Fair website price?

TrueGRITSTrueGRITS subscriber Posts: 3
Hi all,
This post is sort of related to one below.  What`s a fair price for designing and hosting an e-commerce website?  I`ve seen anywhere from $1200 to $5000.  There`s quite a variance there and I`m sure there are reasons why, but I don`t know the lingo well enough yet to decipher my e-needs.
I`m aiming to open an upscale online boutique, so I really want to have a professional website.  Many of my competitors have homemade websites and avoiding that is where I`d really like to get my leg up.  However, if there`s a budget solution I`m unaware of here that could work with my humble HTML skills, please fill me in.
Thanks, Diana
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Comments

  • TrueGRITSTrueGRITS subscriber Posts: 3
    I see, I`m learning here.  I knew there was more behind the price than an address and graphics
  • TrueGRITSTrueGRITS subscriber Posts: 3
    The key Diana is for you to figure out what price you can afford. THEN find the best deal out there for that price. BUT don`t let the agency you are interviewing (and treat it like an interview) turn it into a talk about price.
    Jonese, I never realized there was that much to it.  Naive, but I`m a quick learner.  I decided to do an e-business all of 3 days ago.  I`m not to the point where I`m anywhere near ready to start this - I don`t have a product yet! - but I`ll add you to my buddy list and remember the company in Atlanta.
    Thanks for the sage advice! 
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    Don`t you think that 15,000 is too much for a web site that can be developed under 3,000 dollars? I see where the catch is "the Lingo". Search engine optimization is dirt cheap now, Web hosting is dirt cheap, Web development tools and shopping cart software is dirt cheap! where does the customer`s other 12,000 go into play? What if the client doesn`t sell anything online? then what?they are stuck with an expensive "bill board" and a debt of 12,000 which I am assuming has to be paid up front or by the end of the project scope. The truth is; behind every web-site there has to be a good marketing strategy. Do you offer a marketing plan to your customer? Do you research their demographics before you being to design their web site? In the end it comes down to "Marketing" which most web designers forget. Many web designer are more anxious in developing a web site than focusing on the Marketing aspect of the web site. So what else do they get for $12,000?quote of the day: "many web designers don`t know the difference between their computer mouse and an articulate marketing plan"Please break down the price of your services for the client to understand.
  • BardStuffBardStuff subscriber Posts: 7
    I`ve gotta back jonese here.   The lower the price, the better the odds that you`re going to get cookie cutters for all the standard things - navigation, shopping cart, etc...  even SEO.  Which for most purposes is really going to be fine.   Most people need basically the same stuff.  It`s when you want a completely tailored solution from the ground up that you get into the big bucks.  For instance, high quality content management can only really be done with a proper understanding of all the business objects that your company deals with.   It`s true that web development tools are cheap.  But as I`m fond of telling people in my biz, "Just because I own a word processor doesn`t mean I can write a novel."  Likewise, you`re not paying somebody for access to an HTML editor (which you could get yourself), you`re paying them for their skill in what they can make it produce.For what you want, I would think that $3k-$5k should get you an outstanding web site that will get you going in business just fine and keep you going comfortably for a little while.  Much lower (like under $1k) and I`d be willing to bet that within 6 months to a year, if your business does well, you`ll be hiring somebody to do it again.
  • TrueGRITSTrueGRITS subscriber Posts: 3
    Gentlemen,
    Good gracious, I didn`t realize I was asking such a contentious question.  Thank you for all of your input.  I`m now much wiser regarding the world of website creation.
    Diana
  • theswaynestertheswaynester subscriber Posts: 15 Bronze Level Member
    Well a little spirited debate doesn`t hurt, as long as it`s civil.I learned a lot, too.
  • EllayEllay subscriber Posts: 6
    Ya know, I had the same questions. I want a good looking web site but these prices are a bit outrageous....esp for a start up. I have excellent web experience, I just have a hell of a lot of problems with these sites that i can build my own site.....it doesn`t look good enougn but when I think about what it will cost...for just a few pages (based on current needs), I can`t afford it...but a website can hurt or help a business so what do I do?
    I still don`t know. I am just winging it. I still may sign up for a design-your-own-site package AGAIN although I hated it....and I will probably hate it again....or I will find a student that needs the experience....I have about $100 to spend!!!! LOL!!
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    Ok, I see where you guys are coming from, in charing the high prices! I forgot you`re in Atlanta GA. You are on the other side of the country,(where perhaps "resources are scares" so of course you can get away with charging so much "It`s like the Old Saying goes, in the land of the blind the one eyed man is King" now try pitching that here in California "The mother land of all technology" we have Silicon Valley as our main contender, One your company probably went bankrupt long time ago, or you would had to drop down your prices to perhaps around 3k - 7k, unless you are working with a company that has deep pockets and can afford to dish out 40K; as one of my clients did, other than that it`s small mom and pop shops that need a break "that want to experience the online" thing. Last, isn`t this forum and web site called "Start up Nation?" I am assuming that everyone here is underfunded or are in start up stages of thier business. The last thing they would want to hear is 15K, that number made me want to move to Atlanta GA, and compete in the market.
    Now as far as a web site is concerned, you can get a nicely developed web site under 5k, The five steps to having a web site developed are 1. Define your project to your developer up front. ( you will know if he understands your needs with in the first minute, if he doesn`t move along) 2. Have all the content you want on your web site ready [literature wise], 3. have a broad understanding of the lingo [search the web and have questions ready], 4. Ask for a portfolio if the company has one 5. don`t pay for everything up front, have a payment schedule set , incase you don`t like your results you can always leave and ask for your money back.."The Golden rule be part of the project, communicate with the web designer frequently and be available when he is trying to reach you" If you can follow these simple rules you can have a great web site for much less and that looks good, and to your expectations.
  • calvincalvin subscriber Posts: 14 Bronze Level Member
    i think everyone here is getting a bit confused about the costs of hiring an agency vs. hiring freelance help. 
    you can certainly build a cost effective site using freelance programmers and designers, but you all you`ll get a live website.  you`ll need to be completely hands on with the day-to-day activities (i.e. updating the site, managing content, etc.)
    if you hire an agency, look to spend big bucks.  but along with the big bucks you will get the full service treatment.  the agency (in most cases) will also help you think if ideas to drive traffic to your site, help you manage your site, etc.
    i work at an integrated marketing agency with an interactive department.  we build sites for many Fortune 50 companies.  Our sites, cost anywhere from $50-100K.  but along with that... you get the complete full service treatment plus our award-winning creative work..
     calvin2006-4-21 14:22:22
  • lzInetSolutionlzInetSolution subscriber Posts: 0
    Web design and web development are two different business entities altogether.  In Michigan we charge a premium price.  We do it because our customers are getting real expertise.  There are hundreds of designers in the Detroit market, but they don`t design, program and develop custom code.  That is where you will find higher pricing.  Even for start ups.  It is irresponsible and sets a bad precedent to say, because you are a start up I will give away my livelihood dirt cheap.  This is a real consulting opportunity to engage and educate your prospects so they truly know what to budget.  Design is only one part.  Recurring costs, like maintenace and hosting and upgrades shoiuld be a continual factor as well. Besides, if you call yourself a consultant, and you are going to chastise someone for being honest about their business practices and giving good advice, spell correctly and use proper grammer.
  • lzInetSolutionlzInetSolution subscriber Posts: 0
    Hi Calvin.  Does you agency develop in house or mark it up through outsourcing?Call me .Larry Z.InetSolution586-726-9490 x 205
  • calvincalvin subscriber Posts: 14 Bronze Level Member
    Hi Calvin.  Does you agency develop in house or mark it up through outsourcing?Call me .Larry Z.InetSolution586-726-9490 x 205
    Larry - most of our front-end & back-end development is done in-house.  the only thing we don`t do is host.
  • NuevolutionNuevolution subscriber Posts: 30 Bronze Level Member
    Honestly Calvin,Here is the real deal, what I`ve found easier is creating a fully functional web site for my clients. I`ve created my own content management system where they can update their own web site when ever they want, I only give them rights to manage the content (the text) not the images, just because not everyone has experience with working with images and cropping and scaleing. So that is done in house, Another thing, Hiring a freelancer, is a good idea but how do you know he`s going to be around when you need him. Secondly IZInet, for you to say spell right? you didn`t have to go there.. Keep in mind I am busy and don`t sit with a dictionary next to me to keep you happy. I will try my best to watch my grammer and spelling next time to tickle your tushy, any how, let`s move on to the next subject.
  • calvincalvin subscriber Posts: 14 Bronze Level Member

    Honestly Calvin,Here is the real deal, what I`ve found easier is creating a fully functional web site for my clients. I`ve created my own content management system where they can update their own web site when ever they want, I only give them rights to manage the content (the text) not the images, just because not everyone has experience with working with images and cropping and scaleing. So that is done in house, Another thing, Hiring a freelancer, is a good idea but how do you know he`s going to be around when you need him. Secondly IZInet, for you to say spell right? you didn`t have to go there.. Keep in mind I am busy and don`t sit with a dictionary next to me to keep you happy. I will try my best to watch my grammer and spelling next time to tickle your tushy, any how, let`s move on to the next subject.

    I am not discounting your services at all Edgar.  I think your type of company definitely provides value to business who are starting up.  Heck, I think I might actually be a future customer
    As for agencies (like the one I work for), you have to understand that what we provide is an integrated marketing solution for websites.  Everything from ideation to execution.  If you wanted to hire us to strictly build a website only, we are definitely not the place to go with. 
    Sorry.. didn`t mean to offend anyone
  • starpointestarpointe subscriber Posts: 2
    Here`s what it all boils down to, in my opinion.  You`re a small business, just starting up.  You probably don`t have a lot of money to invest in website development...and that`s okay.  Too many people make the mistake of assuming that a website is like a magazine ad...designed one time and then put out for people to see.A website is a living breathing member of your business and you need to have a plan of action to implement and utilize it.  Here`s what I recommend.  I`m going to assume that you are like the majority of eEntrepreneurs and want to start testing the waters without developing a business plan first.  (I am not recommending this...it`s just a fact.)  Start looking around for a freelancer or very small development company who can help you to understand how a website will fit into your business.  Remember, you aren`t married to this developer and you will be making changes to your site for years and years.  This is great.  At the right place and time, you`ll have the resources to move to a larger, more comprehensive company.  If you plan on going the textbook startup route and writing a business plan and getting funding from investors, then it may be better to plan the costs of a larger company into your budget and use them from the getgo.  They obviously have many benefits. It all boils down to how you personally want to start out.  I`m personally running a website development company that focuses on helping (handholding) small startup businesses enter the online marketplace.  I know it can be scary and there is a lot to learn but it`s nothing you can`t handle.  Just make sure to keep asking questions (like you are already doing) so you can be guided by people who`ve already walked the path.Ryan
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