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How Much Does a Website Cost?

Posted on May 27, 2017 by Christopher Rhines

Websites Come In Many Shapes and Sizes

“How much does a website cost?” is a very common question that is asked by our prospective clients. And it makes perfect sense. Our prospective clients are almost always working within a predefined budget, and they need to make sure that the costs of our services match up with the amount of money they have to spend. The short answer to the question, “How much does a website cost?” is…. well, it depends. Websites come in MANY shapes and sizes, and there are numerous variables that come into play when determining the cost of a new website.

The process of building a new website is very similar to the process of building a new house. Ask the question, “How much does a house cost?” Just like websites, houses come in all shapes and sizes. Do you want a ranch? Two-stories? How many bedrooms? Bathrooms? Does the house have a basement or an attic? What kinds of appliances will be purchased for the kitchen? Oh, you’d like to add a sunroom and a deck too? Don’t forget the bathroom fixture upgrades and tiled shower… those items will certainly add to the overall cost.

There are many decisions to be made with building a house, and this decision-making process is comparable to building a new website. Very simple and modest websites, having just a few informational pages, will be priced MUCH differently than a large website with a custom content management system, ecommerce, membership capabilities, unique business requirements, many more possible bells and whistles, etc. Don’t worry though…. of all the websites we’ve built over the years here at Torx, none have come close to costing as much as an actual house!

Building The Website Estimate

For every new potential project, we’ll put together an estimate so our prospective clients have a really good idea of what to expect regarding time and cost. As of 2017, Torx’s standard rate is $110/hour. What follows is a quick-n-dirty version of the process we go through when creating estimates.

1. Web Design

One of the things that sets Torx apart from some of our competitors, is that we NEVER use pre-designed website “themes”. Every website that we build will have a unique design, style, layout, etc. In other words, there won’t be any other websites out there that look exactly the same as yours. We typically come up with at least 2 unique design concepts, along with a layout for how the site will look on mobile devices.

Total cost for Web Design: 25 hours @ $100/hour = $2,500

2. Web Development

The Web Development stage of any project involves all the coding and programming that will transform the design concept into a fully-functional working website. In this example, we’re going to assume that this particular website will have 10 simple informational (“About Us”, “Services”, “Contact Us”, etc.) pages.

Total cost for Web Development: 15 hours @ $100/hour = $1,500

3. WordPress Development

WordPress is our content management system of choice. It’s simple to set up, and more importantly, it’s very easy for our clients to use, to manage the content that appears on their websites. We don’t HAVE to use WordPress though, and it’s not always the right tool for the job. We often create custom content management systems for larger websites that have unique or complicated business requirements. In this example though, we’ll assume that WordPress is needed for this particular website.

Total cost for WordPress Development: 15 hours @ $100/hour = $1,500

4. Responsive Development

“Responsive Development” refers to a method of programming websites so that they look great and provide an optimal user experience for individuals accessing those sites on mobile and tablet devices. Another way to describe this concept, is to say that we build the website so that it’s smart enough to know how to display pages and content, based on the screen size of the user’s device. The cost to implement Responsive Development techniques is, on average, an additional 35% of the cost of the rest of the project.

Total cost for Responsive Development: 20 hours @ $100/hour = $2,000

5. Project Management

We are big fans of communication. Throughout the life of any project, there will be continuous communication between our clients and us, to ensure that we’re all on the same path leading towards the same goals. This takes time, of course, and we typically set aside some hours for these ongoing project management-related activities.

Total cost for Project Management: 5 hours @ $100/hour = $500

For this example, we are not including any ecommerce, membership capabilities, or any other additional advanced functionality requirements. Though we do offer ongoing services such as social media management, search engine optimization, search engine marketing, email marketing, website hosting, and traditional print marketing, those items are outside the scope of this simple example. Let’s add it all up….

Total estimate: 80 hours @ $100/hour = $8,000

It’s very important to reiterate that websites come in all shapes and sizes, and that the estimate above is just an example. We have built very, very simple websites for far less ($2,000-$3,000), and we’ve built super-complicated sites for over $50,000. It is essential for us to gather as much information and requirements upfront so that we can provide our prospective clients with finely-tuned project estimates. Just start by letting us know if you need a “modest 3-bedroom suburban ranch” or if you really want that “lakefront 30-room mansion set on 10 acres”.

If you have any questions about how we can help create your dream website, give us a call at 804.577.8679 or fill out the form below.

About the author:

Christopher Rhines

Partner, Director of Development

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Christopher is the Director of Development and one of the partners at Torx. In addition to keeping Torx's Richmond office firing on all cylinders, he can often be found deep in the trenches, building custom content management systems and WordPress-powered websites. He still remembers how to write Basic computer programs on Apple IIs and Commodore 64s.