How Much Should a Website Cost?
When the industry was young, pricing was all over the place. One company might go to a high-end dot.com and pay a million dollars, while the next would get the vice-president’s high-school nephew to do it in his spare time. Companies like Stratecomm often took a loss on sites on the promise of future business or to help build our portfolio. Other companies took huge cuts from a project, only to pass the work onto a solo designer working in her basement. There was nothing to compare pricing to. Some companies were paying hugely for access to a great new market, while others paid a very small amount because the basic skill-sets were widely distributed. A lot of clients ended up with part of the solution. A website they didn’t quite want, run by a guy they couldn’t get in touch with, and usually a couple interns who spent all their time figuring out how to make simple changes.
Over time, the Stratecomm model of a full-service web design firm was widely adopted and pricing became more closely linked to the actual work that goes into development. Prices have stabilized to the point that you can reasonably spec out a site, propose a budget, and get a fair understanding of what you will get for your money.
The following sections show how best to think about the cost of a website. In some cases, we show you the costs of having a bad website, or no website, for comparison. Click on whichever of the following seems like the best way to answer your question.