We often get asked “How much will a website cost?”. This is a very broad question as there are many factors which influence the cost of a website or blog.
Before asking this question take some time to plan your website first. With the information from your website planning will give you the information you need to answer the questions we will ask once you request a quotation.
Type of Website
As a starting block when calculating the cost of a website, we need to know what type of website project you need:
Custom Web Design
A brand new website or blog with a custom design would require a custom layout, graphics, web page content, maybe a content management system if you wish to maintain the site yourself. You can provide the graphics to keep your branding consistant between your offline and online presence. The web page content you can write yourself or hire a content writer.
There will be a charge incorporated into the price of your custom web design project for the overall theme. This charge applies whether you wish to have us create the whole site or just provide you with a template and you do the rest yourself.
If you have a graphics design person already involved with your printed material or other offline marketing material, we can incorporate the theme established for your business into the site.
If the intension is to tweek your existing site the cost will depend on how it was built and how much time will be required to bring it up to current standards, improve search engine optimization, improve accessibility and generally improve the load time of the site.
With a website redesign some of the existing content might be able to be recycled, saving on graphics and copyrighting costs. If the look of the site is going to be a total different feel then you are probably looking at the cost being in the range of a new site.
Using a Third Party Template
There are template sites available for websites, ecommerce sites and blogs.
If you come to us with a third party template we will assess whether it can be used as is or if we think it needs some tweeking to make it more search engine friendly and accessible.
Do make sure you read the terms of sale before purchasing a third party template, there may be limitations on what you are and are not allowed to do to it. e.g. removing the original designer’s credit link.
With blogs there are a couple of options.
- Use a free theme and tweek it to your needs. With a free theme your blog will not be unique and memorable unless you do some extensive changes which would probably cost about the same as having a custom blog theme created.
- A custom blog theme would be best as you can make your blog unique and memorable.
Depending on the blog software you choose to use (We specialize in WordPress blogs) there are plug-ins (both free and paid) to add features to your blog. We do caution our customers not to go too crazy adding plug-ins as they slow down the rendering of the blog pages.
Next, you will need some graphics.
Static Graphic Elements
Static graphic elements include your logo, graphic elements on the pages for decoration and any diagrams. These can be provided by yourself or we can create them for you. Your business should have the same theme online and offline therefore, if you have some artwork already, we will need the original files to convert the artwork to a format suitable and sized for the web.
Photographs are also static graphic elements. These can be photos you have taken yourself or sources from a stock photography site.
Flash is a technology now owned by Adobe. It has limitations on accessibility, search engine optimization and usability therefore we recommend that the use of Flash be limited to some featured item on the page, not critical to the content.
Flash elements can be quite expensive depending on what you want.
Well written content (actual words on the pages) is critical. Not only does it need to catch the interest of the visitor it also has to be written so the search engines find the right phrases you want to rank in the search engine results for. Each page needs a fair bit of content (300-1000 words depending on the subject of the page). Keep this in mind if creating the content yourself or hiring a content writer.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engine optimization needs to be an intragal part of your site creation. There is on-site, on-page and off-site parts of search engine optimization.
On-site and On-page Search Engine Optimization
Basic on-site and on-page search engine optimization techniques are included with each site we create. If you need some keyword research done, we can do that also.
In addition to the on-site and on-page search engine optimization techniques we do, your content needs to be search engine friendly, proper headings included, images named with keywords and include appropriate alternative text and search engine friendly web page file names chosen. We will work with you on this to improve the search engine optimization of your site overall.
Off-site Search Engine Optimization
Once the site is completed and launched, there are some off-site things you can do to improve the search engine optimization of the site:
Before doing any link building you need develop a link building strategy. To get you started we provide an announcement on our site under recent projects complete with a link to the site. The announcement will also be added to our RSS feed.
Social Networking Sites
Social networking sites are a great way to spread the knowledge about your business or blog. The trick is to join the ones where your target audience is. The typical list includes Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest but this isn’t going to be most effective route if your target audience is not interested in these sites.
Depending on the type of site you wish to create some visitor accessible features might be required:
A website or a blog can be setup to have a members only area. This requires a login system and a database to keep track of the members. Some sort of member interface will also be required once they login. The cost of adding membership registration to a site will depend on what you want the member to be able to do once logged in.
A forum runs on software and a database. This is quite an expensive item to add as not only is there the software and database to install but also the theme of the forum should match the theme of your main site to continue the branding.
A RSS feed is a file on your website that people can add to their RSS feed reader to follow any updates to the site. It is a great way for your visitors to keep up to date with your site.
With a blog, this is automatically created and updated as you add articles/posts to the blog. WordPress is setup to automatically ping (notify) the blog directories when there is an update. This will create more incoming links to your blog posts.
As you can see there are a lot of things that go into the cost of a website. Make your wish list in order of priority. You may need to put some items on the Do later list, when your budget allows.
1. Starting Your Website or Blog Related Posts
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