Whenever we get an inquiry for a new website project, it often starts with something like “I would like to redevelop my website, can you please send me your prices?”.
While the answer may seem simple, website production costs can vary enormously depending on factors such as the chosen CMS (e.g. WordPress), the size of the website, required integrations for things like booking engines or stock systems, etc.
Before we delve into the potential cost of a website, it’s important to ask yourself this question:
How does my website fit within the overarching brand and business strategy?
A website can be the main sales funnel for your business, or it could just be a necessary trust signal. Understanding how the website fits within your strategy can drive increased performance and an understanding of how your investment should be judged.
It’s essential to be cautious of agencies that provide you with a price without gathering the key details and understanding your goals. If an agency emphasizes the need to discover and investigate your requirements initially, it’s a strong indicator that they will conduct thorough research and take the necessary steps to deliver the best outcomes for your overall business goals.
DIY vs. Professional Websites
When creating a website, you have two main options: doing it yourself or hiring a professional agency. While pre-built template solutions like Squarespace, Wix, or Weebly may suffice for simple websites with low budgets, partnering with an agency offers several advantages, such as professionalism, time-saving, handling complex requirements, maximizing your marketing budget, ensuring that your brand is well represented and lastly making strategic decisions to ensure that the functionality of the website aligns with your business goals.
Understanding the Factors Influencing Website Costs
While there are no fixed rules for website investments, we have identified six key factors that help determine the cost of a website project. These factors have been derived from our extensive experience in producing a wide range of websites:
1. Branding & Brand Strategy
Having a clear brand strategy is crucial for the success of your business, and will lead and guide the website development process. It encompasses things like: your business mission, vision, values, key differentiators, goals, customer understanding, brand elements, messaging, and tone of voice. At a minimum, you should have a clear brand identity prior to beginning your website project.
2. Page Complexity
The number of unique pages required and their intended functionality significantly impacts the website’s price. A website with simple text and image layouts across multiple similar pages will be less costly compared to a website with custom interactive elements, unique layouts, and complex features.
3. Content Management System
Websites can be built with, or without a Content Management System (CMS). Content management systems like WordPress or Shopify allow your business to easily maintain content (such as text and images) on your website inhouse. However, they do take longer to build and cost more than a website without a CMS.
The cost of copywriting depends on whether you handle it in-house, hire a web-specialist copywriter, or collaborate with a website design agency. If you have the skills and confidence to prepare the content yourself, it can help reduce costs. Ensure that your content is consistent, targeted to customer needs, optimized for engagement, concise, scannable, and incorporates relevant keywords for better search engine rankings.
5. Photography & Videography
Visual elements play a vital role in a successful website. The cost of photography and videography varies based on factors like shot requirements, storyboard and script development, talent, shooting days and locations, and the usage of stock imagery.
The number and complexity of integrations with other systems impact the website cost. Having a clear understanding of what is required for these integrations up front will prevent any unexpected costs and delays.
Our goal when working with a client on any website project is to ensure that the website fits within their overall digital marketing strategy and that it delivers on the intended goals.
How much does a website cost per month?
Ongoing costs for a website include hosting and website maintenance. Website maintenance or support can cover two main areas. The first is general maintenance and security, consider this your base cost that you must factor into your monthly website cost. It includes ensuring that any plugins are updated and secure, that the website is backed up, and that any and all security is updated and in place. The second is performance, and this will include page speed updates, regular SEO and content optimization. The internet, browsers and devices are constantly evolving and it’s critical to ensure that your website keeps up with these ongoing changes.
How much does a website domain cost?
Generally, a new domain costs anywhere from $9-$20 per year. We require our clients to purchase their own domains, when somebody else purchases your domain, they own it forever. It’s really important that you own this yourself to protect your business in the future.
At Island Media we build predominantly with WordPress and Shopify. Both of these content management systems allow for flexibility in design along with easy to use backend systems.
Do You Use Premade WordPress Themes?
All of our websites are custom built. Themes are often not well optimized for page speed, and include numerous plugins and integrations that weigh down your system. This is a very important question to ask any agency that you work with, you should not be paying an agency to build you a site with a premade theme.
Collaborate with Island Media
In 2023, the digital landscape will become more complex as consumers are bombarded with more content and information than ever before. Ensuring that your website is built with a clear strategy in mind is essential to guarantee your investment delivers desired results.
Island Media works to ensure that every website we create not only aligns with our clients’ business goals but also resonates with their target audience. If you’re contemplating a new website or a revamp of your existing one, let’s start a conversation. With Island Media by your side, you’ll embark on a journey to a compelling digital presence that drives results.