We get asked a lot of things when we first speak to potential clients. These questions can range from 'how can I improve the Google ranking of my existing website?' to 'what's the best way to engage new customers and convert clicks into custom?' 
Still, the question that we’re asked most often is 'how much should a website cost?' It's usually followed by 'why are your prices are so low?' After all, doesn’t cheap automatically mean poor quality? 
We totally understand that this may cross your mind, so to put you at ease we’d like to explain what makes some websites expensive, why some companies are more expensive than others and why lower prices don't always mean poor service. 

 What makes a website expensive? 

Basically, it's the scope of the project - there's lots to consider here: 
1. The basics. 
What does your website need to do? 
How big will it be? 
How many pages would you need to help explain what you do? 
Does your site need to do something unique or special? 
Do you need bespoke functionality? 
Will you want to add more content over time? 
How much support do you need? 
2. Research: If you're looking for input and ideas on what would work best, that takes time too. 
Competitor research 
Keyword research 
Interviewing existing customers or potential customers 
Defining customer profiles 
Style / Look / Feel 
Tone of voice 
Why should your customers care about what you do? 
What value or benefits do you deliver? 
3. Content: This is the biggie. We say it a lot, but 'content is king'. 
Do you need a professional copywriter? 
Do you need professional photos? 
What about video? Would it help to add introduction videos, product videos, team videos, testimonial videos? 
How about case studies? 
Do you want to add regular blogs? 
PS: The answer to most of the above should be 'Yes'! 
4. Marketing & Traffic: You can have the best website in the world, however if no-one knows you exist, it's all pretty pointless... 
How will you drive traffic to the site? 
What's your social media strategy? 
How will you get your message out there? 
How will you track and monitor it? 
Who's responsible for updating your website? 
What's your plan for new content? 
What about ongoing SEO? 
OK, this list isn't definitive, however you get the idea. 
The bigger the project scope and the more help you need, the higher the cost... 

 What makes a website cheap? 

We don't really like the word cheap, however it gets used a lot. If you want a 'cheap' or more cost-effective website you need to consider 'how much are you prepared to do yourself?' 
Basically, take everything in the list from the section above and decide what can be managed by you or by your staff within your company.  
It often comes down to resources and time. If you have plenty of those and the tasks above won't impact on your core business, it will definitely help reduce costs. 
While writing copy and taking a few images may be OK for some, it's worth noting that many of the bullet points in the list above require specialist skillsets and years of experience to implement. 
In our experience, the one thing that most businesses or business owners don't have is time.  
You can start with good intentions, however when it comes to the crunch, finding the time or learning the skills required to design, build and optimise a website as well as creating high quality content is likely to be a big ask for many businesses.  
That's not to say you shouldn't have any input. You know your business better than anyone else and your knowledge and guidance will be required when it comes to any content creation. 
So now you have a better idea about basic costs, what else do you need to consider? 

 Selecting the right web company to work with 

Choosing the right web agency to work with is really important. We wrote about this in a blog post a few years ago (8 things to consider before you choose a web company). 
We still stand by everything we said then and it’s worth revisiting and having a read if you’re looking for the best fit for your business. 
Some agencies will have a lot of staff, offices and equipment. These overheads cost money but may also allow that company to deliver a more personal or in-depth service which will be reflected in the price of the website. 
Some agencies are very compact or are maybe a one or two man operation. Accordingly, their prices may be lower, although they may not be able to offer all the services you need in-house. 
Some of the key things to consider are: 
How much ongoing support, help or advice will you get? 
What additional costs will you be facing for changes or amends? 
How easy is it to get in touch with them? 
How quickly do they get back to you? 
What will happen if they go out of business? 
We'd always recommend a face to face meeting or zoom call to get a feel for the company you're looking to work with. The idea is that you'll be working with these people long-term so it pays to make sure you're both a good fit before you start out. 

 Conclusion (and example) 

Returning to the question that we’re asked most often about 'how much should a website cost?' and 'why are your prices are so low?' we're hopeful that the information listed above now gives you a better idea. 
Here's an example using our own website packges showing how the scope of the project and the time you can spend on content can affect the overall cost: 
Option 1: If you wanted a simple 10 page website (our Max Package) and you already have branding and logo files, professional photography and you're happy to write your own SEO focussed website text, then the upfront cost for the site will be £550 + vat. 
Option 2: If you want a 10 page website, but you want us to help you with new branding and logo creation, professional photography and SEO based copywriting for your website text, then the upfront cost will likely be in the region of £1650 + vat. 
As always, we'd be happy to chat to you about any website questions you have. You can call, email, WhatsApp or arrange a zoom or face-to-face appointment with us at a time to suit. Feel free to get in touch! 
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