What does a website cost?

Imagine asking a Real Estate company, “How much does a house cost?” Well it depends. First off, what are the essentials you need? Three bedrooms because you have two kids? Central air conditioning because you live down south? Now that we have the essentials, what are some of the less essential, yet nice features? Basement? Extra storage? Large backyard? Three car garage? What if you could have it your way? How about a pool? Sounds nice right?

All these factors go into the price, yet we all have a budget to adhere to. Most of the time it comes down to what we can afford. Many times this means opting out of some of the less essential amenities. ¬†Even if we opt out in the beginning doesn’t mean we can’t potentially add them later. Wanted a pool, but couldn’t afford it upfront? Save up a bit more and you’ll get your pool in a few years. Great things take time.

How does this relate to web design?

I cannot count how many times I receive the “How much does a website cost?” email. Design in any instance doesn’t have a generalized price tag. It’s an investment of experience and time. While the experience factor is tough one to measure and quote, the amount of time, on the other hand, depends on the scale, complexity, features, elements, components, and so on.

Typically, my clients start off by filling out a project worksheet, which helps to gauge the project from the get go appropriately. Questions such as, “Does the redesign need copywriting?”, “Will your site require a CMS?”, “Which ‘social’ feature(s), if any, will be required?”, help to get a general feel for the timing and scale of their specific site.

Check out this site for things to consider when calculating the cost of a website.

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Brian Hoff
About Brian Hoff: Designer, Writer and Speaker

I’m a graphic designer living in Brooklyn, New York who loves creating compelling and useful websites and memorable interactions across the web. When I’m not designing I can be found writing, speaking and occasionally part-time teaching at colleges — all on the subject of design. I started this blog to share my passion and experiences with designers and clients. I'm most active on Twitter; say hello: