When potential clients are inquiring about website building, there is one thing that all of them want to know: “How much will what I want cost?” Usually, the cost of building a website depends upon number of pages, the complexity of the design (more complex = more labor). The time will vary depending upon the nature of page–for example, building a ‘Home Page’ can take as much as much as 50-60 hours+ (design, development, edits, integrations etc), while a ‘Contact Us’ will take around 10-15 hours. Our experience says that the average time it takes to build each website page comes down to 35-45 hours (approximately $2200 – $3000) per page.
Below is a look at where that money goes:
1) Website Planning / Project Management = 3 hours per page
The success of a website building project relies heavily on the level of planning that is carried out before commencing on the design and development. If the planning is poor, the project is likely to be delayed or fail, leading to high costs of redesign. Therefore, before commencing on your website building project, we embark on a high level of strategic planning that involves agreeing on the objectives to be achieved and processes to be used, strategic analysis of the needs of your website users, creating branding ideas, assigning various roles, creating a website structure, and placing strategic calls to ensure the project kicks off smoothly.
a) Researching competitors / analyzing best industry UI / UX strategy
Understanding the competition is a vital business activity for any business person, and since most of the website projects we deal with are business related, we identify and research the competitors of our client’s online businesses. By researching the competition, we are able to gain important information on what the competitors are currently doing and not doing, thus enabling us to come up with websites that will help our clients retain their current customers/users and attract new ones. With information gathered from other online brands, we are also able to customize the design of our clients’ websites to ensure that they are unique and stand out from the rest.
b) Establishing general site structure (wire frames and sitemap)
c) Identifying any 3rd party integrations/plugins/tools you might need for your site to run the way you want it to
d) Admin – keeping the project, team and budget on track
e) Helping to organize and edit your website content
2) Website / Graphic Design = average 15 hours+ per page
Website design is another important element of website building, which helps to ensure that your website pages are appealing to the users. It is an important process of building a website, which helps to give your online brand an appealing visual representation that will attract users and potential customers. It also helps to provide identity to your brand, which helps to make it more professional, thus instilling a sense of trust in the users.
a) Designing page mockups + edits
Each page of your website has an important story to tell and on average it takes an average of 15 hours+ of web design labor and in our experience it takes 8-10 rounds of mockups per page to get it exactly how you want it.
b) Stock photo research
c) Creating custom graphics
d) Choosing colors and typography
e) Creating a personalized brand guide
f) Reviewing web designs for mobile responsiveness at every resolution / creating alternative images to display on mobile devices if required
3) Website development = average 25 hours/page
Once your site has been planned, designed and the functionality mapped out – it is time for the web developer to put it together and make sure everything not just looks great but works great.
a) Setting up hosting, domain and email accounts.
b) Building your website from the approved mockups
c) Setting up and testing all plugins, integrations and webforms
d) Mobile responsiveness programming / making sure your site looks great on all major screen resolutions (tablet, mobile, desktop, widescreen desktop etc)
e) Setting up ecommerce (if applicable – will incur extra time based on number of products)
4) Finishing & Final Edits = average 3 hours/page
For a website to be considered complete it has to be exactly what you want and that (from our experience) takes usually 1-3 rounds of edits. We will never leave a project half done or not exactly what you want.
a) Setting up basic website security
b) Making sure site loads fast
c) Make sure site works in all browsers
d) Final edits: spelling, grammar and design review
e) Take and store a backup of your new website
Doubtlessly, your website is the face of your business. You need to invest your time in best practices to ensure a superlative representation. Building a high quality website that will help to promote your business is not a very easy process, and it takes a significant amount of time, multiple iterations, and revisions before you finalize every aspect. Understanding the above mentioned processes will help you focus on each step with crystal clear objectivity, and make it easier to plan both budget and time needed to create the website.