This is one of the most asked questions in the net related to Web design. Often new buyers and small business owners are more concerned with the high startup costs for a website. In this age of financial constraints having a website for affordable prices may be one of the important drivers for small businesses and professionals in expanding their web presence. In this article I am putting down standard costs for designing and developing a website for your business needs.
A website development essentially starts with requirements analysis and clarifications followed by Web design. Web design is the process of getting the home page of your site designed in a design software like Photoshop. We generally provide 3-4 unique mockups for the web design based on your needs and requirements and send them to you for approval. The chosen or most suitable mockup is then fine-tuned to meet your needs.
Web design generally costs between $100 (for couple of design mockups for a simple design) to $300 ( for high-end design with 3-4 mockups followed by iterations)
The finalized design is then sliced to HTML5/CSS3 markups for use in your site. Again web slicing (converting a Photoshop design to HTML/CSS) is a extremely delicate process to be handled only by professionals, The markup created forms the backbone of the site. Not only will the markup be light-weight and fast loading but it should be standards compliant. Markups atleast should be W3C validated, cross browser compatible across all major browsers as well as mobile friendly (can be viewed in mobiles also). Also true professionals add a lot more value by having the markup optimized to deliver the most value, the process of optimization includes image optimization(for minimum size), CSS minifications, JS minifications and other tweaks. We also build markups that are Responsive. That allows the site to automatically stream a scaled/reformatted version of the site for mobiles and tablets or other handhelds to fit their smaller screens.
Web slicing generally costs between $100 – $200 for a set of site designs depending on complexity
Once the design is ready and sliced, its time to develop the site. Site development involves a lot of things starting from creating the static HTML pages to setting up a CMS(content management system) if required, do the programming for the dynamic pages of the site as well as testing, customizations and deployment of the site.
Costs vary significantly based on the amount of development/coding/customizations to be done. Developing a basic 10 page HTML site should cost around $50-$70, where as a 10 page CMS site (using WordPress) should cost $200+ (including configuration and setup) whereas a site having dynamic forms. membership areas, Image/Video Galleries/Signups/Downloads or other features may cost well over $500. Please note these costs are for development only (web design and slicing costs are discussed above).
More complex sites cost more and need a different treatment. Adding a shopping cart to the site will raise the cost by $200-$400 for a basic shopping cart with payment integration. More customized solutions can only estimated based on actual requirements and features required.
There are several other items in website development process that may increase cost. Use of custom dropdown menus, Image galleries, banner slideshows, newsletter signup forms, testimonials, guest books, blogs, forums and any other component that need to be integrated increases the effort and hence cost for web development.
Please see our cost effective web design and development package for small business