Whether you’re looking to build a from-scratch website for your new business or are looking to revamp your existing business website, cost is likely to be a key concern. While many factors can affect the cost of a business website, the reality is that the design and development of a professional website can easily add up to $2,500—or much more, depending on what your business needs.
Not sure where to begin when it comes to setting your organization’s website budget? We’ve got some key considerations to keep in mind, as well as some practical tips that will help you make the most of your company’s website budget in the months and years ahead.
Before you start getting bids and quotes from website designers, you’ll want to have a general idea of what you’re looking for and how much your business realistically has to spend. While there are dozens of factors that can affect how much your website’s budget should be, there are a few considerations you’ll want to keep in mind.
Your Site’s Purpose and Specifications
Begin by considering exactly what the purpose of your website will be. For any business website, of course, one of your goals will be to establish an online reputation and credibility for your company. Aside from that, however, you may have many other goals you’d like to accomplish with your business website. Perhaps you want to use it to capture and convert new leads, or perhaps it will even be used to sell products or services directly. If this is the case, then you may need to have a site that can integrate with an eCommerce platform.
Ultimately, you and your team should be able to answer the question of “what should your website do?” in a few short sentences. Don’t assume that everybody is on the same page here; take some time to actually sit down and write out your website goals and purposes before you start talking to any web designers.
Compliance and/or Security Requirements
Depending on the industry in which your business operates, you may also have some regulatory laws or compliance requirements to follow. For example, if your business is in the healthcare industry, then elements of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) will probably apply to your business.
As a result, your website may need to meet certain specifications and requirements, especially when it comes to the handling of personal/sensitive information and server hosting. Failure to comply with these requirements could result in major fines and penalties, so this is not something to take lightly.
Hosting and Server Needs
Speaking of server hosting, this is another factor you’ll want to take into consideration as you set a budget for your business website. While there are plenty of affordable hosting options out there, the reality is that you get what you pay for when it comes to hosting.
On paper, for example, a shared hosting plan may seem like a practical choice for your business website because it’s affordable. However, you should also consider the fact that you’ll literally be sharing your resources with every other user/business on your server. This means that if another site is demanding a lot of resources due to heavy traffic, your site may not have access to the resources it needs to function properly.
If you’re looking for the most reliable, cost-effective, and customizable hosting plan for your business website, you’ll want to allocate some extra funds in your budget for dedicated server hosting. This type of hosting plan means you’ll have your own server that is not shared with any other users. This also means that 100% of your server’s resources will be allocated to your business website at any given time, which can result in faster page-loading times and greater overall reliability when compared to a shared server.
Need for Content Development or Additional Services
When deciding on a budget for your business website, you’ll also want to consider what additional and related services you might need. Web design agencies usually offer other services that can come in handy well after the launch, especially when it comes to marketing.
Aside from web design services, for example, you may want to consider incorporating an online marketing strategy into your budget. This can include anything from search engine optimization (SEO) services to help your site rank higher on the search engine results pages to paid advertising (through Google AdWords, for example) and even content development.
Changing Needs as Your Business Grows
Keep in mind that even once your business website is developed and ready to launch, it’s still going to need changes down the road. Even the most “perfect” business website will need tweaks and additions as the business itself grows and scales.
With this in mind, you’ll also want to have some flexibility in your budget to accommodate these changes as they become necessary. This means you don’t want to spend 100% of your budget on the initial design and development of your site. Instead, try to come in under budget so you have some money left to tweak your site later on.
No matter what kind of website budget your company is working with, there are always some practical measures you can take to maximize your budget.
Designate Your “Must-Have” Features
When deciding on the features you’d like to see in your new website, consider making a list of “must-haves” and “would-like-to-haves.” Just as when you’re shopping for a new car or house, you should expect to make some sacrifices for the sake of staying within your comfortable budget.
Once you know what you absolutely need to have in your business website, you can start prioritizing what other features you’d like to add on. This is one of the easiest ways to keep your budget in check.
Explore Your Options
One of the most important steps you’ll take as you embark on your business website journey is that of shopping around for web design companies. Taking the time to request some customized quotes from at least a few different web design services will help you get a better feel for how much you’ll be realistically spending and what these companies have to offer.
As you explore your options, you’ll generally want to stick with web designers who have specific experience working with businesses in your industry. You’ll also want to take the time to look at some examples of websites each design company has done for businesses similar to yours. This will give you a much better feel for the type of work they do.
You’ll also want to find out exactly what services are offered by your prospective web design companies. If you need SEO and marketing services in addition to web design and development, is this something that they can help you with? Otherwise, you’ll need to shop around for these services separately, which can be a hassle.
Consider Phased Launches
If you’re working with a limited budget, you might consider launching different parts of your website in phases rather than all at once. This way, you can get the basics of your website up and running without spending more than you’re comfortable with. From there, you can plan to launch additional phases as your budget allows down the road.
If you do plan to launch different portions of your website in phases, this is another thing you’ll need to take into consideration as you shop for a web design professional. Make sure that the company you end up choosing is willing to work with you when it comes to different phases of your site’s launch—and that they have experience with this type of launch.
DIY Some Aspects
Sometimes, it makes sense to tackle some aspects of your business website on your own—especially if it will mean saving money. While it’s unlikely that you’ll be experienced enough to handle your site’s HTML coding, you and your team may be able to save some money by writing your own website content (home page, “about us” page, etc.).
Take some time to consider which aspects of your site’s launch you can comfortably (and cost-effectively) handle on your own and then create a plan to do so. You might be surprised at how much money you can save on your business website by doing a little of the hard work yourself.
Take Advantage of Free Templates and Tools
These days, there are all kinds of inexpensive and even free tools to make designing and launching a website easier than ever before. If you’re looking to launch a very basic business website with a few pages and a blog, you might be able to get away with using a free WordPress site theme rather than hiring a professional web designer to create something from scratch. Of course, this will really depend on how complex your new site will be and how comfortable you are with using free website building tools.
From deciding on a budget your business is comfortable with to exploring ways to maximize that budget, there are a lot of steps involved in getting your organization’s website up and running smoothly.
Looking for custom-tailored services for your company’s new website? Search Control has you covered. With more than 11 years of experience in helping businesses thrive online, we have the tools and knowledge to serve you. Contact our team today to find out more about what we can do for your business!