How to Estimate the Cost of Building a Website

Taking into account how important online presence is, a business can not evolve without a website. Before building one for your business, you should pick the right web development service provider by browsing their portfolios, cases studies and available services. An important question here is how much would it cost to build a website from scratch? Having spent a lot of time on negotiations, you’d probably face an interesting fact – nobody can name the exact final price of the site. Moreover, if during the first contact the agency immediately invoices you (from $100 to $1000), without going into the subtleties, complexity and individual requirements of the project, you should consider this as a warning because it’s not possible to estimate the cost of building a website without getting into all the details possible.

What Makes It Difficult to Estimate the Cost of Building a Website?

There are three main reasons why it’s complicated to calculate the cost of a web development project:

  • Each site is unique in structure, complexity and functionality. Before you start a conversation about the price, you need to come up with your requirements. You can focus on the main types of sites, each of which falls into different price category:
    • blog (news site);
    • a corporate site (with or without a directory);
    • thematic site;
    • Internet-shop;
  • The amount of work can vary significantly. Firstly, the creation of a unique, intuitive and pleasant design – a creative process, unpredictable by definition. Secondly, choosing the right technology to increase the efficiency of your website.
  • There is a large number of developers of low qualification out there who are looking for a job. The ability to hire a remote workforce leads to high competition and makes it harder to find highly qualified professionals at affordable rates.

Keep in mind that low price often comes with low quality. Make the right decision by choosing the option with the best quality/cost ratio. If you are willing to work with the remote employees, concentrate on choosing the right location.

The Main Factors to Influence the Cost

There is a general rule, according to which the cost of developing a website is determined by a simple formula – the number of working hours multiplied by the rates per hour of work.

What does the rate depend on? From the technical complexity of the project to the total time and experience required. The equation also contains the following components:

  • Your location or location of your service provider;
  • The complexity of the project;
  • Rates per hour/month;
  • Time frames you set;

Different Types of Websites

Now let’s define different categories of web development projects by their difficulty. You can roughly imagine the approximate amount of your expenses if you know what kind of a website you need. It’s also important that a website itself won’t increase your sales, you have to do SEO and reach your audience. Also, find out the average website conversion rate for your industry and target for it. Don’t forget to follow modern trends like mobile-friendly and responsive website design, push notifications and so on. Choosing the right colors and logo can have a huge impact too.

Business Card Website

A business card website usually consists of only one page and has a single function – a contact form. But this statement is not a rule. Many people today are interested in more complex business card websites. Keep in mind that even the simplest website must meet all the requirements of the modern market and embody the actual trends of web design.

Corporate Business Site

The number of pages of a standard corporate website is usually about two dozen. This is enough to provide basic information about the company. But each project is unique, so the differences in total cost may vary a lot. Creating a website can include setting up forums, integrating blogging platforms and so on.

Online Stores and Marketplaces

E-commerce websites are so diverse you can only envy. This category of resources is the most difficult to put under common estimation rules. The cost varies depending on the range of products on the store, the number of sections, categories and subcategories of goods. It always includes the presence of certain useful functions (personal cabinet, user feedback system, etc.). The general rule is that the more products you sell, the more features you have and the more traffic you plan to receive, the more expensive it gets.

Additional Costs That Can Emerge

It’s almost impossible to calculate the exact amount of work it would take to build you a website. If you have a strict budget and limits for expenses, you should point it out at the very beginning. Nevertheless, complex, long-term and expensive projects, often require additional efforts that can affect the final cost.

  • Production costs. A customer rarely pays enough attention to this category of expenses. While, in fact, this part of the website is one of the most costly.
  • Making corrections. Building a website can not really avoid making any changes. Your comments, edits and additions increase the amount of work. It’s logical that these changes would require compensation. Therefore, it is better to immediately increase the budget up to 20% exactly for this kind of expenses.
  • Connecting to a third-party site, social media channels or software that you want to integrate with your site – all of these will also take a good piece of the budget. Do not ignore integration when compiling your budget.

And the last thing that many customers absolutely do not expect is that, so-called, force majeure. Human factor – delayed meetings and approval of stages of work, even holidays or illness of any member of the team can have a significant influence. By foreseeing some issues while estimation the cost of the project, it is wise to prepare for such circumstances.

Maintenance and Support

Creating a website is a solution that is beneficial for your business and builds up your online presence. Once you have it developed, you should keep it working and improve it when possible. Set up a support team to ensure the continuous, uninterrupted work of the website and to promptly resolve any problems that may arise. This would also improve the user experience.

When estimating the cost of web development, you should take into account the cost of its maintenance. You can have one service provider to build you a website and another one to support it. In any case, you do not have to hire additional staff and provide them with jobs.

Professional support will provide potential customers with permanent feedback (recovery from the backup if necessary). Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity.

Myron Monets

Currently, Myron is working at Mobilunity as a marketing assistant. He often interviews programmers to get a better understanding of what they do and how they do it. This gives him the ability to learn about new technologies directly from the experts. Also, Myron is interested in management and keeps improving these skills too. Writing helps him to share the experience and get some feedback from people around the globe. He can be reached at
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