How much does it cost to build a website?
“What’s your budget?”
It’s one of the more difficult conversations to have when discussing website design and development. With so many options for developing a website, your budget could range from a few thousand dollars to one hundred thousand dollars.
At SiteCrafting, we specialize in custom-designed and developed websites. We’ve worked with many different companies with a wide range of needs and problems to solve. We have also been in business for 22 years and learned how to have upfront conversations about website goals, prioritization of requirements and, of course, budget.
Here are some of the major factors to consider when setting your budget:
- 3rd party integrations
- Research and testing
- Content transfer
- Interactive interactions or animations
- Changes in priority or scope increases
- Too many cooks in the kitchen
3rd Party Integrations
Third-party integrations are the tools and technologies that a vendor didn’t create but can leverage to solve business problems for their customer. Third-party integrations include solutions to accepting payment online, sharing GPS locations of buses on a route and delivering SMS messages to a subscriber’s mobile device. This also includes websites that need e-commerce. Learn more about 3rd party integrations.
Connecting these third-party tools on your website requires research and extra development to see how we can integrate the tool on the website. If you want seamless integration, like keeping users on your website instead of kicking them over to a different website, that often requires additional work by the entire team to make sure the interactions are user-friendly.
As the complexity increases, expect that to also increase the cost of adding the integration to your website.
Research and Testing
Including user research and testing increases the scope of a project but it can pay huge dividends in the long run. User research and testing can identify pain points with navigation or design. This can inform decisions about design and development early and gives us the ability to identify and fix potential issues before even beginning to build the website.
It’s better to identify potential issues earlier when they are less costly to make. As Chuck, our user research manager likes to say, “Your website will be tested regardless, either at the beginning of the project or once you launch it.”
Don’t underestimate the cost of moving or adding content into the actual pages of your website. If you want an agency to help take care of migrating content into the new website, this is not a simple task. Some things to keep in mind if you want an agency to help migrate content into a new website:
- Do you need help with copywriting?
- Do you need to find new images or videos?
- Are you changing the navigation and organization of your pages?
- Are you editing a lot of the content on your current website?
Answering yes to any of these questions increases the amount of planning, writing, approving, handing off and migrating content from your old website to a brand new one.
Interactive Design or Animations
Many modern websites include fun animations or interactive elements. We love them too, because they’re engaging for users, can help tell stories, and can visualize data in a fun way.
When including interactive elements or animations, our designers and developers take extra time to ensure that it works and looks good on multiple browsers and devices.
Changes in Priority or Scope
One of the major causes of an increased budget comes from changes in priority or scope of work during the web design and development process. In addition, the further along in the build process, the more costly it is to make a change. Even the smallest changes can result in a ripple effect.
For example, moving an image or content element on a page can affect how that looks on a different template. It can even change the functionality or even the overall user experience.
Changes in priority also affect how and where our team spends their time focusing on their work. For example, if the goal was to ensure product pages were easy to find and priorities shift to including product reviews, the change would require our team to go back to the drawing board and re-do an entire section of the website.
This is why our team finds it valuable to start each project with a Discovery Phase. In our experience, successful projects are completed when we work alongside our clients to establish clear goals and detailed project plans. During the Discovery Phase, we gather information from stakeholders to inform the project scope, including business goals, user needs and content. Identifying these things early in the process helps mitigate the changes that can happen later.
Too Many Cooks in the Kitchen
One of the side effects of changes in priority or scope is having too many cooks in the kitchen. When it comes to websites, that often means there might be a large group of stakeholders making decisions or a lengthy approval process for major decisions.
This kind of collaboration leads to longer timelines. A good way to mitigate this is by having a plan for decision-making during the project and assigning a single point of contact as the decision-maker.
When it comes to creating a website, we recommend you take into account the complexity of the problems you need to solve for your users. Reviewing these factors will help you determine a budget for your project and manage the expectations of your stakeholders.
Want to talk budget specific to your website? Email us. We’re happy to have a conversation about your budget, scope and goals.