First impressions count. It’s easy to use a builder like Squarespace or Wix to put together a nice looking web page based on a template. The question really is: what do you want your website to do for you?
In this guide, we break down the different factors involved in pricing a website project, including your options in a few different price brackets.
Points To Consider
The more complex you want your website to be, the more it will cost. Simple websites can start from as little as €500, but if you are looking to do more than just get your name onto a domain then you’ll need more investment, wether through time or money.
Some important points:
- What is my websites job?
- How important is it that my website does that job?
- How do I value time over cost? Am I willing to pay a little more so I don’t have to spend time working on my website myself?
- What websites have I seen that I want to emulate or take inspiration from?
- Am I looking for seasoned professionals to build me a business/sales generating machine, or a friend of a friend to put me together “just a website”?
- Am I selling a product or a service?
- Will I be doing marketing for my website?
- Do I need a photographer?
According to Industry bodies like the SFA and ISME, website quotes for SMEs can rage from €5k to €20k. Where do your businesses needs fall within this range?
The generally accepted knowledge is that a business should spend 5% of their turnover to maintain their current business, and 10% if they are trying to grow.
How Much Does A Website Actually Cost In Ireland?
Getting a website together for your business isn’t just purchasing a commodity, it’s engaging in a process that distills your business offerings into a simple to navigate and persuasive case for why people should deal with your business above anyone else’s.
That said, it can be very frustrating when you are trying to gauge the investment your business should make, and the answers vary as much as they do. Most agencies will try to say “how long is a piece of string?” and try to maximise their profit you as soon as you get on the phone.
We believe in being a little more transparent about our pricing, and about what our clients get for their investment.
That said, below we run through your main options for pricing when it comes to getting your business a website set up and ready to start making your business more money.
The Three Approaches
There are 3 main approaches you can take when it comes to getting a website for your business. These 3 approaches come with their own advantages and potential problems, as well as different levels of risk.
- DIY: €50+
- Friend of a Friend: €500+
- Web Design Agency: €4000+
Let’s discuss the advantages and disadvantages of these approaches below.
1. Go It Alone: €50+
There’s nothing stopping you going the DIY route! FREE is doable if you have the time to commit. You are busy running your own business, but if you have the time to learn about web design, drive interested traffic to your site, turn that traffic into customers, and how to measure whether or not all that is succesful, then by all means do so.
There are website builders out there for €10 a month that will have you online in a day if you choose to go that way.
However, there is no guarantee what you are making will benefit your business.
A lot goes into doing a website right. From Search Engine Optimisation to ensure that search engines like Google can even find your website, to making sure that your website is easy to navigate for your visitors and making sure that the information they need is easily available, it takes years to develop the skills to make a website that reliably drives new business to a company.
You can certainly configure a basic Squarespace theme to show your logo, address and the rest. But not having anyone to verify the quality of what’s been put together means you could be leaving any number of potential leads on the table.
The potential problems with making your website yourself:
Services like Canva and Squarespace would have you believe that anyone can become a fantastic designer in a matter of minutes. While these tools are very useful for getting quick, appealing visuals put together based off of templated visuals, they don’t teach you how to present information efficiently, how people use technology, or even whether the text you are putting on a screen is legible. Without a solid understanding of design, there’s nothing stopping you getting it wrong and creating something that doesn’t help you any more than having no website at all. Education is the solution to this, but there are generally better ways to spend your time when running your business. Design is one slice out of a very large pie when it comes to being successful online.
Lack of SEO Knowledge
Search Engine Optimisation is the process of optimising your website and generating content that tells search engines like Google that your website is useful and relevant for your potential customers. It helps you show up when your potential customers are looking for services similar to yours. There are myriad factors to SEO, and they change often. It’s easy to find bad advice and do things that tank your search engine ranking. Without a solid SEO foundation, it’s unlikely many people will ever see your website in the first place.
Lack of Tools or Software
Even small web design agencies can typically spend thousands a month on software and other services. To design, build, and market succesful websites, we spend a significant amount of a month on the following software:
- Adobe Photoshop
- Adobe Illustrator
- Adobe Premiere Pro
- Development hosting platforms
- Multiple suites of premium plugins that give us access to advanced functionality
- SEO software for tracking Google rankings
- SEO software for performing keyword research
- Marketing software to help estimate marketing budgets and ROIs
Many of these tools are near essential for creating a succesful website, but expensive to purchase just for managing a single site. We utilise these packages across hundreds of website, spreading out the cost and passing the benefits of using them to our customers.
2. Friend of a Friend: €500+
Your friend has a friend who does programming for a tech company. He can make you a website! And cheap too, since he has a day job.
It’s worth noting that this approach has worked out just fine for people before, but more often than not the results are sub par, and your friends friend often disappears if issues arise.
Potential problems with the “friend of a friend” approach:
- If they are employed 9-5, they will be very unlikely to answer your calls or communicate during business hours. Then when they get home, they’ve already done a days work. Making updates to the website or changes to a design can drag on for much longer than you would prefer. If there is an emergency, they are unlikely to tell their employer that they need an hour to manage their side hustle.
- Is this friend a web designer or in a tangentially related field? A profesional programmer is going to be an intelligent, tech savvy person, but they are not a marketer or a designer. They will be able to put something together for you, but wether it’s good or not is a different story.
- If this friend of a friend began the project as a bit of work on the side, they have no reputation to protect. There is very little stopping them from dropping out of contact regarding your project at the first point of frustration.
- They don’t need your business. They’ve got a full time job, and they risk much less dropping out of contact than an agency or full time freelancer would.
3. Profesional Web Design Agency: €3500+
A profesional web agency is typically much more experienced than someone working from home alone. With a digital agency, you’re likely to be working with a team of experienced designers, developers and marketers that all work together on your project.
A profesional web agency can offer the following services that a DIY approach or friend of a friend may not have the capacity to help with:
- SEO keyword research
- In depth competitor analysis
- UX audits on your existing website or E-Commerce store
- Reviewing your on page analytics regularly.
An agency has a team of specialists at their disposal who utilise profesional level tools to get the job done right. A lot of these tools would be expensive for a sole operator, and as a result aren’t licenced by them. An agencies higher overheads can partly be attributed to the wide range of specialised software packages the business pays for on a monthly basis.
An agency will typically provide you with one key point of contact. The majority of this team members job will be managing your project, communicating with the team assigned to your work, and keeping you in the loop. Typically you will be meeting this project rep on a weekly or monthly basis, depending on the kind of work you are doing together. This leads to a consistent flow of information your way that empowers you to make decisions.
As a web agency, we have bills and wages to pay, and our reputation is extremely important in making that happen. With that, we are here to make sure our customers are happy, because our business depends on it!
How To Choose The Right Web Agency
The first step in the process is to do your homework. Look at the work of other companies and see how much they charge for similar projects. If you have a good idea of what should be included in your website and what it should look like, you can compare prices with other companies to get an idea of what’s reasonable.
Once you’ve found some potential candidates, look at their websites and see if they’re able to meet your needs as well as their own gallery pages. Check out their portfolio page or client list—it’ll give you an idea of the quality of their work and how much experience they have working with clients like you.
- Find a company that you like the look of, but make sure to do some background checks first by looking at their work, how much they charge, and how they charge.
- Check out their reviews online and see if there are any comments about their quality of work or customer service.
- Check out their previous work and see if they have made anything resembling what it is you are looking for.
Get in touch with your potential agency using as much detail as is reasonable in your enquiry. When an enquiry comes in, a good agency will typically do a little research before even your first introductory call.
Once you begin talking to an agency, pay attention to wether they are asking you questions or just prescribing you solutions based off assumptions.
A good web design agency or freelancer will go through a discovery process with you where they will get an understanding of your business, your customers and the purpose of your website. This is to ensure that they are the right fit for you and can bring your vision to life. Ask your potential agency partner what kind of research & discovery they typically do on a project.
It’s important to ensure that your web designer has a clear understanding of what you want to achieve with your website. They should be able to help you develop a strategy for how this can be achieved, and have the experience and expertise needed to deliver on this.
What do Upfront Digital Charge For A Website?
Web Design projects with us at Upfront Digital begin from €4000 excluding VAT.
We’ve arrived at this number after 5 years developing websites and marketing strategies for our clients. It’s the best balance between a low budget and your potential return. With a €4000 budget, we can spend the time required to get to know your company, help you write the content for your website, and perform a short photo shoot to capture some essential imagery.
You can read more about how we approach web design projects on our web design services page, which contains a helpful FAQ section.