creating amazing digital stuff

Website design costs – part 2

A ballpark idea of website design costs in 4 stages

Website Design AgencyThe ‘average’ business website would have between 10 and 30 pages of content created using an open source CMS plus contact form, some search engine optimisation, easy-to-use navigation and basic animations in the website to engage with visitors visually. So, let’s estimate the cost for a hypothetical 15 page website with good quality website design & functionality.

1. Consultancy & documentation stage – around ┬ú1,200

The first stage of any project is working out the task at hand. This should be discussed & documented. Documentation is key so there is clarity on the technologies to be used, the level of design required and the expectations of functionality. Where possible, we would encourage clients to budget time for development of a ‘skeleton’ of the website, which helps in estimation, design & coding.┬áWebsite content should be identified as early as possible, with research in search engines like Google in order to establish the best language & content for marketing the business online.

A good ballpark for the consultancy for a 15 page website would be £1,800 broken down into:

  • 1 day for project consultancy & brainstorming
  • 1 day to document the projects requirements & expectations

2. Design stage – around ┬ú3,000

The creative process is perhaps the most difficult stage to pin down in terms of time scales and costs. If the client has a clear idea of what they want from a design perspective (and can illustrate it through other example websites, print materials and/or brand ‘values’), the design process becomes quicker (and therefore costs less). However, if the client is looking for the design agency to do all the work (“just make it look nice”), this takes more time & cost.

Good creative design needs time to mature and develop, otherwise the resulting product can be ‘shallow’. In our experience, for the average 15 page website for a small sized business, the ideal balance of cost vs. creativity is:

  • 1 day to consult, information gather & brainstorm with the client
  • 3 days to create design concepts
  • 1 days to artwork content pages & image assets

These are broad generalisations of the design process and businesses in general. You only need to look at the breadth of businesses in the UK, to get an idea of the breadth of potential costs associated with a website development.

2.1 Multimedia in websites

Introducing multimedia & interactive elements afters the ‘spread’ of cost because of the variety in technologies involves and the relative work required to make each perform.

HTML5 / CSS3 are now the baseline technology to ensure that animations & multimedia work across a variety of technologies (such as tablets & mobile devices). Typically, clients look for home page animations, but with a short 10 second intro animation for a website costing upwards of £900, does this add value to the customers experience of the website? Doubtful. Small animated elements across various web pages might cost a little more but deliver much better value because of the improved experience for website visitors.

2.2 Video in websites – starting at ┬ú600

Video can very quickly communicate the ‘values’ of an organisation, but can incur significant costs in video production. However, cheap video cameras and home editing software, means that it is possible to high impact create video testimonials from clients very cost effectively. In fact, we filmed, edited & installed a simple video onto the home page of DirectMeditation┬áfor ┬ú600 as part of an overall website design project – and that video is now the most ‘liked’ feature of the site.

Interactive navigation provides a good, cost effective element to your site, as it is going to be used by site visitors many times and therefore becomes one of the most ‘noticeable’ components of the website, yet applying creative flair to the navigation should not cost much in terms of design & coding time.

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