How to Create a Website Budget
Having a website for your company is a basic necessity in today’s business world. Not only does it open up a new avenue for generating leads and making sales, but it also helps increase brand equity.
When developing a new website, costs can quickly add up, especially if you’re hiring professional designers and programmers.
Here are some guidelines for creating a website budget so you can get a great looking site without exceeding your finances.
Determine your business’ specific needs.
Because there can be a disparity in terms of the comprehensiveness and sophistication of a website, you should have a thorough understanding of what you’re trying to achieve. Maybe you only need a basic site with 10 or fewer pages that gives a brief overview of a few products. If you don’t need a lot of customization and extra features, a standard WordPress theme may suffice. In this case, you can do much of the design yourself.
On the other hand, a highly customized website with a lot of bells and whistles will likely require a professional designer and programmer. If you need to create a lot of content, like 50 pages or more, then it’s smart to hire a writer to generate that content as well. When it comes to making eCommerce sales through a website, you need to factor in the costs for a third-party payment system. Some other potential costs include:
- Search engine optimization services once the site is active
- Responsive web design or an alternate version for mobile users
- Multilingual site versions to accommodate different languages
- Graphic design for the logo
- Stock photos
Know your financial limitations.
The next step is to figure out how much money you can put into a website. According to Webpage FX, the average cost for a professional looking website in 2013 ranges from $2,200 to $10,000.
When you include other things like content development and site architecture, this can mean thousands more. That’s why you should start with a grand total that will cover the entire project. From there, you should break it down so you know how much you can spend for each individual part. If you’re working on a restricted budget, you may need to forego some of the frills of an extensive website and stick to the basics.
Plan for site maintenance.
Besides the initial investment, a considerable amount of money is required to keep a website running. If you’re using an e-commerce transaction platform or an email service to publish a newsletter, you will typically be charged on a monthly basis. Because products and services can periodically change, you may need to add and remove certain content. There is also the issue of evolving technology where updates and new software will be required. According to 720 Media, it costs anywhere from $25 to $250 monthly to maintain small sites and $250 to $500 for larger ones. That’s why you should factor in these costs when creating a budget.
Expect there to be additional costs.
While it would be great if the end result matched your budget perfectly, it’s smart to plan on some unforeseen expenses. Whether it’s for some last minute touch-ups or paying for added functionality, it’s fairly common to incur bigger costs than initially anticipated. Planning should provide some wiggle room and minimize the potential for setbacks. If you have some money left over, you could use it to enhance a certain feature.
Write down all the details.
As you’re going over each aspect of website construction, you should record how much you’re willing and able to spend. You may want to utilize a spreadsheet or other document to keep everything nicely organized. This will come in handy whenever you’re discussing plans with designers, programmers, or freelancers because you can conveniently compare their rates and see how well those rates mesh with your expectations.
Following these tips and breaking the process down step by step can take much of the guesswork out of website construction. By having a firm website budget in place, you can create an excellent site that consumers will love without breaking the bank. The end result should be increased exposure, a legitimate online presence, and hopefully a higher sales volume.