Published:02/10/2015

How much does a website cost?

You are just as well asking yourself how much a car costs. If you need something simple that gets you where you need to go and doesn’t cost much to run, a couple of grand will probably do the job. If you want something flashy, that will get you noticed and get people talking, something that comes with all the added extras and exceptional customer service, advice and consultation to boot, it’s likely to come with a sports car price tag.

Like most design & development agencies, Rifle cost each project based on how many hours it's likely to take. That estimate will include scoping and planning, project management, design, development and programming. There may also be additional requirements to cost, such as bespoke functionality, CMS development, supplying content and SEO. Every project requires it’s own mix of these elements, and the time required for each element will also vary for every project. So, without knowing exactly what is required, it is impossible to provide any sort of accurate price. 

Having said that, there are some things that will cost more than others. Whilst we can’t give you an accurate price without understanding what you are looking for, we can give you a steer on the sorts of things that could push the price of your build up. 

Design work
£
If you have your own in-house designer, proficient in website design, this maybe something you produce yourself and supply to an agency to develop and bring to life. 
££ If not, you may have an established brand identity already, a colour palette for your developer to work with and a clear idea of how you want your site to be structured. All of these things mean less work (and therefore less cost) for a web developer.
£££ However, if you are starting from scratch, building a brand and developing it into a fully fledged website will come at a price. 

Scope of site
£ Simple information sites a few pages deep will be far quicker (and cheaper) to put together. If you can also prepare and supply all of your content yourself, this will save time and money. 
££ More complex, in-depth sites with pages and pages of content are going to take time to build. Again, supplying the content will help, but even then, recreating large volumes of work online, whilst not complex work, is still time consuming.  
£££ As with the design element of your website, if you require copy, images and any other content to be written/sourced and supplied from scratch, you will need to budget accordingly. 

Functionality
£ - £££ If you are looking for bespoke functionality for your website it will all need to be scoped and costed by your developer. The time and cost involved will depend entirely on the complexity of the functionality you require.
For example, if your website needs to interact with your database or live customer service team; you need a search function; you want your site to feature interactive slideshows or galleries; or your users need to be able to login to an account or secure area - all of these will take not insignificant development time and will be charged at your developers’ hourly rate. 

eCommerce 
£ If you need to sell products or services via your website you will require an SSL to encrypt any personal and financial data held or collected by your site. This is essential for any site with any form of payment gateway and involves some technical aspects which will require development. 
££ The next layer will be a payment gateway to allow funds to be transferred. For simpler sites this may be set up via a merchant service such as Paypal or Worldpay at a lower cost. It’s worth noting though that these options will charge commission and could proove more costly for yout business over time.
£££ For larger scale eCommerce sites it usually pays to have your own secure payment system, which is no small task and a small budget won't cut it. 

CMS requirements
Content Management Systems are probably the top culprit of unnecessary spending (see our blog: Do I need a CMS?). There is a certain amount of bespoke development required with even the simplest CMS, so they are not a cheap addition to your website. 
£ For a lot of websites a CMS isn’t necessary. Unless you wish to regularly update your website yourself, it may well be easier and more cost effective to have your developer make any amends themselves as and when required. 
££ If you require a CMS for specific areas or pages of your website, a simple off the shelf solution requiring only a limited amount of development for, say, a blog or press release page, may be sufficient. 
£££ If you want control of the content on your website (albeit within the set design templates of your site), you will need a more complex, bespoke CMS. This doesn’t come cheap and could even double the cost of your project, so consider this carefully before you commit. 

SEO
Search Engine Optmisation is an essential part of website development. Your site can be the flashiest, all-singing, all dancing site in your industry, but if your site isn’t optimised, no one will find it, and your money will have been wasted. 
There are various elements involved in SEO, from an initial audit; competitor and keyword research and content optmisation to the more technical aspects such as developing clear intuitive navigation and placing tags and attributes in the code of your site. 
£ - £££ The more time (and money) you spend on SEO, both during the initial build and once the site is live, the better your search ranking is likely to be, so it’s an area worth investing in. 

Hosting & Management requirements
£ All websites need a domain name, or web address, and they all need to be hosted. Your developer is likely to have a fairly nominal set cost for this, depending on the website size. At Rifle we charge from £90 a year. 

Summary
If price is a consideration and you’re looking for the best deal on a new website build, first and foremost, make sure you have a clear brief, which sets out how you want to structure your site. An ever-changing brief will come with ever-increasing costs. Keep your goals in mind and don’t get sidetracked by clever but unnecessary functionality. Allow a realistic timeframe to get the job done properly and build in extra time for hold-ups. And finally, carefully consider each of the elements likely to increase the price; prioritise the areas where you need to spend more, and identify areas where you can save. 

Can we help? To get advice or a no obligation quote for your project  get in touch with the Rifle team.