If you’re thinking about getting a new website made, the cost is probably the first thing on your mind.

In this post I’m going to walk you through how website prices are formed so that you can figure out a budget for your website.

The first point is to ask yourself what you want out of the new website. Some businesses simply want a website with their basic contact information, others want to use it as a marketing tool to generate new business.

Although these are both web design projects, they’re completely different kettles of fish produced by different kinds of companies.

For the most basic websites, if you’re comfortable in getting your hands dirty you may be able to launch a simple Squarespace powered or similar website for around £150 a year.

Alternatively there’s probably a bunch of freelancers in your area who can help you set up a simple WordPress site using an off-the-shelf “theme”. Using a freelancer would likely cost you a couple of hundred pounds.

If however your goal is to generate substantial new business through your website, curb your enthusiasm about those two options. These off-the-shelf solutions almost certainly won’t cut it.

To generate new business your website is going to have to be the one of the best in your industry (or at least in your area). It’s going to have to be widely and easily discoverable, communicate your message clearly and efficiently, and have well designed opportunities for people to contact you.

That takes expertise and time that the DIY services and cheaper freelancers can’t offer.

Here’s a key stat for you: the average agency in the UK charges £86 per hour / £688 per 8-hour day.

Speak to a bunch of agencies you’re interested in working with and ask them for their rate card. If an agency is suggesting 20% over or under £86, consider why that is. Are they inexperienced? Do they have huge overheads? Are they used to working with large corporate clients?

At The Rye Agency we charge at £90 per hour.

So now we know an average price, how long will a project actually take? Here’s a bunch of tasks a simple project should entail if it’s to perform well:-

  • Research and discovery
  • Strategy definition
  • Design and user testing
  • Content production (the copy, photos, videos)
  • Development and population
  • Search engine optimisation
  • Training
  • Launch

It’s realistic to assume that it’s going to take no fewer than 2 working weeks to cover all of those things to a reasonable standard. And to get things really right, it should take longer. So a budget of £6,880 (using the UK average rate) would be a realistic starting point.

You should then consider expenses. Things like fonts, stock 
photography, and software can all cost money and you might want to consider adding 10% to your budget, so we’re now at £7,568.

And then there’s the fact that projects don’t always go smoothly. You should budget a contingency of a further 10% onto the total cost so far, bringing it to £8,324.80.

Additionally you may need to budget for include bespoke photography, video production, copywriting. All incredibly important towards the success of a website, but adds to the cost.

As a rule of thumb, if you can budget for £10,000 or more you’re going to be in a good position to make a success of the website.

One more thing to consider is what will happen after launch? Websites need to be continuously updated with new content, tweaks based on user feedback, enhancements to the search engine optimisation, software upgrades and more. Most websites that embark on an inbound marketing strategy start to see gains after 4–7 months of effort. You should consider putting aside a monthly budget to retain the service of your agency. Depending on your needs that may be just an hour or two a month - it might be a couple of days a month.

It’s true, websites are expensive. Not because they’re overly difficult to produce, but because producing ones that actually work takes a lot of time and effort.

My final point is this - once you have all your data figure out which options are most likely to provide you with a return upon your investment. Because a £1,000 website that made £500 is more expensive to a business than a £10,000 website that made £50,000.

I’m an account manager at The Rye Agency and I help businesses kick start their web projects every week. If you’re thinking that you want to start a new website just email me on emma.browne@rye.agency and I’ll happily help you work out a realistic budget for your needs.