In today’s connected and mobile business landscape, your website is often the first impression your target consumers will have with your brand. It’s worth investing in. That being said, there is no hard and fast dollar figure that will guarantee you a fantastic website. Costs can range from $100 (aka you buying a domain and hosting and setting up your site yourself) to $10,000 – $15,000 for a creative firm.
There are good open source solutions if you have the technical and design know-how. WordPress is now a giant in the space. It’s what we use to power PIX11.com and PIX11 Media Solutions.There are smaller design teams that specialize in WordPress. You can generally contract with one to build a site for between $750 – $5000, depending on the amount of design and editorial needed, eCommerce features and overall complexity. Squarespace has also carved out a niche in the website design industry.
You can also hire a freelance web designer. However, buyer beware. Make sure to check that they have legitimate references so you’re not left 3 months later with a designer who takes off to be a snowboard instructor in Aspen and you’re left with a site that you can’t update (true story of one of our clients). Freelancers charge by the hour so again, costs will be dependent on the complexity of your site. If you use a freelancer, have them give you a tutorial on using and updating the site yourself.
A creative firm is an expensive but reliable option. Expect to pay more. If possible, look for a firm that has experience in your industry.
Remember to always focus on a clean and simple layout that is intuitive to use, that keeps the user experience in mind. Encourage your visitors to share with social buttons and make sure that your site is mobile optimized for those smaller screens of smartphones!