A detailed breakdown of what small business websites cost

Anyone who has ever put down for a high quality website knows the costs associated. You’re paying for planning, hosting, design, strategy, and all sorts of other minute details that go into creating a polished domain. But getting an idea of what those costs will look like can be hard—here’s a good place to start.

From Executionists:

A business owner asked 3 development companies to submit a proposal to design her company website. She supplied the developers with the same ‘requirements document’ that listed the website goals and functions. A week later the three web developers came back to the client with their estimates.

The first one had priced the project at $2,800, the second had priced it at $5,500 and the final web developer estimated the project at $13,000.

If you’re waiting for the punch line… well, there isn’t one. That’s because the joke is on the client who now needs to figure out which of these estimates is the most reasonable and why.

Two years ago we published one of our highest viewed blog articles describing, how much a small business website costs to design to educate those stumped by the costs and process of building a small business website.

Now in 2014, were updating it again (here) with additional approaches to determine how much a small business website should really cost by factoring in advances in technology and the current costs associated with designing, developing and building a website. Please note, when we say “small business” we are talking about an informational website consisting of approximately 10 – 20 pages with some basic content management and social media widgets.

If you’re gearing up for a big web project, this is a great introduction to what you’re in for. Some of these costs can be minimized with personal expertise, but crucial tasks like design, strategy and development should never be skimped on.

There are ways to cut down on the price though if your budget can’t take the hit. All-in-one hosted platforms like Squarespace and Weebly offer drag-and-drop site building and are robust enough to handle anything if enough care is taken. Also, sites like 99Designs can be a wonderful resource for design needs, but don’t overlook the benefits of working closely with a good local designer, especially if you’re still in the process of creating initial brand standards. And don’t dismiss the power of new web tools—sites like Product Hunt are wonderful for discovering new platforms and services that can help you in all sorts of ways.