In an age of price sensitivity, the web and online market is not a place where you can afford to be price sensitive. A website is an intricate little beast that can make or break you, build or kill your business and gain or lose you clients.

If you compare it to purchasing a car, you understand why you should always be looking toward the higher end of the car market. When you look for a new car, you always look for certain features and consider these essential to the buying and/or purchase process. I’m talking about features such as kilometres on the clock, safety, tyre wear, insurance options, ongoing on-road costs… the list goes on!

How Much Should I Really Be Paying For A Website-

When it comes to price and what you should be paying for a website, like your car purchase, always keep the following things in mind:

  • The design process – Design is incredibly important in a crowded market. You want something sleek and professional that represents your brand and is mobile and Google friendly (yes, these factors go hand-in-hand).

 This should always be done by an actual designer. Remember, just because you want it to look a certain way, this doesn’t mean it’s going to work, taking a KISS (Keeping It Simple Stupid) approach is the key to ultimate long-term success on the internet. 

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) factors – Firstly, let me start off by saying, SEO is not dead. This is mumbo jumbo and anyone who tells you this either doesn’t or hasn’t worked in the field for very long. SEO is a long and steady process aimed to rank your website for certain key phrases in an organic manner. It isn’t: 
  1. a) for everyone: that’s right, SEO isn’t every industry’s game and that’s completely fine. There are a plethora of other ways to get your name out there
  2. b) Some sort of guarantee of front page rankings so if someone promises you this, run for the hills as fast as you can!

 Always ask your developer or the company/agency building your website to include these factors in their pricing and the development of the website. This is essential to actually making your website work! If they don’t or can’t, look elsewhere!

  • A solid and mobile friendly/responsive framework – Come on, we’re living in 2016 here! THIS IS IMPORTANT! It’s possibly the most important factor you need to consider. If your developer, company or agency don’t build you a mobile friendly website, ask a refund! 

No website on the internet should be unresponsive as this will single handedly make or break you!

  • A manageable platform and the required training for you so that you can actually use it – For example, WordPress and then basic training as to how to use it
  • Support – This is just good customer service. You should be able to call or contact your web developer within business hours whenever you need to
  • Functionality – Yes, functionality needs to be considered in pricing as well. After all, your website needs to achieve some sort of function or objective otherwise, why does it exist in the first place? 

Functionality can include plug-ins, a contact form, social media feeds, collecting emails for a database and selling goods or services. eCommerce websites (an online shop or store) are always going to cost more than a regular business or company website.

So let me ask you: is price still a sensitive topic? It shouldn’t be given the above factors and considerations. How serious are you about your business’ success and longevity? Each day, I see website developers or companies advertising “cheap”, “built quickly” (and so on) solutions with no thought for the business’ requirements itself, the industry or goals of the company/business .

It scares the hell out of me when I see these words and offerings for under $1,500. You simply will not get the required functionality, longevity, care or passion that’s needed to build a site that is profitable and positions you as an authority within your industry.

Realistically, you should be looking to spend upwards of $2,799 +GST. If you are serious about having a successful business, then your website is going to make all the difference and price shouldn’t be the most important factor. This is an incredibly fair price given the above factors and can more than easily incorporate the above elements. Remember, what you pay for now will determine what you pay for down the track. We’ve all heard those horror stories of people paying $400-$900 for a website with the developer demanding payment upfront. From there, the website progress is non-accessible, the work is poor and the business never goes anywhere. Or worst of all, the developer falls off the face of the earth and the project was never completed, leaving you angry and out of pocket, not only in terms of time but any future business and income. This is scary and not something you ever want to or deserve to  go through.

So how do I ensure my web developer is reliable, credible and does a good job?

Be sure to ask for:

  • Referrals
  • Testimonials
  • A portfolio of completed projects
  • Proof of SEO rankings and case studies
  • Always meet the developer. They should come to you , even if this means travel interstate because if they are serious, and you are spending good money, they should travel to chat about the solution further
  • Ensure they have a team and you are involved with the team during the whole process
  • A Project Proposal MUST be signed and submitted
  • Check them out on ASIC to make sure all company/business information is correct and credible
  • They work in an office or a collective space
  • Their team is on-shore and local!
  • Everything is done in-house

With this knowledge, you now have an inside look of the processes, requirements and fundamentals that make up a website.