Determining how much a web site should cost is one of the most frequently asked but rarely answered questions in the web design world. Even now, with millions of web sites online, there exists no magic formula for calculating either the cost of a new web site or the cost of a redesign.
For this article, the Nanimation team of professional web designers, developers, and SEO marketing specialists have worked together to examine some of the most important factors when considering web site costs. These include historical web site development costs and web design costs for different components as well as current web site features and design costs.
Historical Perspective: How Much Should a Web Site Cost?
Like other goods and services, the cost associated with designing, developing and building a web site has changed over time. The following chart provides a timeline of historical dates compared to web site cost.
The basis for the chart was a small business (under 25 employees) located in a small city that wanted a professional web site having 15 pages, Web hosting and email, a domain name, and a aesthetic quality level of around 7/10.
Time Period Expected Cost
1995 – 1997 $7,500 to $12,000
1998 – 2000 $6,000 to $10,000
2000 – 2004 $2,500 to $4,500
2004 – 2009 $2,000 to $7,500
As website costs have become increasingly disparate, with freelancers charging as little as $500 and web agencies charging tens of thousands of dollars for a website. The Nanimation team developed a website cost calculator to help website visitors attempt to put a price tag to their website project.
Use the sliders below to indicate your needs, then click the "Get Quote Now" button for a free, instant quote.
Number of pages
- Style of design
- Copywriting # of pages
- SEO w/ Placement Guarantee
- Flash or Multimedia
- Database Integration
- e-Commerce Functionality
Based upon client surveys and our team's research, the above data demonstrates a significant decrease in the base cost of a web site over the last decade. We believe that the reason for this drop in web site cost is driven by two factors.
First, there exist substantially more competitors in the web design market today, perhaps as many as ten times more than a decade ago. Second, modern tools have made it easier for Web designers to create great looking web sites.
These factors have also led to some unforeseen results. Most notably, in the last five years, the cost of web sites has become more disparate. After further analysis, we believe these trends can be explained through the increasing demand for cost effective web sites along with the drive for higher-end, interactive Web designs.
In other words, as web sites become standard for all businesses, the competition grows to produce higher-quality, low-cost Web designs. By the same token, with more Internet competition, a company now needs to work harder to differentiate its web site from those of its competitors. Often this involves adding better content, Flash designs, online videos, and interactive applications.
Web Site Components and Costs
With a historical perspective in place, it is important to examine each of the components that go into determining how much a web site should cost. On average, the following figures can be applied to estimating the cost of a web site:
$75 to $200 a year (depending on traffic & website features)
Web design and Graphics development time
60 to 150 hours (based on our experience for a 15 page Website)
Web site Maintenance
$500 to $1250 a year (depending on number of updates required)
Informational or Small Business Web Site Cost::
• 8 to 16 Web pages
• Custom graphics
• Stock photos
• Little or no flash
• Web forms sending to email accounts
Project duration: 30 to 75 days (not assuming a consistent 8 hour a day)
Web site cost range: $2,000 to $6,000
Corporate (100 or more employees) Web Site Cost:
• 25 to 75 Web pages
• Heavy use of flash
• High quality design work on all Web pages
• Content management system
• Extra components: Intranet, calendars, web site search
Project duration: 60 to 90 days
Web site cost range: $10,000 to $25,000
Ecommerce Web Site Cost:
• 100 to 1000 products
• Shopping cart
• Payment gateway integration
• Product descriptions and images
• Sales tax and shipping calculation
• Customer and administrative control panel
Project duration: 60 to 120 days
Web site cost range: $5,000 to $15,000
Database Driven Web Site or Web Application:
• Dynamic Web pages 20 to 2,000
• Administrative control panel for web site management
• Advanced programming skill sets required
• Interactivity with web site visitor
• Enterprise database (MS SQL Server or MySQL)
Project duration: 90 to 180 days
Web site cost range: $6,000 to $35,000
How Much Should a Web Site Cost? Our Findings
In conclusion, the cost of a web site can vary greatly depending upon the site's features, needed Internet marketing services, aesthetic qualities, and the design firm, advertising agency, or freelancer creating the Web design. While the cost of a basic web site has dropped, the need for more interactivity has helped hold steady the price of a high-end, competitive Web design.
If you are considering a new or upgraded web site, the Nanimation team recommends that you view the portfolios of several Web design firms and inquire, "How much should my web site cost?". Starting first with our own free website cost project quote form.
Call 630.965.0666 or contact us online today to start designing your dream web site.