How to Determine Website and Technology Costs?

This post was last updated on September 7th, 2021 at 11:34 pm

A high-quality website can undoubtedly boost your business growth. By making an excellent first impression, at times it can single-handedly improve your lead generation, sales, and customer retention

It is no secret that a website is among the most powerful marketing tools at a business’s disposal. With this in mind, the question of whether you need a website becomes obsolete.

Instead, we will focus on the question of what it costs to develop one that will fuel your business’s growth in the years to come.

Why Is Estimating Website Development Costs So Difficult?

Several New York web development agencies have told us that the most common question they receive from entrepreneurs is “How much will it cost?”

Ballpark figures are not that hard to find on the internet, but business owners are concerned with the actual dollar amount.

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Unfortunately, since website development is very much a case-by-case business, it is difficult to make a fair cost estimation that would apply to anyone.

Why do we say that it is a case-by-case business?

We’ll try and explain through a simple analogy.

Let’s say you’re trying to build the house of your dreams, and you try to pose the same question: “How much does it cost to build a house?”

It doesn’t take an experienced contractor to understand that the cost of a house differs on a wide range of factors such as the layout, interior and exterior finish, outdoor space, number of rooms, total floor area, neighborhood, etc.

The same is true for website development. So, the response to the question “what will be the price to create a website in 2021?” depends on many variables.

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It is precisely these variables that this article will focus on, helping you estimate the cost of developing your website more easily. But before we begin, let’s take a look at some baseline stats concerning average web development costs in the United States.

What Will be The Price to Create a Website in the US?

We asked our friends from a leading US website design and development company for some general cost estimates.

As it turns out, the average cost of building a website in the United States ranges from \$1,000 (small, templated business websites) to \$95,000+. This is what we meant when we said that estimating web development costs was difficult.

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And it’s not even about your business size. The cost for a small business website can range from \$100 (if you’re building it yourself) to more than \$10,000, depending on the required features and other factors.

A feature-rich custom website will set you back much more. The upfront cost, including designing and launching a site, ranges from ~$10,000 to upwards of ~$100,000. Even routine website maintenance costs can differ vastly depending on your needs — from around \$400 to \$60,000 annually.

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Based on the numbers presented above, it is clear that the final cost of website development is subject to a wide variety of factors. Let’s see what some of those factors are.

Factors That Influence Website Development Cost

The most significant factors determining the average custom website development costs can be separated into two categories:

We’ll take a look at each category in more detail below.

Website Type and Purpose

One of the first things any would-be website owner must identify is the purpose of their website. This is crucial because good website design can only come from a clear goal, helping steer the designers toward your primary mission — to attract as much traffic as possible.

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There are as many as eight different website types on the market right now, and they include the following:

  • Blogs and personal websites —Informative web pages and personal blogs can be used to share advice and news with potential customers.
  • Brochures — These are perfect for small businesses. The website would typically contain an About Us page with contact details and a CTA of some description. The aim here is to attract new customers through minimal functionality and maximum efficiency.
  • Corporate websites — A corporate website aims to share the business’s values and engage people online. It should be well-coordinated with other marketing channels and work to exhibit the company’s portfolio and communicate its goals.
  • eCommerce stores — The concept is simple: an eCommerce store deals with selling products or services online. It is ideal for anyone who can sell their product directly through the internet. Classic examples include eBay and Amazon.
  • Educative websites — Educational institutions and businesses offering online courses utilize this website format.
  • Web portals — Also known as informational websites, these sites bring web resources together in one place and offer forums, search engines, emails, etc. Classic examples include MSN and Yahoo.
  • Catalogs — These websites serve visitors searching for specific goods or services, such as car rentals, hotels, jobs, real estate properties, etc. A database and extensive search system are required, as well as feedback and rating systems and location-based features.
  • Social networks — No need to go into too much detail here. Classic examples include Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.

Website development costs generally depend on the type of website in question. If a website explicitly belongs to one of the listed categories, the features and technical aspects required are easier to chalk out, making it easier to estimate the development cost.

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The cost can also vary depending on the time it takes to develop more complex web pages, incorporate animations, etc. More on this later.

Phase of Development

Just like an office building or a house, a website is constructed in several phases. To better understand the expected costs of creating a site, getting familiar with each stage and its costs is best. Let’s take a look.

UI and UX Design

The success of your business can be largely determined by the UI and UX design of your website. So, what does it take to create an attractive website and impress your prospects? There are three stages to this process, and they include:

  • Research
  • Wireframing
  • UI/UX design

Overall, the UX/UI phase can take one to two weeks on average, and the costs can range from $750 to more than $4,000. The time needed and the associated expenses depend on the complexity and requirements of the project itself.

Front-End Development

You can think of the front-end as the first visual touch-point that your visitors will engage with. It is what visitors see when they load your website. Its development starts from the design and stretches into QA testing.

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The factors that influence the cost of this phase include the complexity of the design (including animations, original images, etc.) and the website’s responsiveness. The phase may take two to six weeks or more and set you back anywhere from $1,000 to $12,000 or more.

Back-End Development

If you want your users to be able to interact with the visual interface of your website in any way (and in 2021, you almost certainly do), you’ll need a back-end. Otherwise known as the server-side, the back-end is the core of any website and is the key component required for its smooth operation.

There are many influencing cost factors in this phase, including but not limited to data processing tasks, complex queries, third-party service integration, etc.

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The back-end development phase will take three to eight weeks on average, while the cost ranges from $4,000 to $15,000 or more.

CMS Development

You don’t want to reach out to your website’s development team every time you want to manage or edit the website content or add a new post. This is especially true if you outsourced the design of your site rather than building it in-house.

Thankfully, CMS software can help you perform all of these tasks smoothly, without any need for website development expertise.

You’ve probably been acquainted with a few CMS engines, such as Shopify and WordPress. Although these are incredible tools for reducing the costs of building a website and cutting on development hours, they may have somewhat limited functionality depending on your needs.

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So, how much does the CMS development phase cost? On average, it will take anywhere from three to eight weeks and could set you back between $3,000 and $10,000 or more.

Closing Thoughts

Building a website involves several key phrases, and the time and effort required for each stage will affect the overall cost. This will depend on the complexity of the project as well as your business requirements.

We should point out that there are other essential factors contributing to website development costs, including interactive multimedia, responsive design, SSL certification, website hosting, etc.

These factors are crucial when it comes to offering a safe and seamless experience to your prospects. Consider all of the costs involved to get the complete picture.

Building a website may be costly, but it is worth the investment. In 2021, your website is the face of your business, so creating one that serves your customers’ needs should be your top priority. Knocking something together on your own using WordPress may be an option.

Still, if you want to build a truly engaging website that will boost your overall marketing efforts, we recommend partnering with an experienced web development company.

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