Small Business Website Design
Every small business needs a website — and that means every small business needs to know how much a website costs. However, it’s not as cut and dry as a single one-size-fits-all number. Every situation is different and every website is unique, and that means that costs can vary quite a bit based on all of the factors involved. So while you may not be able to get an exact price for your small business website design without providing specifics, you can at least get a sense of what’s involved in the process. This will help you to gauge expectations regarding time, budget, and effort required.
Meet Your Website Team
Developer: The most important person in the website process is the developer. The developer installs the content management system (i.e. WordPress or Joomla) and configures/codes it as needed. Without the developer, the website is simply an idea or a list of features or a visual mockup done by a graphic designer. The developer is the person who brings everything to life. Keep in mind that a lot of developers may work without a graphic designer, and in some cases, they’ll use their own best judgment or customize a template for aesthetics. For firms like Forward Push, we always have a developer work with a graphic designer for a completely customized experience.
Graphic Designer: If a developer is 1A on the importance list, a graphic designer is 1B — the only reason why a designer isn’t always involved is because a template could be used to save on time and money. However, to truly optimize a website’s potential and branding capabilities, a graphic designer should build the layout and aesthetic from the ground up, including custom graphics, selection of stock images/photos, and a general feel that syncs up with a company’s branding guidelines.
Copywriter: Of course, small business website design isn’t just purely visual. The written copy makes just as much of an impact as the visual aspect of things. In some cases, business owners want to provide the copy themselves. This could be due to budget or the fact that they feel that they’re simply capable of doing it. However, if you want a firm to do the complete website end to end, then part of that website cost is including a professional copywriter to write page-specific content that emphasizes your brand and value proposition while meeting the latest web standards about content length and presentation.
SEO Analyst: Any site with rudimentary content and meta coding will get indexed by Google based on what’s there. However, to really maximize the potential of your website, an SEO (search engine optimization) analyst helps to determine the best keywords for your industry. This includes examining what the competition is using and how to stand apart — both in terms of target and strategy — so that your site is not buried under theirs in search results.
The Hidden Costs
The above list encapsulates the website costs for getting up and running — but what about the hidden costs of small business website design? There are other factors that are often overlooked. For example, paying for a domain name (about $20 a year) and hosting (about $100-150 a year) is a hard requirement; without those, your website won’t exist. Other optional costs include content generation for an SEO/inbound marketing campaign, ongoing social media campaigns, and ongoing technical support for software updates and maintenance.
Need More Website Cost Details?
Now that you know what’s involved with a website’s development, the rest comes down to a combination of your specific needs (features, branding, etc.) and budget. If you’re still not sure how to define those things, contact me at Forward Push. I’m happy to explain the ins and outs of website development, and if you’d like a quote from me, I’ll provide one after learning more about your small business website goals.