credibility will suffer if you don't have a well organized, helpful and informative website for your customers and potential customers.

Your website is often the first impression people have of your company and it can help establish your credibility. You have mere seconds to grab your potential customers' attention and communicate your value proposition. You'll want it to look professional and attractive, but just as importantly it'll need to be functional – and definitely not frustrating.

Remember, you "get what you pay for." In these days of omnichannel marketing, make sure you hire a well-rounded marketing agency to design your web presence, not just a "web developer." Your website needs to not just look good, it needs to have optimum marketing impact and be designed as a lead generation machine.

What do you hope to accomplish?

Just about every company wants its unique brand to shine through with its web presence. But beyond that, goals may differ.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself before hiring an experienced marketing agency to build a website for your company.

  • Is this an eCommerce site?
  • How often will you blog?
  • How many pages do you need – two, twenty, more?
  • What kind of content do you want? Do you need professional photos or video?
  • Is it a membership site?
  • Who are you trying to appeal to?
  • What is your value proposition?
  • Who will maintain your website?
  • Who will develop your content?

You don't want to shortchange your design, but clearly your budget will play a part in determining what you can include.  So, before approaching an agency, you should figure out how much you are willing to invest.  Do your best to avoid the "template route".  Remember, not only does one size never fit all, you also don't want a "cookie cutter design" to undercut your impact.

Where is your money going?

Now that you have an idea of what you're looking for, it's important to know what actually goes into building a website.

Design is important, but you need more than a pretty facade. "Brochures in the sky" don't work. Other factors are also important. Depending on your budget, there may be many people involved in getting your website up and running, such as copywriters, designers, and programmers, to name a few.

They'll be working on the following:

  • Content: written copy, photos, videos
  • Design: graphics, logo etc.
  • Usability: navigation, structure
  • Layout: headers, footers, sidebar
  • Lead generation design
  • Optimization of your site
  • Promotion
  • Responsive web design: You'll want your web presence to look good in different browsers and on various mobile devices
  • Getting it up and running: Someone needs to get your website up on a server and make sure everything's running smoothly

Some numbers

It's notoriously difficult to nail down the specifics of how much a website should cost, but here are some parameters that may help.

  • Starting at around $4,000 won't get you a fully customized design, but should get you some branded design, basic optimization, contact forms, opt-ins, photo gallery and a blog. But you'll have to provide most (if not all) of the content, including photos, videos and logo design.
  • In the $7,500 – $12,000 range, you should be able to get a fully customized design and a fair amount of content development.
  • At around $15,000 to $40,000, you can expect full content creation, optimization, branding development and design.
  • In the $40,000 – $$60,000 range, you should expect full branding, development and design, content development, lead generation, optimization, eCommerce integration and more.
  • $60,000 and up – if budget's not an issue, then the sky's the limit.

Of course, these numbers are just broad estimates. There are countless other factors that determine how much a website will cost, including an agency's portfolio and experience.


Bottom line: Do your research. Before you meet with a professional, have a good idea of what you want. This will help eliminate frustration and miscommunication.

Hire an Inbound Marketing Agency, not a "web developer." You aren't just looking for a web design, you're looking to present your company in the best possible light, leveraging your value proposition to build trust and authority. A digital agency, well-versed with inbound methodologies, experienced in lead generation, will have the "catalog of talents" necessary to build the right marketing impact recipe for your unique business and goals.

And as with most things in life – compatibility is important. So, take your time and make sure you've found someone you can comfortably work with.

Enter to Win a Free Competitive Marketing Assessment

And don't forget to enter our contest. Find out how your marketing stacks up against your competitors. Click here to enter.

Why you need to hire an inbound marketing agency

Written by Penny Baldwin-French

Penny is Chief Marketing Officer at WhiteSpace which means she wears many hats! WhiteSpace specializes in helping organizations thrive by leveraging the power of the internet. Our digital marketing and creative agency can help develop strategic and tactical direction to help boost your business.

Follow WhiteSpace

Join Our Mailing List