In this article, we aim to inform you, so you don't get suckered into a deal that sounds "too good to be true" and only ends up costing more...
We'll also explain why quotes can vary by thousands and the reality of the way the industry works so you can weigh it all up and select a price point/level of risk you are comfortable with.
But first, let's assume you have the following expectation for your new business website:
- You expect your new website will be custom designed by a professional designer with a lot of experience.
- The website will be search engine friendly and rank in google.
- Your designer will manage the project promptly and efficiently and be available when needed.
- Your designer will sort out all of the technical side of it.
- You'll be able to edit the website easily and be shown how to do so.
- You won't have to worry about domain names, emails, hosting etc, they'll take care of it!
This is a very reasonable expectation a business owner has when in the market for a new website but unfortunately, we're about to show you in most cases, the reality is very different.
The reality of pricing & what to expect with most web designers:
We understand the tone of this article may offend some web designers. That is not our intention. This article is written based on what we've found in our 15 years experience operating in the industry. We believe it is important you are aware of the way the industry works, so you can fully appreciate what to look out for when engaging a web designer.
Price range: $500 - $2,000
In this price range, you'll find a lot of "web designers" with a very vague offering. The most common web designers you'll find in this price-range:
- The "I can do it" self-proclaimed designer that either just learned how to use a content management system and think putting some images and a logo together will do the job.
- The "Prices start from" designer, usually a larger organisation who focus on volume and charge extra for everything.
The "I can do it" self-proclaimed designer will ask you what you want, to the best of their ability use a template and insert photos and text into existing placeholders and then either give you the website files to sort the rest out or ask you to setup your own hosting and domain.
There is no real support and you'll struggle to get a hold of them when the job is done and they are paid (Because this isn't their full-time job).
If you want something that the template can't do (Like "can we move that to the left") it just won't happen and you'll become frustrated and won't end up with the website you set out to get in the first place.
The "Prices start from" designer actually have a very efficient business model. But the model is designed to work for them, allowing them to do the minimum to get you online with a website that technically functions... but instead of using free templates like the "I can do it" guys, they have their own content management system.
While this makes it seem more "substantial", this is limited and servers a greater purpose; it allows them to train less experienced staff to "create" your website by changing some colours, inserting text into a template and other basic things.
You'll probably pay between $50-$100/month for support and the minute you want something outside of what is considered standard the price will start to add up.
Unfortunately, most small businesses start here. In some cases, it works out for the first few months but you quickly realise you have a website that doesn't do what you need, you may be locked into a long-term agreement with a website that you can't take anywhere else and you might be in a position where the website doesn't even have the capabilities to rank well on google.
The problem with this price range:
- No thought or plan for conversions
- Not enough experience to deliver results
- No custom design, free templates are the norm
- No real support or guidance
- Lots of frustration
Unfortunately, you get what you pay for and in this price-range, you won't get a whole lot!
Price range: $2,000 - $5,000
In the space, a lot of the time you're still going to see the "I can do it" and "Prices start from" designers but they usually have a little more experience.
You'll see a lot of packages around the price range like "Gold/Silver/Bronze" where the variance in price is around the number of pages and basic things that take 10 minutes to setup like Google analytics are listed at different levels of packages.
Usually the focus of this type of package is going to be around how the page looks and things like enquiries, conversions and elements that make your phone ring usually aren't even considered.
Don't get me wrong, it is possible to have a great business website within this price range but in most cases, the reality will not meet the reasonable expectations we established earlier.
Key take-away from this price range:
- More experience but design focused, no plan for leads/sales
- A lot of packages are still just overpriced templates
- A little more accountable
- Expect to be doing a lot of the heavy lifting yourself still
Price range: $5,000 - $15,000
Within this range, you'll start to find established agencies who do a lot more than throw designs together using templates.
This is where high quality custom designed websites are made.
You will expect to be dealing with a project manager who works with a team to understand what can work best for you. A senior designer will usually put together a wire frame or concept based on the brief and you should have full flexibility to make changes.
The website template code will be created from scratch to make your custom design function as intended and you'll be trained on how to manage the site.
In most cases your expectations will be met however the market is flooded with cowboys throwing prices out there hoping to get the job without a detailed scope, expectation agreement and contract. So you're still putting a lot of faith into an organisation to deliver, regardless of what they "tell you" they can do.
Key take-aways from this price range:
- Projects are properly managed, completion rates are extremely high
- Websites are usually custom designed and coded to a high standard
- Maximum flexibility in design
- The team you are dealing with are usually 100% accountable
- Scope of works and contracts are usually solid, so you know what you are getting and you get what you pay for.
- A lot of designers in this space still don't consider conversions/leads/sales
- A lot of agencies in this space treat their designs as their property so you may be shocked when you find out you don't actually own your own logo or the new website they create for you.
Websites that cost $15,000 +
Now we're talking about a standard business/e-commerce website here. Of course, if you are after a website with high level functionality, or high level of multi-section content design, or if your business requires such a level of project management that integrates with your business on a daily basis, the price can increase significantly.
However, in most cases, spending more than $15,000 on a standard business/e-commerce website is unnecessary.
Key take-away from this price range:
- Probably not what you need and a waste of money that could be put to use promoting your website
The problem with the industry, especially at the cheaper end of town: Most of the time, it seems like you're getting a good deal. But what you're actually getting is a website that hasn't been properly built, doesn't factor in the elements needed to generate leads or sales and will need to be replaced pretty quickly when you realise it is costing you business.
What your business needs and how you can get more for less:
When looking for a web design company to create a new website for you, the most important thing you should consider; "What is the most important thing I can gain from the website".
You might think you want your business to stand out, gain exposure or look more professional. This is all important but the only two outcomes that will actually make a difference to you are "more leads/calls" and for e-commerce, "more sales transactions."
That's right! The most important thing your website needs to be awesome at is generating leads and sales.
Generating leads and sales is a two-part project and the website will succeed or fail depending on:
- Weather or not the website is created in a way that it converts visitors into leads/sales at a high rate.
- Weather or not the website receives traffic, the right type of traffic who are looking for what you offer and are serious about buying.
To make it worthwhile having a website, you need a web design agency that will:
- Understand conversions at a high level and put this to work for you.
- Reverse engineer and factor in specific elements that will make more customers buy/contact you.
- Show you real data from google so you know what to expect instead of guessing.
- Guide you through the process and show you what will work best not, just ask you what want at every stage.
- Create a high quality, seamless user experience on all devices.
- Ensure you 100% love the look of your website.
- Manage your project promptly and efficiently and always be accountable.
- Manage the full technical aspect (you have better things to do than worry about domains & servers).
- Show you how to make changes to the website, ensuring you are comfortable.
- Take care of the launch phase ensuring you don't get stuck in googles "submit" list for 6 weeks.
- Has the experience and capacity to drive quality traffic to your website that converts into enquiry or sales.
We've been in the industry for over 15 years, have seen the rise and fall of many web design companies but continue to deliver with over 400 happy clients because we cover all of these bases and do it at a very reasonable price.
We aren't here to make "a quick buck". As such, we assess every project as a long-term results-based project.
If it is not realistic for you to generate more leads/sales, we will let you know and encourage you to put that money to better use.
Every website we create is designed with specific elements that we actually test and know increase your conversion rate.
Here is a quick summary of our process:
- After you have requested a quote, we give you a quick call. In this call, we get an understanding of your project and in most cases, if it falls within the typical parameters fixed price service (Nearly all projects do), we can give you a fixed price for the creation of your website over the phone.
- If our pricing is within your budget and your project is something we'd like to be a part of, we then request further information if needed and look at search volume data to establish feasibility and establish a realistic expectation of traffic/leads/sales and associated costs.
- We then send you a fixed price proposal which covers every aspect of the build and even has a page dedicated to expectation. There are no nasty surprises with A Website That Works For You. We only work with customers we believe our team can help in the long-term. This is only achieved with a relationship based on open communication and mutual expectation.
- When you're ready to proceed and we get started on your project, we block out time in our production schedule and establish your design brief.
- Your personal project manager puts together your sitemap which indicates the various pages/sections on your website with recommendations on content so you know exactly what content you will need to write from the first week. Our professional copywriters can create the content for you if needed, this will be established at the proposal stage if needed.
- Our technical team setup your account on our business grade servers, at this point we can setup your branded email addresses, domains etc. also or leave this to a later stage.
- Our senior designer works on initial wire-frame/visual concepts for your project. You receive a concept for mobile, tablet and desktop devices to show you how the responsive aspect will work. We present these to you usually in the first two weeks.
- You then have a chance to review the concepts and there are 5 rounds of changes included, at each round you can request as many changes you like. Or you may love it straight away. We only move onto the coding stage when you are 100% happy and ready with the visual design.
- When the layout concept is approved, we move onto the coding stage where we turn the visual concept into the functional website. We ensure the coding is done to a high standard and that the content management system us fully functional and easy for you to manage.
- We then work with you to compile your information, any specific photos you have available, source and use high quality commercially licensed professional stock photos where needed and start adding, styling your content and get the site ready to launch.
- When you give final approval, our team complete our pre-launch quality control checklist to ensure every aspect of the website is perfect. We then launch the site and employ some additional techniques so google becomes aware of your website much faster than just submitting your website to google like most others do.
- We then provide you with training on how to manage the website content, provide you with an admin manual and are here to support you throughout the process.
You'll now be in a position where you have a website ready to convert visitors into leads/sales at a high rate.
In some situations when re-designing an existing website that already has good traffic you can notice a significant increase in leads and sales purely because, our websites convert higher.
For new websites though, we recommend an ongoing onlineMarketing Plan which is the second part of the service where we drive the right traffic to your website, track and establish which keywords deliver the best result at the lowest cost per lead/sale. We then make changes where need to further increase your conversion rate and then move onto organic SEO.
Who we work with:
We've been fortunate enough to work with companies of all shapes and sizes from owner-operators to multi-nationals however we don't work with everyone.
Some projects include:
- Professional Services (Consultants, Accountants, Business Coaches & more...)
- Tradies (Civil & Construction Companies, Builders, Plumbers, Electricians & more...)
- Service Providers (Commercial & Retail)
- Hospitality (Restaurants & Cafes)
- Retail (Physical Shops & Online Stores)
It is extremely important to us that we can add significant value to your business and as times change, some markets in particular are saturated with competition that have deep pockets.
Sure, we can still create a high-end website that is designed to convert, but we are very upfront and
How much does our service cost?
Everything we do is custom high-end but we don't need to charge as much as the big guys because we are a small team and simply don't have the same overheads.
As a result of this, we are half the price of larger agencies but deliver more... because we can.
We've built a reputation on providing great value for money and ultimately, customers work with us because they want results, not just a good looking website.
For every project, we quote a fixed price for the website creation.
No hidden fees.
You receive a very detailed proposal which covers every aspect so you know exactly where your hard earned money is going.
So... what are the next stages?
If you've read this article in it's entirety we would like to thank you and wish you all the best. Of course we'd be delighted to chat about your project (click here to request a quote) but at the very least we hope this has shed some light and can assist you in your search for the right team to help you with your project.
The Green Team (A Website That Works For You)