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12 Factors Affecting the Cost of Web Design

Have you ever wondered why a company may try to cut corners in certain areas like web design? It’s because every business must adhere to budgets if they wish to survive. However, skimping on having a proper website can be disastrous. The money spent in this area will pay for itself countless times over, but only when you have an effective website as the result. So, you maybe wondering what factors play a role in web design costs, and why are they of importance? Read on to find out!

The price for a new web design is linked to the amount of time needed to build your website, and the web designer's hourly rates. A whole lot more goes into building a proper website than you might think! Let's talk briefly about the factors that determine web design pricing and how each factor can affect the amount of time a web designer spends creating your website.

1. Customization

A website needs to be as unique as the business itself. Although a template web design can be used to put a site together, all other elements need to be created to reflect the individuality of the business. Unfortunately, most templates cannot offer this customization factor. Companies should consider investing in this area of their website to ensure customers not only arrive at the site, but stick around to browse what the company uniquely offers. These are only two of countless tasks a digital media and web design firm, like The Press Factor, takes on when creating a website for a customer.

2. Design

Say NO to cheap templates! Re-using a template is the most cost effective approach to design. Of course, it can be difficult to find quality template designs that accurately convey your brand. The flipside is to create a custom design, which will be more expensive. The cost for a custom design varies depending on how complex the design will be, how many pages are in the site, and the number of design concepts to choose between.

3. Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Getting on the first page of Google search results isn't automatic when you create a website. It involves researching what keywords people are searching for on Google and optimizing the website for the targeted keywords. Though a company can have an amazing website, it’s still possible they won’t see the desired traffic if the target audience cannot find their site. This is where search engine optimization, or SEO, comes in. Search engines continuously update their algorithms to ensure they are meeting the needs of site visitors; therefore, the website must reflect these updates. Search engine optimization involves determining which keywords consumers are searching for, and creating code to ensure pages load quickly, among other things. In planning a relevant website and development strategy, SEO is one of the most important factors that must be considered in cost. Factors that affect the cost of SEO are the competitiveness of the keywords, and the number of pages in the website.

4. Content List

This is a list of all the pages and functional features for the website. If you don't already have this list prepared, the cost to come up with it will vary depending on how much research the web designer will do. For example, will they be interviewing your target audience and analyzing your web traffic statistics? Or will it be a lot less involved than this?

5. Usability & Navigation

This involves organizing pages into the information architecture of the site, creating the navigation, and setting the labels for links. It can also include formal testing, such as usability testing and A/B testing. The more time a web designer spends on these tasks, the easier your website will be to navigate, but it will also add to the cost.

6. Social Media

Setting up a presence on Twitter, Facebook, Google + or LinkedIn will add to the cost depending on which sites you'll be targeting and if a custom design is needed. It is important to note that a social media presence is imperative in creating a successful marketing and branding campaign for your company. At The Press Factor, we specialize in all digital media marketing, and would be happy to maximize use of social media content on your pages.

7. Mobile Website

Web functionality is everything these days. Individuals now use their mobile devices more frequently than desktops and laptops, yet still use all types of devices to access information, products, and services. For this reason, customers must be able to move smoothly and flawlessly from device to device to obtain the same information. Web design specialists recognize this and take steps to ensure that a site flows between all devices. This is referred to as responsive design, and it ensures the site is formatted to the screen of the device on which it is being viewed. The cost will depend on the content and if it will use a "responsive design."

8. Content Management System

With a content management system (CMS) you'll be able to make changes to your website's text, photos, and pages with a few clicks. The most popular CMS platforms are open source (free), with the web designer's costs coming from configuration and design customization (theming). Costs for an open source CMS vary based on the number of pages in the website, and the complexity of the design.

9. Functionality

The website's technical components, such as ecommerce, message boards, photo galleries, and webforms. The more functionality you need, the higher the cost. Pretty much any functionality you can think of is probably already available as a free plugin or module for an open source CMS like WordPress or Drupal. They can easily be added to your website, but will need to be configured and customized.

10. Content Writing and Blogs

Will your existing content be adjusted for the new website, or will new copy need to be written? Much of the website’s content needs to be written in-depth with descriptions and detail, just as an author would need to write a story. Would your business benefit from weekly blog and news articles? Does your business need someone to write your blogs and post to your site directly? The cost to have material on your site written for you will depend on the number of pages and the amount of research needed.

11. Email Newsletter

Using a pre-existing design template is the most cost effective way of setting up an email newsletter, however generic templates don’t always work effectively for all needs. If a template isn't going to cut it, a custom design will increase the cost.

12. Training & User Guide

Training your staff on how to use the content management system and providing you with a user guide. This takes time and patience to create. A good digital design company will encourage an ongoing business relationship and will be available to answer any questions or concerns.

The cost to design your website

The web has become so commonplace that it's easy to underestimate the amount of work that goes into building a professional website. This doesn't mean your website has to be expensive. The average web design price is around $5,000, depending on the mix of services mentioned above.

What's your take? Share your thoughts in the comments.

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