What’s the price-tag for a new or refreshed startup?

Truth be told, I don’t really know.

It is a difficult question to answer because it depends on things such as the number of pages, bells and whistles, e-commerce capabilities and the ability to play nice with other software.

My uncertainty about the price-tag increased recently while working a client to refresh its Website. A client, which was trying to refresh a B2B information Website powered by WordPress, receive quotes that ranged from $10,000 to $90,000. There’s no e-commerce, no integration with a CRM, and not a lot of content.

Another company that I met received quotes from $40,000 to $250,000 for a Website that features a lot of content, e-commerce and the ability to register for courses.

So how do you navigate the Website landscape? How do you get a handle on costs when pricing is so varied?

This pricing conundrum is happening as services such as Squarespace, Wix, and PageCloud are making it easier to build DIY Websites that look beautiful and cost less than $30 a month. And if you want to move up the food chain, a WordPress template can be hacked for a few thousand dollars.

And then there’s a belief that companies don’t need Websites because they have a vibrant digital presence on Facebook. This is something that I saw when traveling through Southeast Asia last summer.

So what’s the right approach to building or refreshing a Website?

It starts by determining what the Website needs to do. Will it engage and educate consumers with content such as articles, videos, and photographs? Can people purchase products or services, or sign up for memberships or courses? Will the Website feature advertising? And how many pages will the Website have?

Another key consideration is design. How creative, unique or different does your Website need to be? For companies with a healthy budget, hiring a talented designer is a solid investment to stand out from the crowd.  For most companies, a well-designed WordPress template is fine.

In many respects, deciding how much to spend depends on the size of your business and the role of the Website. After all, it is the digital gateway for customers, investors, employees, partners and the media. It is important to make a great impression and have the Website perform.

Some business oozing with cash can justify spending $50,000+ on a refreshed Website because it is a small percentage of sales.

But what about small businesses or startups? What’s their budget? To be honest, there’s no easy answer but let’s draw a line in the sand and say $15,000 to $20,000. This will be enough to account for content, design, and development. Even then, it’s a lot of money. Small businesses can spend a few thousand dollars to customize a Website on Wix, Squarespace or Shopify.

At the end of the day, it is impossible to declare a Website costs “X” amount because it depends on many variables. My advice: spend enough to create a good impression or serve people’s needs (e.g. read content, buy services and products) to drive your company’s growth.

Explore all your options – custom design and development, WordPress templates or DIY Website services – before making a decision. If a quote seems too high, it probably means it’s too high. Don’t cheap out or use your niece/nephew because they claim to know a little HTML and WordPress.

While it is important to have a good Website, remember that a Honda drives as well as a Cadillac.

What do you think: what’s the “right” budget for a Website?

I make marketing work for fast-growing companies and companies looking to grow faster.

Through strategic and tactical services, I create marketing that drives brand awareness, customer engagement and sales growth. My approach to marketing is underpinned by storytelling, creativity, and proven frameworks. I also offer coaching services for entrepreneurs looking for strategy and tactical guidance.

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