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A quick guide on how to create a budget for your website

When you begin to think about building or redesigning your website, you need to create a realistic budget. But where do you begin to understand the structure of this budget?

Going for a cheaper option, because it seems more affordable can be a costly mistake that will be more expensive for your business in the long run.

And that is why I recommend that every business owner or marketing manager, work towards understanding everything the website design and development process should have before they even contact web designers and developers (*Two different fields*).

Your website design budget will depend on many factors, skills, timeline and of course, results! If you are looking to this yourself, your budget is equal to your time plus all the other expenses that will come with a website (Hosting, URL, SSL, CDN). But the most important one here is the time you give up to build a website.

Furthermore, you can also look for a cheaper solution, such in Fiverr or a developer who can customize a template for you. You can look at budgets between $100USD to $750USD.

The question you need to ask yourself is, ‘Is investing on a $750USD website, will be enough to generate your revenue goals and business goals?

With this post, I want to guide you towards creating a realistic website design budget, of a website that is designed and built towards helping you increase your revenue and engagement with your target market.

Website Strategy + Brand Strategy

This is where everything should start. Without this part of the project, you will end up spending much more on your website design in the long run. This is the part that will help you and the designer really understand the problems and opportunities you are missing and want to gain.

I know you might be thinking  why  ‘Brand Strategy’ is doing here. You see, without making sure there are no gaps in your brand and that your brand’s message is clearly understood, you should not move to your website. Furthermore, the web designer needs to have an understanding of your brand, your style and the way you do business to be able to create a website that can look and feel like your brand.

On this phase of the project, you should experience the following workshops:

  • Brand Attributes
  • Users Stories / Personas
  • Goals creation
  • Customer’s flow structure

To just name a few.

Is wordpress okay for a hotel's website

For this part of the project, you may want to budget anything between $1,000USD to $5,000USD. It all depends on who you are working with and it can be done with a designer, in-house, or consultant.

Website Content

In the book ‘Story Brand’, Donald Miller says ‘People buy because of the words they read.’ This is a quote I love to remind my clients of. Your website’s content is extremely important, it is the part that will help your visitors to relate to your brand.

The entire goal of this phase is for you to craft the content for the main pages and make it as clear and short as possible. This will make it easy to digest and makes sure your clients are getting the exact information they need.

For this phase you want to:

  • Concentrate on building clear and straight forward content for your main pages
  • Do keyword research to make sure the words you are using are being searched by your customers
  • Match the content with the user personas you previously created
  • Develop Meta tags (Descriptions and titles) right away

Many designers and consultants should be able to help you with this. You have to make sure the designer and consultant understand business/sales and is able to craft powerful content for your website.

Your content strategy budget should range between $1,000USD to $3,000USD depending on the number of pages and if there are any other marketing collaterals that need content.

Website Photography & Videography

You have the content you need, now you need to find images that will help you build the bridge between your content and your customer’s emotions. The best way to do this is through photography.

Make sure you have the following images:

  • People using or interacting with your product/service
  • People interacting with your staff, team or with you
  • Photos of your products and if you provide services only, products on your team at work
  • Photos of your surroundings (Office space, etc, just don’t make it into a real estate photo shoot unless it is what you do)

Get at least 50 images so you can use them throughout social media

If you are in the tourism and hospitality industry you need at least 100 images to be able to use in your website and digital marketing.

The price for this will range, depending on the amount of work required and the skills of the photographer. For this phase, I normally create a mood board for the photographer to have an idea of what I am looking for in the photos and help align their vision with the brand’s guidelines. This will make his/her job easier and the editing correct.

You have two options for this phase.

First, you can hire a photographer to help you get this going, it can cost between $1,500 to $5,000+.

Second, you can look at stock photography that is paid and can help you create a similar feeling. This option may cost between $500 – $1,000.

Website Design

Now you have your strategy, the content you need and the photos ready to start designing. A good website designer should provide you with the following:

  • 3 styles scapes to help you choose a direction
  • Wireframes (Mobile and Desktop version) of the website
  • Full Mobile and Desktop Designs created in Photoshop, Adobe XD, Sketch
  • 3 rounds of revision
  • An interactive showcase of the final design
  • User testing of the design
  • Designs and elements ready to be exported for development

Website design style-scape for flight media 2/3

Another important point is to make sure the designer understands development or can help you develop the website. This will ensure that the design is capable of being developed.

For the design of your website look to create a budget of $600 to $850 per page. So if your website has 5 pages at $600 your budget will be $3,000USD.

Website Hosting and URL and Certificates

Your website needs a place to live and it needs to be secured. You will have to purchase a hosting account and URL for your business. Furthermore, you will also need to add an SSL certificate to ensure your users that this is a safe location to visit.

I strongly recommend Siteground, the cost for the first year can range from $45USD to $80 and the renewal afterward is around $150USD for the year.

There are many other platforms like MediaTemple, Namecheap or Justhost.

All are great, but just make sure you get servers that are programmed for speed and performance of your website.

Website Development

Now that you have everything and your design has been approved 100% by you and your team, it is time to get a developer to develop this website online. If you can get a person or agency that can do design and development, you are golden!

There are two options I prefer to use for development.

The first option is WordPress. This Content Management System allows you to build and grow your website extremely easy and has many integrations that will allow you to do many more things on it.

The second option is Webflow. It is an amazing development platform and Content Management System that allows you to build powerful and interactive websites, as well as, continue to grow them through e-commerce, blogs, and other integrations.

Your choice here will depend on what your developer is familiar with and what your goals are. I strongly recommend WordPress since we have been using it here at Pirela Consultancy over the last 10 years.

Your budget for this will depend on the pages and features needed to develop. For basic website development, it might cost you about $400 to develop a page, but for something more advanced it can cost anything from $600 to $800. So if you are developing a simple website of 5 pages, without any extra features you should budget $2000 and if it is more advanced about $4,000 to $5,000USD.

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your developer develops as clean as possible as you don’t want your website to slow down for poor coding skills
  • Make sure they are not using themes to develop your design
  • Make sure they are using known Frameworks to develop your design
  • The developer or their training team needs to teach you and your team how to use the website

Conclusion

There was a great saying I heard the other day while listening to Chris Do from the feature. He said ‘Do not invest small efforts in big results.’

In today’s market, you will find websites that are developed for FREE with a platform like WIX and some for just a few hundred dollars. What you need to make sure is to understand the results you want to create for your business and compare it with that of what you are willing to spend.

Overall, you should budget anything between $8,000 – $12,000+ for your business website. This will give you enough room to develop a website that works for your business.

How much have you spent on your website already? Simple guides like this can help you remove the headaches of not knowing how much to spend on your website.

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Written by: Leopoldo Pirela

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