What is a fair price for a website?

BY KEVIN JACKSON

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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WHAT is a fair price for a website? This question seems very reasonable from the onset. You want a website and you want to know what kind of money you need to budget. After all, you do not build websites for a living, so you do not have the first clue how much these things cost. Sometimes we even get annoyed when the web designer asks what your budget is. You honestly don't know. Let me take you on a journey to the other side for a bit.


When a web designer asks what is your budget he is simply trying to ascertain what you had in mind to spend and what level of website you can afford. If you went to a car dealer and asked "How much for a car?" he would ask you your budget and present you with cars within that range, or he would ask you to specify what you're looking for in a car.


Just like a car, a website's price varies, and can range from $50,000 (or less) to $18 Million dollars. Ask the White House. With such a wide disparity, how do you know if you are getting a fair price? A website is not just a page with some information on the internet. A website is your virtual presence and your real reputation online. You should trust your company's reputation to the hands of a good web designer.


Things that affect the cost of a website that a web designer may ask you include: 1. How many pages do you want? 2. Are you providing, purchasing or hiring someone to take photos? 3. Are you providing, purchasing or hiring someone to do graphic design? 4. Are you providing the copy to be written on each page? 5. Will the website require e-commerce? 6. Will the website require live chat? 7. Will the website be collecting data? 8. Will the website require animated elements? 9. Will the website be interactive and in what way? 10. Do you need e-mails setup? 11. Do you want the designer to just design the layout structure or do you need him to do heavy code for personalised functionality? 12. Do you want a Content Management System that allows you to update the content on the website?


These are just a few of the very relevant questions that can and need to be asked. There are no set hourly, or per page design rates. It is definitely dependent on how simple or complex the requirements are. To truly get an accurate price, precisely picture how your website looks, navigates and what it can do. Look for similar websites, and where you cannot find any similar websites, write down what you want.


The more vague the image you present to a web designer, the higher the likelihood you might be over or undercharged and you might recieve an underdeveloped website. In other words your website will not meet your expectations. The more detailed you are with your requirement specifications, the higher the likelihood that the cost will be fair and that the website will meet your desires.


You might think "I'm not the expert, you are, so you tell me what the website should look like." but that would be like saying to a car salesman "Sell me a nice car for a small price. It must be red." In response to this request the salesman might bring you anything from a red Toyota Yaris to a red Mercedez Benz when you really simply wanted a red Honda Civic.


You then leave your meeting thinking the web designer is either incompetent or overpriced, but that attitude comes from a place of misunderstanding. Once you understand what the designer needs, he can better meet your expectations. Kevin Jackson is an Animation, Design and Technology Professional. He's also the Public Relations Director of the Jamaica Design Association (JDA).

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