The Fastest Way To Determine Your New Website Cost: A Step-By-Step Guide

A business owner at her desk with a datasheet and calculator as she calculates her budget for a new website.

A professional website that clearly communicates who your business is and what you offer is an essential sales asset for SMEs. Without a website, you won’t make many, if any, sales online, so in a sense your business website is priceless. So, how much should you reasonably expect to pay to create a new website that meets your specific needs while also staying within a sensible budget?

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Looking at the big picture, you can pay almost anything you want for a website, from a few pounds to a few million pounds, so in this short step-by-step guide, we’ll walk you through the fastest and simplest way to estimate the cost of your new site so you can make informed decisions about your online presence.

1. Define Your Business Objectives For Your Website

The first step in determining how much you should pay is to clarify your objectives and what you want to achieve through your website. For example, some SMEs only need a basic brochure website to showcase their products or services, while others require more complex features, such as secure Ecommerce capabilities or custom applications. These objectives feed directly into a knowledge of the features and functionality you need from your site, which will have a significant impact on your total cost.

2. Choose Your Website Developer And Hosting Platform

Depending on the type of site you need, you may be able to build it yourself through an online website builder or open-source platform (e.g. WordPress), or it may be more cost-effective to outsource to a web development partner. For SMEs on a tight budget, all-inclusive Software As A Service platforms such as Squarespace, Wix, or Shopify, are growing in popularity, as these include hosting, web building tools, security, upgrades, and marketing features for the cost of a monthly subscription. If you’ve got more money to spend or have non-standard requirements for your site, we strongly recommend working with an agency partner. This will cost you more than using a self-build service but will always save money compared to investing in the tools, capital, and technical proficiencies needed to build a website in-house.

If you’re developing your website independently, hosting requirements will also influence your total cost. Shared website hosting is the most affordable option but may not be enough for high-traffic websites. In these cases, VPS or dedicated hosting will offer better performance and allow you to handle more traffic but will cost you more each month. Carefully consider the features and pricing of each builder or subscription service to determine which one is best suited for your needs, considering the level of technical knowledge required, your in-house resources, and how quickly you need your website.

3. Consider Your Design Requirements

The design and layout of your site play a crucial role in attracting visitors, making a good first impression, and providing the required user experience. Considerations include colour, font, and overall design style. While some businesses are still built from scratch out of raw code, it’s now more common for SMEs to use a premade template, which can be customised to your brand requirements. A completely bespoke design can be more complex and is usually more expensive compared to using a premade template, so when considering your options, be sure to consider the expectations of your target market and your industry norms.

4. Determine The Features You Need

Choosing the features you need embedded into your website is crucial in estimating your final cost. Features can range from a simple contact form interface to a fully equipped online shop, customer portal, chatbot system, or ticket booking system. The more features your website requires, the more costly and complicated the project becomes.

5. Content Creation And Writing

The most important part of your business website is your content. Your written and visual content will determine how visible your content is on Google searches, and whether or not you’re able to convert website visitors when they arrive, so it’s sensible to allocate at least 20% to 40% of your total website budget to content. Unless you have specific professional web content writing experience and the time to spare to create web content, it’s usually more cost-effective to outsource this function to an experienced content writer or agency. Web content writing is a very different proposition from articles and must be carefully optimised for search visibility and readability.

Content First Or Design First? 

Some businesses like to determine the design and features of their site first before thinking about their content, but in many cases, it’s best to write your content first, including your home page and all your products and services categories, and then design your website around this material. This content-driven design approach gives your writers greater flexibility to create high-performing and optimised content for your business, without having to make compromises to accommodate the layout. 

What Next?

At JDR Group, we help businesses create affordable, high-performance websites that are calibrated for SEO and conversion from the outset. Our services include all elements of web development and management, including design, hosting, upkeep, content creation, and marketing, so get in touch today for a discussion of your needs and a bespoke quote.

Click here to claim your free copy of the Ultimate Website Checklist by J D R Group.

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