The age old question, how much does a website cost to build? In this episode Richard and James discuss all the different factors that contribute to the cost of a new website.
How much does a website cost?
Podcast How much does a website cost?
In this episode, we’re going to be talking about how much a website should cost. So, the big question, how much does a website cost? Over to you, James? I’m sure you’ve got quite a few answers on this one.
Yeah, I think if I had a pound for every time someone asked me that, I’d be a lot better off than making websites or whatever makers. It every single person asks, when they approach us how much is going to cost? Yeah, even sometimes, without even going through a scoping exercise. Let’s be honest, everyone, get a website for 50 quid, buy from somebody abroad, just go online and find that, likewise, everyone can get their website for 100,000 pounds, the issue is, how much time is going to be spent on it, and who’s going to do the work. So when clients approach agencies like ours, fundamentally, we only have one product to sell, we don’t sell websites we sell the time it takes to build a website. So if the client’s budget is very, very low, then the time spent on the website is going to have to be commensurate with that. Yeah, it’s not. It’s not just a standard product, with margin in it. Yeah, every website typically is very much over service for the price that it actually ends up being. And that’s that’s the case across the whole industry. Yeah. And a lot of people don’t necessarily realise how much time really goes into it from a project management, Technical Liaison, designing it and building it. And all that kind of side, it’s a long time and a lot of man hours go into building any website project. And so it’s just one of those interesting questions where we try and help people with different budgets in an efficient way for us an efficient way for them as best that we can. But being aware that if the site’s underfunded in the first place, if they haven’t got the budget for what they want, they may need to phase that into multiple phases as time goes on, to allow them to build their business and invest in it as time goes on. If all that makes sense.
It makes sense by so you, will you will you build rebuild. So marketing, Build WordPress websites. That’s right, I can do that myself with a theme. What’s the difference?
Now you’re right, you can do it with a theme. And a lot of this comes down to how much is your time worth. So I could do it myself with a theme, I could go, I could find a free theme online and start building my website, I’m pretty certain that within about a day, I’ll get sick of doing it out, I want someone to do that for me. And the other thing is, when I’m working within the constraints of a theme builder, or something that I’ve only got so many options with, in my mind, if I want something designing a certain way, I will never be able to achieve that using that theme builder. So WordPress websites, which is mainly what we do come in two flavours, you got your theme based website and you custom built website. So your theme based website tends to use an off the shelf theme Builder System, which will let you construct your pages, using huge numbers of complicated fields in the admin to try and build out what you want to do. You can’t prove that before you build it. You literally have to work through it live on a website, try it, refresh it, try it, refresh it. It could take days, weeks months to get where you want to with that. The difference is with a custom built website, it tends to go through design process first. So a graphic designer who’s been briefed on your brand and your objectives would design as a flat graphic to start with what that website is going to look like. And that gives you the opportunity to say Yeah, well, I don’t like that I do like that he moves that box up three inches. And it basically lets you go through a design process. And then when that design is signed off, that then gets given to a web developer who creates a custom theme based on that specific design. So the time taken to do that is if you imagine got a homepage and about sales page, a contact page and maybe a services page. Each one probably takes two to three to four Monday’s to turn into a working developed web page per different layout of your website. So you can imagine a five page website where it’s been built custom probably would take somebody three to four weeks in reality to develop and get all the content in for you. Now you could do that yourself using a builder but it won’t be what the design was in the first place. It will be the design that suits that particular builder software best. So yeah, this this swings around about to it. And a lot of this is down to how much time the business owner or the person doing it has got. If that time has no value and they can spend months and months on it then great go for that. If you want to work with someone that takes your brief and applies proper creative thought to it and makes all the relevant considerations in terms of the online marketing side of things, then, in our view, a custom built website is the only way to go. Whilst in the long run, it does give you fewer options in terms of varying that layout, because the layouts have been built custom to the designed pages. And it’s the the output is that you don’t have a website that looks like everybody else’s. Because you tend to find that all these theme websites look exactly the same, because they’re all working in the constraints of the theme,
or they’re heavily reliant on a plugin. For example, we thought that recently where a client has built a website, they need assistance with it, because he no longer looks like the website is short plugins have gone out of date. They’ve been abandoned. And so as the theme and there’s the only way around, it really is to build a fresh website.
Yeah, that’s right. And yeah, themes in WordPress websites work the same way as plugins, and that the theme owner or distributor issues updates. At some point, you don’t know if that theme owner is going to stop issuing updates, which could potentially then break your website, or potentially when there’s a new version of the core WordPress software means that you can’t upgrade to that because your new your website theme won’t be compatible with it. So yeah, there’s a long term implications for using off the shelf themes. And typically, you know, when people go, and they say, Yeah, I can get that website for 100 quid or my mate son does websites for me. Yeah, fine. crack on with that. Yeah, that’s not really where we sit in the market with that. And likewise, you know, I know agencies that won’t touch website projects, unless there’s 60 100,000 pounds starting price in it, because again, they sit at a different part of the market. And they know the value they’re adding to that process. So yeah, there’s room for every single part price points in the whole sort of website creation game, so to speak. But really, what you’re paying for is the expertise, the longevity of the business. And also, are you going to get any advice as you go along, or you’re going to be waiting days and days for endless replies to support tickets from a theme builder who are based abroad, further wasting your time, and actually not getting on with it. And yeah, that said, you know, the websites that we build, which are custom, they can take quite a while to make, you know, it’s not unusual for us to have three, four or five month website projects. In fact, we tend to say that our standard turnaround time on a website, assuming everything was very smooth would be 10 to 12 weeks starting anyway. That’s the difference, you potentially get a website, put up within a couple of weeks, if you use a theme builder, but it’s not going to be the website that was designed, it’s just going to be a website, not the website that you want. So that’s where the price conversation comes in. And it’s like everything in life, you know, if you if you’re paying for a service, or you’re paying for time, yeah, it’s got to be accounted for somewhere. And you either fix your boiler yourself, or you pay a plumber. And it’s the same argument really, with websites, you know, do you would you would you do it yourself? Really? Do you know enough about it to do it competently? And long term? Is that going to be fit for purpose for where you’re taking your business?
Makes perfect sense, I suppose in a way, from the cost perspective, is if you’re doing it yourself as yourself your own time, how much is that worth? You’re building your website using a theme. So you may have conversations with the theme builder, the developer or the person who resold that theme. Whereas if you use so marketing, for example, you’ve got a whole team. So our whole team is pretty much invested in every single project.
Yeah, that’s right. I think when you’re using even sort of some agencies are quite commonly reliance on themes to build websites. And the problem with that is that the people doing them tend not to have the real deep technical knowledge. And so when you’ve got questions, or you need to find out more useful to say, Oh, actually, can I build this functionality in? They can’t do that, because they can only work within the constraints of the theme they’re used to doing. And so you what we tend to see, and we have a lot of customers come to us in this situation where they’ve, they’ve run the course with that pretty quickly. And, and where we would normally say a website should last you sort of three to five years, you tend to find theme based websites and really no more than about a year to two, if even if that, depending on the evolving requirements of that business.
from a creative point of view, you’re really restricted as well.
Oh, yeah, there’s no creativity at all in themes, you tend to find that all themes are completely row based. They all look identical. They’ve all got a standard banner menu, footer, middle Content Setup, and you just find the all the same. And so if you’re looking to have your website, stand out against other people in your market and use a theme, it’s just not going to happen.
So in regards to budget, we’re talking about what So it’s quite often we discuss with clients about underfunded websites.
Yeah. And it’s an awkward conversation. And nobody likes talking about money. Less people like to be told they’re not spending enough. And But from our point of view, we were really honest with people, you know, we’ll say, Look, you need to invest to doing right, rather than do quickly. And we want to work with people for a long term relationship. And, you know, a decent custom built website could could be 345 1000 pounds, it could be 15 20,000 pounds, it could be more, it just depends on how much time has to go into it. And it’s not, I think a lot of people think that he is pick a number out the air. And the way that we prize for example, is on unit layouts. And so if the site’s got five different types of pages that all need designing and building, well, we literally cost it that way. And if it’s got 10, then it’s going to be twice the amount of money of five. Yeah, there’s no sort of room for manoeuvre with that. And it’s simply a time versus cost calculation. And, you know, we appreciate clients budgets. And I think the way to address that is really offering sort of flexible payment terms and working with them. But beyond that, you know, the value that he has, like ours Add to Custom Built website projects, is all in giving the user the ability to go through a design process and then go through a build process and accepting that it’ll take a bit longer but the outcome at the end is going to be the website that they need.
Okay, brilliant. Thanks for your time, James. If you the listener is interested to find out what your next website costs will be. Drop us an email Hello at so marketing.com