Before we dive into how much a website costs and your options, let's discuss why you need one to begin with.
Without a website, you might as well kiss your business goodbye. According to SCORE and a report by the Local Search Association, “Some two-thirds (63%) of consumers go online when looking for local businesses.” A website is vital to the long-term success of your company due to the fact that “81% of shoppers conduct online research before buying,” reports MineWhat.com.
Websites provide vital social proof to potential customers and help you control the information and messages your customers receive. The bottom line is your customers expect a website, so you need to have one to be successful and in order to show your customers everything you have to offer.
What Each Of Your 3 Website Options Costs
Your website cannot be a second-rate website that was slapped together haphazardly. A professional site must include critical elements such as SEO, a streamlined user experience and optimization of clear conversion paths.
With awareness of how important a website is growing, user experience has grown to play a huge role in web design. This has made designing a website that will draw customers to it, engage them and convert them increasingly challenging. Website visitors are more aware of items like ease of navigation, social proof (testimonials), and ability to find information.
If designing an effective, professional website that holds up to high user standards sounds daunting, that’s because it is. That’s why using a website builder, hiring a web designer, or enlisting a agency's team of specialist can help improve your chances. The better the resources, the better the website and the return on investment.
So, how much does it cost to design your own website, hire a freelance designer or have a full-service web design agency do it?
1. DIY Website Builder
Website builders such as Wix, GoDaddy and Squarespace make it sound like designing a website yourself will be a breeze. If only it was that easy! The truth of these builders are, you will likely spend a great deal of that rare commodity - TIME - on a website that will never even come close to hitting your traffic, lead or sales goal.
Why? Because regardless of the DIY website platform you use, you will not have the sophisticated tools, knowledge or experience to maximize the website’s ROI. Doing so requires the in-depth expertise of a web design specialist who lives and breathes websites day in and day out, along with the technical resources that these platforms lack. Plus, Google and other search engines won’t show your site in their results without the proper search engine optimization (SEO). No visitors means no leads, and no money.
Did I mention that you only rent these sites? That's right, you don't own the site you built because they won't let you transfer them to another web hosting provider when you don't want to pay them anymore due to "proprietary coding".
So, while a DIY website builder will only cost you a few hundred dollars initially (roughly $200-$500 per year), chances are, that money will go right down the toilet. Don't forget to factor in your valuable time.
Don't find out the hard way that we are right, because deciding afterwards to hire professionally due to non-existent or poor ROI, will cost you even more money for them to start from scratch. Not to mention the revenue lost during that hard lessons period.
2. Contracting a Freelance Web Designer
If you are looking for a virtually flawless design and solid functionality for your website, a good freelance website designer can give it to you. “Good” is the operative word. Finding a skilled freelancer who will do good work from all aspects and stick to set timelines is hit-or-miss. If the freelancer doesn’t have a team of experts, the project may take longer to complete or may have fatal flaws. A single person can’t be an expert at everything. If you get a stellar design, then you may end up with no SEO or the technical aspects like your contact forms may not function as you wish.
Wondering what it may cost you? A simple website design may cost $1,000 to $5,000 for the services of a freelance website designer initially, while a larger website that's more complex may range from $10,000 to $15,000.
You’ll be out of pocket for the freelance web designer and still need to spend additional money on SEO, content creation, user experience, technical programming, or other services to ensure your website is top-notch. Don't go with a jack of all trades, go with a team of jacks that specialize in each trade to maximize your return on investment within a more efficient timeframe.
3. Hiring A Website Design Agency
When you work with a website design agency, you benefit from the strategy they leverage while planning and executing the design. A full-stack agency knows exactly how to build an effective, powerful lead-generating, customer acquisition machine. Additionally, an agency employs specialists in marketing, content creation and SEO along with a project manager. Website builders don’t provide this at all as part of your subscription, and freelancers are generally single people with a specialized skill set (or worse yet, generalists).
Aesthetics are just one piece of the website puzzle. In order to create a website that achieves your business goals, an agency will take into account the user's experience, content, conversion rate optimization, and growth flexibility. Their skilled team will also customize your website while considering your input, brand voice and image, as well as your competition to make it stand out and attract a steady stream of goal achievement that increases over time.
Expect to pay a little more initially for an agency, but roughly the same as a freelancer in the long-run when everything is said and done -- anywhere from $2,500 to $6,000 for a simple website and $10,000 to $20,000 for a larger and more complex site.
But the result will be a website that supports, furthers and fuels your marketing efforts. You’ll get a fully loaded website that crushes the competition in one shot, rather than struggling to find all of the resources and contractors you need on your own.
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Get More Return On Your Investment, Faster!
Designing your own website or hiring a freelancer may save you money in the short-term, but it’s likely to cost you an inestimable amount of business over time. If you want your business to reach its full potential, you need a team of experts on your side to elevate every portion of your website now and adapt in real-time through ongoing trends & challenges that come your way.
Let us show you how we can build a website and relationship that will ignite your business's revenue for many years to come.