This guide sheds light on the complex world of website pricing, guiding you through the various factors that influence the cost of creating a website and how to choose the right digital partner for your needs. From design, development, and maintenance, we break down the costs and considerations for a range of website types and the differences between engaging a freelancer vs an agency. Learn how to make informed decisions, avoid hidden costs, and create a website that suits your budget and goals.
A new website is an important investment at a significant expense so it’s crucial to choose the right web development partner to help you reach your goals. Unfortunately, this can be hard to navigate as it’s not always clear what goes into a well-designed website. We like to keep things transparent here, so I present to you an in-depth pricing guideline for new websites in NZ.
Firstly, here's a checklist of things to look out for when you're vetting web development businesses to determine the effectiveness of their designs and decide if they’re the right fit for you:
Review portfolios: Examine the portfolios of potential web development partners to assess their design skills, industry experience, and the types of projects they've worked on. Look for businesses with experience in creating websites for similar industries or businesses of a similar size to yours. This will give you an idea of their ability to cater to your specific needs.
Check responsiveness and cross-browser compatibility: Effective web designs should be responsive and compatible with different devices and browsers. When reviewing their portfolio, test the websites on various devices (smartphones, tablets, and desktops) and browsers (Chrome, Firefox, Safari, etc.) to ensure a seamless user experience.
Evaluate communication and project management skills: This is a really important one for keeping within budget. A successful web development project requires clear communication and effective project management. During the initial consultation, assess how well the company communicates, their understanding of your needs, and their proposed approach to the project. Enquire about their project management tools and processes, as well as their preferred methods of communication.
Request case studies and references: Ask for case studies or references from past clients that demonstrate the effectiveness of their designs. Pay attention to metrics such as increased website traffic, improved search engine rankings, and higher conversion rates. This information will provide insight into the potential success of your website once it's developed by the company.
Enquire about SEO and digital marketing integration: Effective web designs should incorporate SEO best practices and other digital marketing strategies to drive traffic and conversions. Make sure the web development company is knowledgeable about SEO and can integrate it into the design process.
Compare pricing and value: Request quotes from multiple web development companies and compare the pricing and value they offer. While cost should be a consideration, don't let it be the only deciding factor. Choose a company that provides the best balance of quality, expertise, and affordability.
A well-designed website has a combination of various elements that work together to create a seamless and engaging user experience. The cost of a well-designed website can vary widely depending on factors such as the complexity of the project, the expertise of the developer or agency, and the specific requirements of the client. As a general rule of thumb, freelancers are likely to be more affordable than agencies however you may need to recruit others to fill any gaps the freelancer may not have expertise in such as photography, or copywriting.
What Can Go Wrong?
Picking the wrong web development partner can have significant negative consequences for your small business. Here are some potential issues that may arise:
Hidden costs and budget overruns: An unreliable web development partner may quote a low initial price but introduce hidden costs or fail to deliver the project within the agreed-upon budget. This can lead to financial strain on your small business.
Poor website design and functionality: A subpar web development partner may deliver a website that lacks visual appeal, is difficult to navigate, or doesn't function as intended. This can lead to a poor user experience, driving away potential customers and negatively impacting your brand image.
Lack of responsiveness and cross-browser compatibility: If your website isn't designed to adapt to different screen sizes and browsers, users may encounter problems when accessing your site, leading to frustration and loss of potential customers.
Ineffective SEO and digital marketing: An inexperienced web development partner might not be well-versed in SEO best practices and digital marketing strategies. As a result, your website may not rank well on search engines, limiting its visibility and reducing number of people who would have otherwise found your product or service.
Inadequate support and maintenance: Once your website is live, it requires ongoing support and maintenance to address any issues that arise, perform updates, and ensure optimal performance. A poor web development partner may not offer reliable support or may charge exorbitant fees for their services.
Security vulnerabilities: An inexperienced web development partner might not prioritise security or adhere to industry best practices, leaving your website vulnerable to cyberattacks, data breaches, and other security threats.
Lack of scalability and adaptability: As your business grows, your website needs to evolve with it. A suboptimal web development partner may not design your site with scalability in mind, making it difficult to adapt or expand the site as needed.
How Much Does A New Website Cost?
Here's a rough estimate of website costs, keeping in mind the general differences between a cheap website, a well-designed one, and the choice between hiring a freelancer and an agency.
A cheap website typically includes basic design, limited customisation, and fewer features. It may use a pre-built template with little to no custom design elements. These templates can be bulky and impact page load speed which can be frustrating for your users and lead to lower rankings in search engines.
While these websites are more affordable, they may not be as effective in driving customer engagement and conversions. For a small business owner, a cheap website can be an option when starting out or working with a limited budget, but it might not provide the best long-term value.
A well-designed website includes custom design elements, responsive design, search engine optimisation, and additional features like e-commerce capabilities, content management systems, or custom functionalities. These websites provide a better user experience, which can lead to increased customer engagement and higher conversion rates. While they require a larger investment, a well-designed website can provide better results for a small business owner in terms of brand perception, credibility, and long-term growth.
Comparing "Cheap" vs "Well-designed" Websites
THE DIFFERENCES IN RESULTS FOR A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER CAN BE SIGNIFICANT:
User experience: A well-designed website offers a better user experience, which can lead to higher user satisfaction and increased chances of converting visitors into customers.
Brand perception: A well-designed website can improve brand perception and credibility, helping to establish trust with potential customers.
Search engine ranking: A well-designed website is usually better optimized for search engines, which can lead to higher search rankings, increased organic traffic, and ultimately, more potential customers.
Support and maintenance: When working with an agency, you typically receive ongoing support and maintenance services, ensuring that your website remains up-to-date and functional.
Ultimately, the choice between a cheap website and a well-designed one, as well as the decision to work with a freelancer or an agency, will depend on your specific needs, budget, and long-term goals. While a cheap website might save money upfront, a well-designed website can provide better long-term value and better results for your small business.