How much will this website cost?
Really, how much should I pay for web design? This question tends to be more of an issue with startups 'on a shoestring,' small businesses, and self-employed individuals. If your business is large enough to have a staff that handles marketing, then this article is not for you. For the rest of us, this is a key concern, and for good reason. The price of web design is all over the scale. You can find someone who promises to build a great website for only $299 on Craigslist and someone who will charge five times that amount and more for the same requirements. For a small business owner, it can be a very confusing. Here are a few things that will help you to determine a fair price to pay for web design.
Your Website Is Your Imagemaker
First of all, consider the role that a website plays in your business. This is, for better or for worse, your online representative. It welcomes people to your business and tells them something about you. Think about the sort of salesperson you would select to represent your business. You most likely want someone who is well-spoken, friendly, and that makes a good impression. Most likely, you will prefer someone with appropriate dress and grooming, isn't that true? Image matters. This is just as true online. Your website is a salesperson for your business, even if it does not sell goods or services directly. It creates a first impression about you.
The web designer you select should be able to make a good online first impression for your business. Good web design is not a generic, push-button process. It requires collaboration. The designer needs to understand your business and its objectives. He or she needs to have good visual design skills. After all, your website needs to instill confidence and trust in your business. The portfolio of a web designer, at any price, should instill confidence in you.
Evaluating A Web Designers Portfolio
Obviously, as a small business owner or self-employed professional, you are not interested hiring a web design studio that may charge well into five figures for their services. You need a website design generalist who can handle your design, development (coding), social media, and Search Engine Optimization requirements. How do you find a freelance web designer with that range of talents?
Of course, the first step is determining if a web designer's aesthetics and taste fit your needs. Take a good look at their web design portfolio. Does the portfolio reflect the style and vision you have for your business? Do you like what you see? This is perhaps the easiest part of the evaluation process.
One of the best ways to evaluate a freelance web designers skills is to read his (or her) blog. Trust me. All good web designers have blogs. Read a few articles written by the designer you are considering. Do they have a passion for what they do? Is the range of skills they employ evident in what and how they write? Any good web designer is going to share their knowledge in articles and posts. Not only for your benefit but as an essential way to improve their own online marketing. Reading a web designers blog is like having a conversation. You should understand the web design process more clearly from what they write and develop a measure of respect for their capabilities.
Now, you've done that. You called the web designer and had a great conversation. You received good references, and like the work in their online portfolio. Now let's get to the nitty-gritty.
Alright, already! How much is it?
Okay, here it is. Let's assume you have the following requirements. A small business website with less than 25 pages of content. It uses a Content Management System (typically WordPress) that allows you to easily edit and add your own content. It is mobile friendly (compatible with smartphones and other Web-enabled mobile devices). The contract should include an hour of training (by telephone) and 30 days of email support for the occasional questions that may arise. While fees will vary based on location, you can find a competent freelance web designer for such a project in the range of $2,000 to $5,000. Of course, you can pay much more or much less. However, quality is not found at rock-bottom prices. No web designer can sustain an ongoing business by charging a price that cannot provide a livable income.
Use this as a general guide if you are serious about your online image. Paying a bit more upfront for better work benefits your business in the long term. You would never take a potential client to lunch in a beat-up jalopy. Nor would you send a potential client to a poorly designed website. Hopefully, this provides a general idea of what a small business should budget for good web design. -Don Peterson