"How long is a piece of string?" is a more specific question than "How much is a website?".
I started designing websites for Nottingham businesses as early as 2000. As web design was a brand new business, the cost of a website varied wildly. My dream was to start a web design company that could offer the creation of a website for small to medium enterprises at an affordable price whilst still offering unique and stylish designs.
As there were few web designers at the time, our prices were clearly amongst the lowest you could possibly find in Nottingham (some web design agencies were charging outrageous prices).
However, now the market has matured and the choice for web design for small businesses is simply staggering. There are still the large companies with swanky offices in trendy spots in the city who will charge several thousand pounds for even the most basic of websites right down to open source solutions such as Wordpress that make it easy to design your own website for free.
So let us say you want a website with about 30 basic pages of information and a blog allowing you to keep content fresh and up-to-date. You should set a budget of anywhere between zero and £15,000. We're not exactly narrowing this down are we?
So how much should I pay for a website?
Well we can narrow this down a bit further. Let us first of all deal with the free and low-cost options. The truth is that they are never free or low-cost. Even though the tools created for them make web design much easier for the lay-person, you are still going to have to spend a lot if time creating your website and getting the look and the content right.
I would estimate that you need to set aside several days at least. If you haven't got much work on at the moment then that might be OK. But calculate how much you could have earned doing what you do best when spending time creating the website.
Now you know the true cost of a DIY website, you will have a clear idea what your budget might be if you choose a professional web designer. Now the task becomes more difficult because some will promise you the earth for £99 and others will send round a slick sales-person who tries and persuades you to part with several thousand pounds (someone has to pay for those swanky offices). This is where your own intuition comes in:
Check out their portfolio
Any web designer worth their salt will have a portfolio of real websites they have created for other customers. This is where the proof is as to how good they really are. Choose the web designer who is designing the type of websites closest to what you want for your business and if their price is within the budget you have calculated then you have chosen well.
If you choose us to be your web designer, the chances are that our prices will be a fraction of your maximum budget!