Almost 18 years ago, when my wife and I were first planning the move to Virginia from the frozen tundra of Buffalo, NY, I was assigned the task of driving to Richmond to first look for a job and then look for a home.    The job hunt went remarkably well as I secured a job in just a few days time.  The house hunt.. not so much!  It’s not that there weren’t a thousand homes in our price range and another thousand that we would have loved to live in… it was finding one that matched both criteria.   Being a good husband, I took my list of house requirements to my new found Realtor and laid them out in front of him… (3 bedrooms, 2 baths, 2-story colonial, wrap-around front porch, garage, formal rooms to include dining room, living room, eat in kitchen.. and a minimum of 1 acre of land).  The Realtor looked at me confidently and said… “we can do that.”   Then I told him what my wife gave me as a price range – under $80k.  He just smiled at me and said:  “we can’t do that!”  He carefully explained to me that for that price range, you just can’t expect to get everything that you are wishing for, the house, the land, the garage… it just doesn’t happen for that price in this area!  “You get what you pay for!”

Which brings me to my whole reason for telling this story.  Hiring a website design company to build your new website is very much like trying to buy or build your new home… You get what you pay for!  The most popular question we get asked when people call us for the first time is, “How much does it cost to build a website?”   Our answer is almost always the same… “That depends on what type of site you want!”  People see the ads on TV for the “free site-builders” and think that a hiring a professional website firm to build a custom site can’t cost much more if others can do it for free.  The truth is, if all you want is a shack that is built with cheap materials that you have to put together yourself… you can probably get it pretty cheap.  But if you want something that will last, something that will represent your company image and will ultimately generate revenue for you…  expect to pay a little more.

Also, all website design/development is not the same.  There is a big difference between a simple brochure-type website and a website that includes web-application programming.  A Brochure site can simply, yet professionally explain who the company is, what services and products they offer, and how to locate or contact the company.  It can include specials, coupons, and even portfolios or galleries.  While these sites are still custom, they typically don’t exceed a few thousand dollars for design and development.  More interactive sites that involve web application programming may include custom ecommerce solutions, Javascript calculators, conditional forms, and site functionalities that are dictated by the user interface.  These type of sites can range from a few thousand dollars to a few hundred thousand dollars.

Meeting with a reputable website design firm and discussing your website needs and wants is the first step in finding what would work best for your company.  Having a realistic budget is also important!  As with most things in life, typically,  You get what you pay for!