Pencil and calculator

Big hat tip to Mark Brinker for this comprehensive read

How Much Does It Cost To Build A Website For A Small Business?

Why on earth am I posting a link to someone else's post? Because I'm not the only website design/builder out there and because Mark has done such a great job laying out the points. Credit where credit is due. That said, I have some comments about how I work and price sites to add on to the comments in the article. I'll comment in order of appearance in article.

While I build on Joomla not WordPress, both are long established Content Management Systems/CMS.

Price: It absolutely depends on the work involved but also who is going to manage the site. If I'm going to manage content for you while you focus on your business I will build it perhaps differently than if it was a real newbie going to have to learn it. Oh right - learning it! If you or someone in your company is going to manage the site content I will also need to produce training materials and schedule time for training. So yes, it will cost less if I'm managing the content. My quote/proposal is a fixed price not an estimate. The only variation is if you have added requirements during the project and this will be discussed at the time. Nobody wants a nasty surprise at the end with the job costing more than you budgeted for. Sites start at $3000 and up depending on size and complexity. 

Design vs Development: I do both. It is also a factor of how developed your brand already is, if we are looking to update it, or if you have none at all. This is considered when I'm working out your quote. I am building your requested site in my head and considering the tools/customization required to achieve your desired outcome. 

Page Volume: In the article Mark found the average price per page to be $100. I'm going to expand on that a bit. A basic text page with an accent image wouldn't cost $100. That said a page with loads of content and specific/complex styling requirements may cost more. 

Attempt to DIY: I agree with much of the article breakdown but will add a few points. The breakdown doesn't even cover anything to do with your SEO or setup on Google or the like. I'll relate two example stories from years past. 

Story 1: Potential client came to me for a quote on a site. How much? Nope and left. Two years later he called back asking if I would please work with him to do his site. He had, "gotten his sister to build a site and it didn't look professional, didn't perform well, and he missed two full seasons because of it. I lost all that time!"

Story 2: Another client wanted his website done just bare bones. "I promise to come back after the season gets going to have you do the SEO and other setups." Years past and reminders to finish the job properly went undone. Years later, "Why am I not near the top of search results?" 

While I don't bill myself as an SEO expert (nor do I charge accordingly), I do know if certain basics aren't done the site will under perform. Include responsive design (it's been a thing for over a decade now), accessibility, UX/UI or how users interact with the site. 

Domains, Hosting, and SSL's oh my?! I take care of all three for my clients unless they prefer to do their own. Domains are priced at various levels. A dot COM is cheaper than a dot CA or dot NET or ORG. The biggest point is there are scammers who are quite convincing. When you are busy running your business you may miss renewing or worse fall for one of these and lose your domain completely. I wrote a post on this very thing here. All clients I host have their SSL included and managed by me. 

Website Updates & Maintenance: Both technical and content. Technical is required to keep the site secure and functioning correctly. The cost varies on the size/complexity of the site starting at $45/mth. Content is required to keep current. Long gone are the days of set it and forget it. I take care of technical updates for all my clients and content updates for many. You are busy running your business. 

Templates and Extensions: I make a point of using trusted and long standing reliable providers and using their paid products. It has proven to me over the years to be a good strategy. Everyone has expenses and using free extensions may seem like a good plan at the time but there is zero incentive for the developer to update, offer prompt support, secure, or continue to develop the tools I'm counting on. When I update Joomla or extensions I count on them to work. That requires them testing in advance and issuing patches when required. 

There is nothing wrong with realising you don't know what you don't know. That's OK but also why I hire for tasks that aren't my speciality as well. 

I'd love to chat with you to find out more about your project and how I can help. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. so we can set up a time to talk. 

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