I frequently get asked the question “how much does a website cost?” I typically respond by asking “how much does a car cost?” With a car, you can find a rundown jalopy with a bad engine for $100, you can buy an ultra-premium luxury car for hundreds of thousands with all sorts of bells, whistles, and added functionality – or anywhere in between. The other option of course is to spend countless hours learning the art of car building and make it yourself. Websites are no different. It depends on what kind you get.
Why are websites so expensive?
I’ve also heard this question. It’s a loaded question. Let’s put it like this: if you had a frontline employee at your company tell you that they could make you a website if you gave them 4 weeks on the clock to do it, would that sound affordable? Let’s say they make $12/hour. $12x40hoursx4weeks= $1920. What if you needed a high end website that really showed off your brand in a major way? Would you allow a $22+/hour employee take the time to do that for you? That’s $3,520+. And if it’s a really big, in depth website with lots of information, custom graphics, items for sale, or unique functionality; would twice or three times the time allotted sound reasonable? And these are people without extensive expertise, training, education, experience, etc. in web development. Great websites take time, thought, skill, and effort.
Is a website worth the money?
(average customer value x number of customers per year generated) / annual website cost = website ROI
When is a website NOT worth the investment?
Certain websites are not always worthwhile. I have urged small boutique owners to reconsider ecommerce websites on several occasions. Here’s why: the whole point of boutiques (from my understanding) is to have rarer pieces that aren’t mass produced and limited stock. But it’s exceptionally hard to sell the same limited inventory online and in-store without having someone devoted to constantly monitoring the website and pulling inventory off the store floor before it double-sells. There are solutions, of course; it’s just harder. Also, when a small business has such limited capital that they are choosing between inventory and a website, I’d probably advise the inventory investment with a rocking social media channel until they have enough capital to invest in a website. A website is not ALWAYS the answer, but it often is. 🙂
If you get a website, make it count.
If you do invest in a website, there are best practices to make sure you get your money’s worth. Ask yourself the question: when people come to my website, what do I want them to do? Call you? Come to your store? Buy something? Fill out a form? Leave informed? Define your WHY and then make it exceptionally easy for them to do just that. If it’s a call, make sure your phone number is click to call, present on every page, and you have call to actions asking them to call you. As always, if your website is not making you money, it is broken.
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